If you’ve ever built, are currently in the midst of building, or plan to build a Honda in the future, there’s something you should keep in mind: You won’t please everyone no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try. Read that last line again, take a moment and allow it to sink in, and then continue reading. From your friends to your family to random strangers who might catch a glimpse of your car plastered on a forum or social media outlet, there’s always going to be someone acting as your build manager even when you’ve never actually requested their services. That’s right, people you’ve never even met before will be quick to tell you exactly what your car needs and why it would be so much better if it were slammed to the ground or armed with this part or that. For some, the comments become somewhat influential and can alter one’s vision. For others, like Jared Aguila, owner of this pristine Berlina Black AP2 Honda S2000, those foreign voices fall on deaf ears.
2005 honda s2000 mugen hardtop 02 Photo 2/14 | 2005 Honda S2000 – Self-Satisfaction
Best described as a full-blown love affair, Jared met his match back in 2005 while motoring around town in the RSX he owned at the time. He recalls, I stopped in at Pasadena Honda for a little window shopping. While I was walking through the cars, a new black S2000 pulls up, just having finished a testdrive. I wasn’t even thinking about purchasing a car that day, he says. The truth is, he didn’t have to think about it—his expression was more than enough to convince the salesman that he’d just witnessed love at first site in the automotive sense. He saw my face and asked if I wanted to take it for a spin, he says. As Jared stirred through the gears of the rear-wheel-drive two-seater, any thoughts of keeping and modifying the RSX were forever erased, as visions of long-term roadster bliss filled his head. After that testdrive, I was sold! he says. The car was quick, handled like a go-kart, and was the only color I wanted … black!
2005 honda s2000 mugen intake system 07 Photo 3/14 | 2005 Honda S2000 Mugen Intake System 07
Like any eager enthusiast, Jared viewed his new purchase as a blank canvas and started conjuring up all of the different paths he could pursue. While some opt for the wild side, like widebody aero, massive turbo power and over-the-top, ultra-aggressive wheels, Jared looked for a more simplistic style with a goal of building something that would look just as good now as it will 10 years from now. Not unlike any other Honda S2000 owner, a hardtop was at the very top of Jared’s priority list and the Mugen hardtop that he purchased and installed shortly after bringing the car home has only been removed once … during this photo shoot. To complement the roof, an Amuse R1 front bumper and ASM duckbill spoiler were installed and the S2K’s flanks were fitted with Downforce carbon-fiber diffusers. All of that is great, but if you ask Jared, the crowning piece of his roadster is no doubt the Mugen M7s that sit proudly at all four corners. But unlike the staggered, 16/17-inch fitment offered by Mugen originally, this S2000 uses only the rears from two different sets of NSX-spec M7s. That’s right, four of the taller, wider rears are on duty and suit the car perfectly (see sidebar for more info).
2005 honda s2000 mugen s1 seats 04 Photo 4/14 | 2005 Honda S2000 – Self-Satisfaction
Black cars have long been vilified for being notoriously tough to maintain and keep clean, and you’d be hard pressed to find one cleaner than Jared’s. He proudly points out that 85 percent of the Honda S2000 remains draped in its original factory paint, the other 15 percent applied to the aftermarket body pieces that had to be color matched before installation. Maintaining the car’s incredibly clean surface is due in part to help from friend and car care aficionado, Brian Jimenez, aka MTK Kommander. Jimenez has applied a combination of high-end products from Swissvax and Menzerna, along with good old-fashioned hands-on experience ever since Jared first took ownership of the car and the result is a glass-like finish. Under the highly polished Mugen hardtop cap, inside the cabin, you’ll find a set of Mugen S1 bucket seats matched to a Mugen Racing II steering wheel and ARC shift knob.
2005 honda s2000 mugen m7 wheel 06 Photo 5/14 | 2005 Honda S2000 – Self-Satisfaction
The engine bay of most Honda S2000 these days is a bit of a mixed bag. Some remain almost completely stock, relishing in all of the high-revving fun that Honda engineers packed into the roadster from the factory, while others hunt for anything north of 400 hp by means of forced induction. Jared’s intentions lie somewhere in the middle, focusing on basic mods surrounded by a unique, minimalist look. A mild list of go-fast goods includes a Mugen carbon-fiber intake that channels incoming air to the Skunk2 70mm throttle body and Ballade Sports intake manifold, where it’s then met by a complete Supertech valvetrain and sent to the atmosphere via Ballade Sports’ signature header and J’s Racing 60RS exhaust system. Many of the engine bay’s native parts have been removed, reworked, or relocated thanks to friend and wiring guru, Ryan Basseri of Rywire Motorsport Electronics. In fact, Jared’s AP2 served as the test mule for a few kits that Rywire now offers to the public through their website. The once intrusive ABS system and its spider-like tubing has been reserved, but moved to a large cavity behind the driver-side fender and remains fully functional. A custom Rywire mil-spec wiring harness incorporates an AEM EMS V2 and cleans up the factory spaghetti, while the headlight harnesses were tucked completely out of sight. Rywire also relocated the fuse box and battery and a portion of that real estate was filled with a T1 Race Development catch can that mirrors that of the T1 overflow tank located just in front of the driver-side shock tower. Rywire’s custom radiator and Circuit Hero coil pack cover are the finishing pieces of the puzzle.
Like any torrid love affair, issues have come up, and with all of the highs, Jared also experienced some of the low points. He adds, Putting this car together has been a storybook of a ride. I’ve definitely built some great relationships with this car. Not just friends who are local, but friends in different states, even other countries. I’ve also seen people who I thought were my close friends show their true colors and disappoint in broken promises with this build. With the ups and downs of a never-ending build, the ultimate goal has always been achieved—self-satisfaction …