The Black Sheep: Supercharged LS V8-Swapped Honda S2000 with 727 Horsepower
One doesn’t have to get too deep down into the collector car world to have seen the explosion of golden era Honda values over the past few years. Whether it was the revival of the Type R moniker, the re-release of the NSX, or the sudden realization that (despite those things), the era of affordable, high-revving performance was ending, the enthusiast community decided that NOW was the time to buy a ‘90s Honda.
From the lowly Civics, to the first generation NSX, Honda (and Acura) gave enthusiasts unique powertrains attached to worthy platforms, championing the Man Maximum Machine Minimum philosophy. The S2000, released in 1999, was perhaps the best iteration, perfectly balancing RWD chassis dynamics, a 9000 rpm redline, and divine handling.
If you’re not a Honda fan, your eyes are undoubtedly already rolling, but stick with us. This S2000 throws all of that out of the window. All of the balance is gone, replaced with a blown Chevrolet V8. Forget precision, this is a jackhammer in a dentist’s office.
Muscle Car Makeover
This S2000 began life in 2002, and existed in stock from until three years ago when the car was dropped off at Georgia tuners SOB Motorsports for a complete transformation. The stock four cylinder was pulled and replaced with a BES Built Chevy short block 6.2L V8 with LS3 heads. The power is sent to the rear wheels through a matching Tremec T56 transmission.
A stock S2000 was released with a 240hp rating that required the driver to push the car to the redline to pull out every ounce of power. The replacement LS3 gave the car a significantly torquier 430hp, and would have been more than enough to transform the Honda into a completely different car. But more than enough wouldn’t do.
An East Coast Racing supercharger kit was fitted to the V8 with a Stage 3 blower cam. The result is an absolutely mind-blowing 727hp sent to the custom-built Camaro-sourced IRS rear end.
To help get that power to the wheels, SOB installed DSS axles and a DSS aluminum driveshaft.
In a Tasteful Wrapper
On the exterior, the S2000 sports relatively traditional, though tasteful, mods. A Voltex front bumper was fitted with a carbon front lip, while carbon front fenders and rear over fenders create more space for more rubber. Carbon side skirts complete the mostly monochromatic theme.
If there was anything that gives away the transformation, it is the custom cowl hood. The current owner admitted, “The custom hood is probably my favorite part because there are no other S2000s with it and it just fits the car so well.” We’d tend to agree, giving the Japanese roadster a decidedly American aesthetic touch.
Serious Need for Serious Rubber
Obviously, traction is a big concern. The Enkei PF01 wheels have been covered in 275/40/17 Nitto NT05R D.O.T.-compliant competition drag radial tires in the rear with Nitto NT05 tires in the front. To no one’s surprise, this car is a fair weather driver only, and the owner asserts that the NT05Rs and NT05s handle the power predictably and effectively.
The tire's specialized race compound and large contact patch were engineered to provide maximum traction and promote even pressure distribution across the tread. The enhanced sidewall construction provides longitudinal launch traction while maintaining stability on the road and on the track.
The Finer Details
Moving inside, the S2000 retains much of its OEM charm, including a fully functional dash.
Looking forward, the current owner plans to address the brakes, refresh the headlights and taillights, and is considering a larger supercharger. Does this thing need more power? Probably not, but at this point, why not?
Bucking the Trend
Is Honda’s version of the S2000 an absolute classic? Yes. Does it deserve the respect for presenting an accessible combination of power and handling not seen in any other competitors? Absolutely. And because of that, they’ll be plenty preserved for the museums, or to be sold for many times over the original MSRP on the auction sites.
The world needs black sheep, though. And as long as owners aren’t afraid to trade poise and balance for horsepower brutality, we’ll be here to make sure the world sees it.
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