John Santos has been into fast cars as long as he can remember. A hereditary inherited passion from his father, his love for cars only grew as he became old enough to truly enjoy them. From a co-owned Civic with his brother, to an Eclipse GSX, to an R32 Skyline, and finally - after some others along the way - to this insanely aggressive S2000 you see here, Santos’ journey through modified car ownership has been full of hits.
Before he had even purchased his 2003 Honda S2000, he knew he wanted something that he could take to the track and be competitive, but also keep the car on the street. To him, a racecar that you couldn’t enjoy the rest of the week was a waste of time, so the goal was a dual-purpose vehicle. When he first found the vehicle, it was impractically low to the ground, on stretched tires wrapped around BBS wheels with a considerable amount of negative camber. While that may be perfect for some people, it wouldn’t last long in Santos’ hands with his time attack aspirations.
The car originally had a CD009 transmission in it, but for the purpose of time attack, Santos opted for a DCT transmission from a BMW M3. After some trials and tribulations - both related to the transmission, as well as other mechanical mishaps - the DCT is in the car and making shifts in 80 milliseconds, and Santos says they can probably get even faster. Until then, he and his team are constantly data logging and making improvements. Under that wild exterior of custom aero and widebody flares is a plethora of impressive suspension work, fine-tuned for serious track driving. Nitron 3-way adjustable coilovers, spherical bearings, and a full set of K-Tuned arms in the front and rear allow Santos to make adjustments to his suspension setup on the fly with ease. Look a little further beneath the car and you’ll find 5.9 axles hooked up to a 370Z differential with a Wavetrac LSD inside. Pair all of this with that DCT transmission and you can rest assured that power is making it to the ground properly.
Speaking of power, you must already be painting pictures of what lurks under that vented hood. Purists will be pleased to hear that despite the Frankenstein drivetrain made of several other vehicles, the F22 remains - this one built by Inline Pro. Giving the F22 ample power for the circuit is an impressive mod list, which kicks off most noticeably with a BorgWarner 8474 turbocharger mated to an external wastegate direct to that tell-tale side exit. The engine build has been through a few iterations, as well as tribulations. A blown head gasket on the dyno was among one of the early challenges to Santos’ build, but after some machine work to the engine it was ready to make some serious jam. In addition to the turbo, the F22 was treated to 2000cc injectors, a Magnus intake manifold, custom radiator and intercooler setup, and all managed by AEM Performance Electronics’ Infinity ECU. All in, the engine now makes a potent 800 horsepower at the rear wheels. Lightweight, flow-formed Konig Countergram wheels are wrapped in Yokohama A052 tires at ground level, and behind them you’ll see a StopTech big brake kit. All that power isn’t going to set killer lap times without stopping power to match, so that BBK consists of 15-inch front rotors and 14.5-inch rear rotors, with STR 6-piston calipers up front and STR 4-pistons in the rear. From there, the only way to increase stopping power, as well as get faster, was to lose some weight.
Inside the S2000’s cockpit you’ll find a notably racecar-spec interior. Immediately standing out is a set of Kirkey seats, mounted to the floor - something taller and wider drivers will appreciate in such a compact platform with limited space. Santos then took it upon himself to make his own carbon fiber door panels, while a friend of his made him a carbon fiber dash and center console, echoing the carbon fiber lightweight diet of his splitters and canards, as well as that gorgeous APR GT1000 wing mounted to the rear of the chassis. Once it was tuned and ready to rock, the final piece of the puzzle was to paint the whole thing and lose the original fading white paint. He was having trouble deciding on a color when his friend, Adrian, who worked at an auto repair shop, told Santos to drop the car off and he would surprise him with an aggressive look. Upon showing up to the shop after the job was done, Santos took one look at the gloss black S2000 and never looked back. That black paint served as a perfect backdrop to the custom graphic vinyl wrap he applied before SEMA 2022. We’re glad he trusted that surprise, because this has to be one of the most badass S2000s in Canada.
As seen in PASMAG print issue 173. Click HERE to subscribe!
As seen on PASMAG's Tuning 365 TV Show (Season 3 Episode 12) on REV TV.
Video footage by Christopher James (@itschristopherjames)
2003 Honda S2000
Location: Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Engine: Honda F22 2.2L I4
Horsepower: 800 whp
Inline Pro F22 block
BorgWarner 8474 turbocharger
Magnus intake manifold
Unit2 Fabrication custom turbo titanium piping
Custom (triple-pass 4-row radiator, 6-inch intercooler)
AEM Performance Electronics (Infinity 506 ECU, ECU expander, surge tank)
Custom titanium exhaust
BMW M3 DCT transmission
Nissan 370Z differential w/ Wavetrac LSD
GCU transmission computer
WHEELS / TIRES / BRAKES
Konig Countergram wheels - 18x10.5 (f/r)
Yokohama A052 tires - 295/30/18 (f/r)
StopTech (15-inch front rotors, 6-piston front calipers, 14.5-inch rear rotors, 4-piston rear calipers)
CHASSIS / SUSPENSION
Nitron 3-way adjustable coilovers
K-Tuned (spherical bushings, arms)
Custom (widebody, aero)
Carbon fiber (dashboard, center console)
Prius AC 12V pump
AUDIO / MOBILE ELECTRONICS
AEM Performance Electronics CD7 digital dash