Is Turbocharging a Honda S2000 a Good Idea?

Do you currently own a Honda S2000? If so, are you getting tired of the lack of torque and wish that it had more power when you take it to redline? If so, you can always add a supercharger. But if you want more flexibility when it comes to adding power, then you can install a turbocharger instead. But is that really a good idea?

A turbocharger can add high-end and low-end power to the Honda S2000

A S2000 lapping a race track in front of a mitsubishi and ford
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)

The Honda S2000 has always been known for producing most of its power in the upper-RPM range. That’s because the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine (engine code: F20C) that originally came in the S2000 produced 240 hp at 8,300 rpm and 153 lb-ft of torque at 7,500 rpm. Honda later (from 2006-09) increased the engine’s displacement to 2.2 liters (F22C), which decreased the power to 237 and increased the torque output to 162. The revised power and larger engine made the car better suited for daily driving duties, but for some power-hungry owners, it’s still not enough.

That’s where a turbocharger can come into play. The folks at Low-Offset noted that when set up correctly, a turbocharger will help the S2000’s rev-happy engine get into the powerband quicker while adding a lot more power all over the RPM range.

How much horsepower can an S2000 engine handle?

2007 Honda S2000 engine bay
2007 Honda S2000. | (National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

Much like every other Honda vehicle, the S2000 was built to last. That means that the Japanese automaker ensured it can handle years of high-rpm abuse, but what’s even better is that the S2000 engine can also handle a lot of power. In fact, many enthusiasts have easily turbocharged and supercharged their S2000s to the tune of 400 hp on factory internals with virtually no issues. Anything higher than that will require more extensive tuning and beefed-up engine internals.

How hard is it to install a turbocharger kit?

If you do decide to install a turbocharger kit onto your S2000, then the amount of difficulty can depend on the kit that you buy. The folks over at Drifted.com put together a handy S2000 turbocharger guide that details a few of the most popular turbo kits for the S2000. Some of them are easier to install than others, but they are all capable of producing different power levels given the different turbo sizes and components.

According to the guide, the turbo kit from Full Blown offers a straightforward bolt-on installation and is able to produce around 400 – 500 hp on the stock S2000 engine. However, just note that its costs $5,000 to $6,000 depending on what type of components you want to order with it. But if you would rather piece the turbo kit together yourself, you can spend around $2,500 on the kit from CX Racing, which can produce around 400 hp, but it needs an upgraded fuel system and ECU tuning to be complete.

There are also many turbo kits for the S2000 for sale on eBay. These kits are cheap, around $700 to $800, but just note that their quality could be lacking compared to the kits mentioned above, hence the lower pricing.

When it comes to installing a turbo kit, you can either do it yourself as many bolt-on kits offer a simple installation or have a professional do it. Just note that it can cost a few thousand dollars to have a professional install and tune your turbocharged S2000, but it can be worth it in the end.

Some extra parts are necessary

2007 Honda S2000 instrument panel.
2007 Honda S2000 instrument panel. | (National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

When turbocharging your S2000, some extra components are necessary so that the car can handle the added power. As such, you may need to upgrade the clutch and flywheel, engine management system, fuel injectors, and intercooler piping to get the setup to run correctly. Failing to do so can lead to catastrophic failures and more headaches down the road.

Is it really worth it to turbocharge your S2000?

In a word: Yes. In more words: As long as you can afford it. Realistically speaking, with labor charges and the additional parts needed, it could cost around $10,000 in total to turbocharge an S2000. However, if it’s done properly, then you could be driving a rear-wheel-drive car that weighs around 2,800 pounds and has over 400 horsepower.

It doesn’t take an engineer to know that those numbers equate to a really fast car. If anything, you’ll no longer need to worry about not having enough power. And if you want more, you’ll just have to turn up the boost!

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