2.0-litre DOHC-VTEC F20C with LoveFab GT1 turbo kit: Garrett GT35R turbo, 3” downpipe, LoveFab GT1 manifold, Tial 44mm wastegate, Tial 50mm blow-off valve, Cometic 3mm head gasket (8.8:1 compression) custom fuel rail, Walbro 255-litre fuel pump, Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, Siemens 630cc injectors, Precision 750hp intercooler, Koyo radiator, B&M oil filter relocation kit with oil cooler, Samco silicon hoses, HKS air filter, Invidia stainless steel exhaust system, GM 3-bar map sensor, AEM engine management system. Unorthodox lightweight flywheel, ACT clutch. Hand polished engine bay
H&R coilover suspension, Cusco strut brace
8×18” (front) and 9.5×18” (rear) BBS LeMans wheels with centres painted black, rear offset 55, front offset 48
225/40 (front) and 255/35 (rear) Yokohama Advan Sport Tyres
StopTech big brake kit with 330mm discs and four-pot callipers
Seibon carbon fibre hard top (Mugen style), Seibon carbon fibre bonnet (C-West style), C-West front bumper with C-West carbon fibre corner bumper splitters, 2005 S2000 rear bumper, 2005 S2000 USA model rear lights, Simoni Racing Zeus carbon fibre rear wing, APR Formula GT3 side mirrors, Invidia 4” tail-pipes, Carbon fibre Honda badge, USA model Grand Prix white paint
Black seats with red/black interior, R1 steering wheel, S2000 2005-model door cards, Apexi boost, oil temp and exhaust temp gauges
Pioneer MOSFET 50Wx4 head-unit with monitor, CD, DVD and GPS
A Swedish turbocharged Honda S2000 with USA-influenced carbon fibre styling and one speed-loving lady owner.
If we’re being totally honest, the USA tuning scene is envied the world over. Yes, a lot of the tuners and modifiers have more money than the majority of their European counterparts, but even with a bigger wallet, you still have to do the job properly. America produces some incredible modified rides, in particular forced induction examples, but every so often it seems they can be beaten at their own game. Step forward Swedish girl Ulrica Svensson and her USA-influenced turbocharged Honda S2000.
At first glance, the car is pure USA. The Grand Prix white paint, abundance of carbon fibre body parts, black rims and huge front mounted intercooler are all typical American style traits, but this 450bhp beauty actually hails from the slightly colder lands of Sexdrega in Sweden. “The car has had a lot of praise from the forums,” Ulrica said. “Most people think it is American and can’t believe it is actually from Sweden.”
Ulrica is no stranger to car tuning or getting her hands dirty. A former motorbike salesperson, she and her boyfriend Mikael, a mechanic and stunt driver, enjoy car building as a hobby, and this S2000 is the first car they’ve completed by themselves. “I’ve owned a Nissan 300ZX, Sierra Cosworth and a BMW E36 M3 before this, and got the S2000 in October 2004,” Ulrica explained.
The plan wasn’t to ever get an S2000, however. “We were on our way to look at a Mitsubishi Evo VI,” Ulrica explained, “but we saw in the local car shop that this silver 2001 S2000 had just arrived from Germany. We bought it, but when I drove it home, I thought ‘what a piece of shit this is’. It was so slow compared to the M3, but I think I had to learn how to use the V-TECH properly.”
Ulrica never gave herself time to learn this art. The same day the car was bought, Ulrica and Mikael ordered a supercharger from Vortech. In fact, Ulrica only drove the car twice in standard form. She expected the supercharger fitting to be a full winter project, but it ended up taking only one week. With the Vortech supercharger’s wheel and belt changed, and running 1.25 bar at a high-revving 9200rpm, the little Roadster was good for around 350bhp – a healthy 100bhp leap over standard.
Sweden is a country with a deep affection for forced induction, so Ulrica wasted no time taking her supercharged Honda to a few shows. “At the time it was in its standard silver colour,” she said. “At the shows, people were interested, but we never won any prizes, so we had the idea of repainting it Grand Prix white.” This colour is a factory S2000 colour, but was only made available to the USA. So, unless someone else has done similar, this is Europe’s only white S2000.
As unique as this is, it is the rest of the work on the body that truly separates Ulrica’s Honda from the rest of the S2000 tuning scene in Europe. The emphasis, most certainly, is on carbon fibre. The lightweight material is not cheap, but it certainly is a popular addition on most modified cars these days, and arguably it is at its best on a white car. The contrast between the Grand Prix white of Ulrica’s S2000 and the carbon black of the bonnet, hard top, door mirrors and giant rear wing looks breathtaking, and certainly a visual improvement over the standard silver this Honda left the factory in.
The hard top, distinctly Mugen style, has come from Seibon in the USA, while the carbon fibre bonnet is of C-West style also from Seibon. The front bumper has been replaced by a tougher C-West item that displays the front mounted intercooler suitably, while the carbon fibre corner bumper splitters offer an excellent custom look. The rear wing is perhaps the most extreme modification, but this Simoni Racing Zeus carbon fibre spoiler certainly works with the extrovert nature of the whole car. And with all the extra power, it doubtless does its bit to stabilise the light rear end at speed.
