5 of the Best Modifications for the Honda S2000

Do you currently own a Honda S2000 or are planning to buy one? If so, then you probably would be better off leaving completely stock, since the market for these cars is on the upswing for clean, non-modified examples. However, if you’re the type that can’t leave any car alone, then here are five of the best modifications that you can do to a Honda S2000.

1. A good set of coilovers can make your Honda S2000 handle like a dream

An Ohlins Road and Track DFV Coilover
An Ohlins Road and Track DFV Coilover | Ohlins

The Honda S2000 was built to handle all kinds of spirited driving, from curvy back roads to genuine racetracks. But whether you want better handling characteristics or you want to lower your car for the look of it, then a good set coilovers can do the trick.

There are all kinds of coilovers for the S2000 in the aftermarket to fit almost any budget. If you’re looking to spend less than $1,000, then the K-Tuned K1 Street coilovers are highly recommended for a budget setup. But if you have deeper pockets, then you can’t go wrong with the Ohlins Road & Track DFV coilovers, which will set you back around $2,100.

2. Stickier tires mean better grip and a better driving experience

A Honda S2000, Mitsubishi, and spec Ford racers lapped the track during the Brainerd International Raceway Performance Driving School morning session, July 18th, 2011 in Brainerd Minnesota.
A Honda S2000, Mitsubishi, and spec Ford racers lapped the track during the Brainerd International Raceway Performance Driving School morning session, July 18th, 2011 in Brainerd Minnesota. | Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune.

While the S2000 isn’t exactly Porsche status, it sure does handle really well for a small sports car. As such, it’s important to get a good set of tires for it, but the type of tires will depend on which region of the country you live in. For those living in areas where there’s light snowfall, then I can personally recommend the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 tires.

But for the lucky S2k owners that live in places that never see snow, or for those who only drive their cars in the summertime, then there are a plethora of high-performance summer tires to choose from. One of the most highly regarded tires on S2000 forums like S2ki.com is the Firestone Indy 500. This tire retails for around $140 on Tire Rack and provides exceptional ride and handling characteristics according to the owner’s reviews.

3. The stock airbox mod

In terms of performance modifications, there’s not a lot that you need to do to an S2000 to maximize its power – unless you want to turbo or supercharge it. Otherwise, Honda optimized the S2000’s power straight out of the box, which means that adding a cold air intake, a header, or larger exhaust typically won’t yield any huge power gains.

Instead, I recommend keeping it simple and doing what’s known as the “stock airbox mod” instead of spending lots of your hard-earned cash on an aftermarket intake. This modification consists of removing the resonator wall inside the S2000’s factory airbox and replacing the filter with one from K&N Filters. Not only does it make really cool induction noises, but it also yields a couple of extra horsepower for around $50.

4. A good tune can do wonders, even if the car is stock

Best Japanese Import, 2004 Honda S2000 during Gran Turismo Award Winners - SEMA 2005 at The Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Best Japanese Import, 2004 Honda S2000 during Gran Turismo Award Winners – SEMA 2005 at The Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Denise Truscello/WireImage

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Whether you’re planning to keep your S2000 completely stock or you plan to mod it to the moon and back, tuning is key. As I stated before, the S2000’s engine is pretty well optimized from the factory in terms of power, but a little tuning can go a long way.

If you own a pre-2006 S2000, then the Greddy E-Manage will work with a stock or modified setup. But if you own a 2006-2009 S2000, then you can use Hondata’s Flashpro, which allows for a wide range of tuning parameters. Using either of these tuning programs will allow you to adjust the air/fuel ratios, timing, and VTEC engagement, which will yield a large bump in mid-range power.

5. The stock S2000 radio is not that great, so replace it with an aftermarket one

2007 Honda S2000 interior (JDM spec)
2007 Honda S2000 interior (JDM spec) | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

If you plan on keeping your S2000 as factory fresh as possible, then, by all means, keep the OEM radio in place. However, you may soon realize that the stock radio system is not very good as it sounds pretty flat and weak by today’s standards. I recommend ditching the head unit and speakers altogether in favor of stronger, clearer aftermarket units. You can see what works best for your car at Crutchfield.com or any qualified car stereo shop.

When modifying an S2000, a little can go a long way

Whether you plan on modifying your Honda S2000 until it’s darn near unrecognizable or you plan to keep it close to showroom stock, it’s a great platform to work with. However, if you want to go the “OEM-plus” route and just do a few things to it, then a little can go a long way and these five mods can give you a car that’s much more fun to drive than what Honda had originally intended.

RELATED: Here’s Why Honda Should Make an All-New S2000