Science of Speed S2000 Turbo Kit AP1 Ap2 Chris Wilson NASA TT

Nerd's Eye View: Science of Speed S2000

By: Sarah Forst 

Images by Sarah Forst and Wes Dumalski

Back in March while covering the Modified Streetcar Shootout, this S2000 was tearing up the track. The car was clean but sounded dirty and upon inspection under the hood, the engine looked like it was built by techs in white lab coats. The S2000 was piloted by Chris Willson of ScienceofSpeed, a shop in Chandler, Arizona that specializes in Honda royalty- NSX and S2000 builds. They provide everything from regular service and maintenance to crazy engine builds. Given their 1992 Grand Prix NSX won the 2009 Modified Shootout and their 1992 Sebring Silver NSX won the 2012 Modified Shootout, they appear well versed in building a reliable all-around race car.  This 2004 Honda S2000 that caught our attention wasn't participating in the shootout but after witnessing some insane lap times, we wanted a closer look.  

The ScienceofSpeed S2000's aero is track legit.  The J's Racing Type GT widebody kit is a CFRP / FRP composite and offers functionality and form.  The non woven FRP mat on the backside is lightweight and strong but also smoothes airflow to reduce drag. 

What struck us about this car was the very exotic appearance! Surely this one off piece of art must cost a bajillion dollars and be impossible to recreate! As we looked closer we were absolutely shocked by what we found within this build. Not to take away anything from the brains at Science of Speed, but it is a testimony to a philosophy that has always seemed to work on track. Simple is best! Nearly every part on this car can be purchased off the shelf through ScienceofSpeed: the body kit, turbo setup, and suspension are all off the shelf items. Find a suitable chassis and add a proper roll cage to build a carbon (pun intended) copy. We are not going to pretend that it will be inexpensive, but to build a car of this caliber, fit and finish with off the shelf items is a special achievement indeed. Many of the parts SoS produces for the S2000 are beta tested on this car. 

The Honda F22C1 engine is a higher displacement version of the 2.0L F20C engine.  The F22C1 is a 2.2L with 11.7:1 compression ratio.  It has an 87mm bore and 90.7mm stroke making it undersquare. In an undersquare engine, the piston accelerates more quickly from TDC causing higher piston speeds at lower engine speeds and more internal stress, which can cause wear and ring flutter.  Undersquare engines have more torque and produce good low end power but can’t rev as high due to the longer distance the piston has to travel.  For this reason, the redline was reduced on the F22C1 to 8200rpm from the 8900rpm on the F20C engine, which has an 84mm stroke.

In addition to the bolt on aero, this car uses an internally BONE STOCK F22C. For years we have been waiting for someone to successfully campaign a forced induction road race S2000 and SoS is doing exactly that. During our time in AZ we observed this car run every race and every session in 90 degree heat for 30 minutes at a time. No cool down laps, no time attack! Well, it did run some TT laps but this car was built to compete in ST1 and as such needs to be reliable for long races! 

S2000 turbo
That's a twin scroll Garrett GTX35R peeking through.  It uses an internally wastegated Garrett turbine housing and Tial 50mm blowoff valve on the compressor side. The exhaust manifold is a ScienceofSpeed Schedule 40 short tube. Engine management is provided by an AEM Series 2 EMS. This is a bolt-on system (requires no modifications to fit) making 518 whp at 18 psi. In order to be ST1 legal they campaign the car on a more conservative tune with a power level of 430WHP at 16 PSI. Tuning duties are handled by Tony Szirka of UMS tuning.

This car was not only reliable, but  also FAST, turning some of the fastest lap times of any car at the track that weekend including the Modified Challenge cars. After its sessions Chris would pull it back in the pits, check the tires and oil, and top it off with E85. Nothing more than that a true one man crew fielded this car the entire weekend. 

ScienceofSpeed S2000



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Monday, May 20, 2013 1:14 AM
Wow. Never really liked the look of the stock S2000, but that thing is dead sexy. I'm with you guys, at first glance it looks %100 custom. Hardly believable that it is built purely with bolt-ons. Science of Speed clearly has their shit together. From R&D to manufacturing, the whole process has to be top-notch to turn out such quality components. Awesome stuff.
Monday, May 20, 2013 6:28 AM
518whp on stock internals? Sounds like internet fiction to me. Though I'm not as well versed on Honduh injuns, that sounds like a lot. But I do believe in the power of E85 and all the benefits it provides. Is there any way SoS would be willing to share just a few engine details for us?
Monday, May 20, 2013 6:43 AM
@jeff, the stock internals are actually very strong. Guys have pushed the stock internals well past 700whp. You just need race gas to do it due to the high compression ratio. Remember, this engine was designed back in the glory days of when Japanese engines were built like tanks.
Monday, May 20, 2013 7:18 AM
@ Khiem: not to mention when you've got a head that flows like the F22C1's and are revving to over 8000rpm, you don't need as much boost to accomplish big power. The high revs also help in the timing/AFR department as well, as there's barely any time for knock.
Monday, May 20, 2013 9:21 AM
Good to know about the FC motors. I'm a big fan of the 4G63 which can easily handle twice it's designed power, but still nothing like that. Too bad I don't fit into an S2000. The FC might be something fun to play with one day though.

The SoS engine doesn't even have cams or anything? Thicker headgasket to bring down compression? Head studs? Nothing? It's just as Honduh made it?
Monday, May 20, 2013 10:03 AM
Awesome car, not sure how I feel about the location of the nozzles for the fire bottle at the top of the hoop on the cage. I'm thinking this would asphyxiate the driver unless this is foam?
Monday, May 20, 2013 10:19 AM
@jeff, no one really makes a proven set of cams for the F20/F22 engines. There are a handful of cams out there, but they all seem to have significant performance compromises in driveablilty/powerband for top-end gain (if any). On lightly modified S2ks (bolt-ons), I haven't seen any conclusive data showing cams to be of any benefit and they more often hurt performance.

I can see cams being a benefit is someone did signficant headwork, but that's pretty rare in the S2k community as the stock head flows really well. $/hp, headwork and cams are really expensive. It's cheaper just to throw more boost :)

Street car guys will do the 2mm-3mm thicker headgasket. That does impact cam timing a smidge, but I see it as being a big hit in reliability. They fail. Often.

As this car is running E85, no need to mess around with the thicker head gasket. Even on crappy cali 91 oct, you can run 10-11psi of boost on the stock compression.

Unfortunately, you can't just drop in low compression pistons as Honda used the FRP liner or whatever which requires compatible pistons. So if you want to go the lower compression piston route, you basically have to sleeve the block for the new pistons.

Or just run E85/race gas :)
Wes Dumalski
Wes Dumalskilink
Monday, May 20, 2013 8:24 PM
No internet fiction here! The car dos run less power (as pointed out in the article) for it;s ST1 class. Sarah and I personally observed this car kick serious ass in AZ heat for 30+ minute races. It was fast and reliable!

Khiem is right on the money in every respect. This setup really does exploit all of the things one needs to make reliable power on the S2000. In this case the setup is extremely well thought out, heat is managed with the exchanger systems, and E85 works it's magic.

Heck they could even decide to get tricky with the turbo inlet and move it in to the cold air stream from here if they so choose. The best part is that this car is a test bed for all of the things they develop. If it can handle it on this car it can handle it likely everywhere.

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