Although Ulrica’s S2000 is of 2001 vintage, aficionados will notice the car’s rear has been somewhat modernised. The rear bumper is from a 2005 model, with the fasteners needing to be remodelled to ensure a flush fit. An even trickier job was fitting 2005-model rear lights, where the body had to be cut to make new holes for the fitting. To round off this rather impressive rear end, a pair of Invidia 4” tail-pipes look suitably tough poking through the curved rear bumper.
Above all, Ulrica’s S2000 is a thing of beauty. The styling is enough to make a dramatic statement, yet not so over the top to appear garish. Little touches like the subtle stickers on the white body add a racing feel, while carbon fibre Honda badges and carbon fibre APR Formula GT3 side mirrors are tasteful additions. It is the wheels that can often make or break a car of course, and Ulrica has ensured no mistakes were made with the rolling stock.
For a race-bred car, can there be a finer choice than BBS rims? Nestled in the white arches are a set of 18” LeMans rims – 8” wide at the front and 9.5” at the back – looking resplendent with their centre sections painted black and brightened up with blue wheel nuts and red brake callipers on view behind. You can also see through the wheels’ multi-spokes a set of 330mm discs: all part of a StopTech big brake kit.
These bigger brakes are wholly necessary as part of a chassis package designed to accept more power than the standard S2000, or even the supercharger put on the car originally. H&R coilovers fixed to the lowest possible setting ensure the BBS wheels sit tightly in the arches, and ensure road holding is not a worry on the already tight-as-standard S2000. A Cusco strut brace up front also does its bit to help the chassis be as rigid as possible.
All this chassis work isn’t just for show. Ulrica had been enjoying plenty of success at the car shows once the body styling was complete, and then embraced the idea of swapping the supercharger for a turbo. “I put a turbo on just for show at first,” Ulrica said, “and then spent last winter rigging it all up.”
Turbocharged Honda S2000’s are rare things, with the majority of these all hailing from the USA, so it was no surprise Ulrica sourced a turbo kit from across the pond. LoveFab (www.lovefab.com) in Michigan makes custom kits for the S2000, with a modified Garrett GT35R turbo the centrepiece. The kit is a reasonable $8500US on the company’s website, and also includes the likes of a LoveFab 3” downpipe, LoveFab manifold, Tial 44mm wastegate, Tial 50mm blow-off valve and Precision 750hp intercooler.
Even with quite a comprehensive kit, Ulrica and Mikael still had a lot of work to do fitting the kit, and making their own custom parts. “We made our own custom fuel rail, injectors, fuel pump and fuel pressure regulator all in our tiny garage,” she said. “We added a Cometic 3mm head gasket that has lowered the compression to 8.8:1, a Koyo radiator and had the engine bay fully polished.”
The final job is always sorting out the engine management, and this has been handled by Civinco in Gothenburg who have ensured the S2000 is running to the best of its capabilities. Ulrica has estimated the turbo kit means the S2000 realises 450bhp now, but there are no dyno charts as yet to prove this. “I’m looking for high 10s or low 11s on the drag strip,” Ulrica said, “but I’d need to change my wheels for the 15” ones I have with drag rubber.” If the car does indeed have 450bhp, such times are well within the Swede’s grasp, and would be impressive for the little S2000.
The detail in the engine bay is in line with the tremendous quality of work seen throughout the car. The V-TECH engine and all its surrounding custom components are perfectly polished to give a supreme show car style. The braided lines with red connectors, blue Samco hoses and the green HKS air filter all add a welcome dose of colour as well, and it is of little wonder that Ulrica’s car has walked away with many first place trophies in recent shows. In fact, it is currently a Top 10 car in Sweden’s renowned Bilsport Show, and is justifiably in the running for the coveted first place trophy in this event.
The car’s interior continues with the quality style, although very little has been changed from the attractive standard S2000 cabin. “We wanted to fit bucket seats, but we couldn’t find any small enough as the car is not very wide,” Ulrica explained. An aftermarket steering wheel adds a sportier touch, while door cards from a 2005 model S2000 update things somewhat. Meanwhile, a set of Apexi gauges provide the required information to keep an eye on the boost level and oil and exhaust temperatures.
So this cabin is a good place to pilot what is an incredibly capable Honda S2000. As standard, Honda’s roadster has built a positive reputation for itself with its high-revving, tail-sliding performance, but the addition of around 200bhp thanks to the turbo work Ulrica has carried out ensures the car’s fun nature is considerably amplified. And when it looks this good dressed in Grand Prix white with all those carbon fibre panels, it is unquestionably a brilliant show car with the performance to back it up. If Ulrica is anything to go by, car tuning abilities is just one more reason to love the Swedish girls!