The S2000 proved to be something different right from the start. It was a two-seater convertible built by a company mostly familiar with coupes and sedans. Its engine was odd too. Initially it came with 2.0 liters of displacement, twin cams, and a 9,000rpm powerband, yet Honda labeled it an F-series, which up until this time meant 2.2 liters of displacement, the absence of a second camshaft, and not a whole lot going on past 7,000 rpm. No, the F20C clearly had no more in common with the rest of the F camp than the name but instead foreshadowed Honda's upcoming four-cylinder hero: the K-series. Go figure.
Arguing with 240 hp protected under a three-year warranty is difficult, which is why most don't, but those who aren't afraid to mess with a good thing understand that there's a little something left behind that 240hp rating-you've just got to dig for it. Unlike the K-series, the F20C and F22C have been tough nuts to crack. Bolt-ons don't seem to add much. Headers generally yield 10-12hp gains, cold-air intakes, and exhaust systems less than that. And combinations of the three? Let's just say nobody's shattering any horsepower per dollar records when it comes to the S2000.
So what gives? Why is generating an extra 10 percent out of this F-series so difficult? It all comes down to everything Honda engineers did to get that much power in the first place. The years the engineers spent earning their stripes at the racetrack resulted in nothing short of a race car built for the street. What average tuners think should work usually doesn't and, since last time we checked, there aren't any retired Honda F1 guys hanging around the local tuner shops to help figure things out.
The HyTech kit includes 50mm ITBs built by English company Jenvey. Hytech custom tunes the
Four of these throttle units bolt to the Hayward base plate, which feature integrated inje
What about an old Formula Atlantic guy? Maybe somebody like that could help. HyTech Exhaust's John Grudynski was building headers for the Formula Atlantic series as soon as it started using 1.6L Toyota 4AG engines nearly 20 years ago. The 4AG is an 11,500rpm race-only engine. What John learned while tinkering with those helped him unravel the F-series' secrets years later.
The secret lies in the tuning approach. Call John's solution comprehensive tuning for lack of a better term. Throwing a hodgepodge of parts onto any engine, especially when everything comes from different manufacturers, doesn't usually work. Looking at the system as a whole and then making parts that work in harmony with one another is key. Change one and you just might lose all you've gained. Put them together and the sum is literally greater than the parts. This sounds very Zen and all but it's what worked for HyTech. How do you argue with 283 whp and a whopping 200 lb-ft of torque with just bolt-ons? John can't take all the credit for this philosophy though because Japanese tuners like Spoon Sports, Mugen, and FEEL'S have followed this same approach for decades. It seems only logical for us to give it a shot, which is exactly what John did. Drawing on his Atlantic car experiences, he had three intake and two exhaust camshafts made and went to the engine dyno. Over the course of a year, about 1,000 dyno pulls, and several headers and intakes, John realized the improvements that make the whole kit sing.