While we wait for Honda to test our love of sports cars by reviving the S2000 as an EV— rumored to happen in 2026—the cult status of the original S2K only grows higher. And the all-custom Californian S2000 I’m about to show you is one of the most extreme built to date, at least visually.
Honda introduced the S2000 in 1999 as a rival to the original Porsche Boxster (986). Sure, the German roadster is still on the market, while the S2K was dropped after one decade. However, the Honda S2000 holds its value much better than the Porsche Boxster, since it’s at least as engaging to drive and more reliable.
And this is why buying a good-condition S2000 nowadays will cost you around $30,000, which is around double what you’d pay for a base-model 986 Boxster in a similar state.
Well, when builder Joshua Opheim got his Honda S2000 back in 2020, he brought home a crashed example that had sustained non-negligible front-end damage.
Based on the instrument cluster, he went for an AP2, the 2003-introduced evolution that trades in a bit of the original AP1’s rawness—and the 9,000 rpm redline—for some extra torque and a friendlier driving experience. For the record, AP2s can be over $5,000 more expensive than AP1s.
The enthusiast, who is based in California, set out to give his S2K a standout presence. The man removed the damaged body panels right away, added some mods, and started driving the beast. However, he only introduced an (almost) final version of the S2000 in August.
Joshua Opheim fixed the crashed Honda S2000, then borrowed elements from other cars
Joshua Opheim’s extreme Honda S2000 integrates aspects from some of his favorite cars. For one, the semi-open front fascia of the roadster, with its particular LED light strips, was inspired by Peugeot’s 9X8 Le Mans hypercar, a hybrid monster with 939 hp on tap.
The rear light bar comes from the Audi e-tron, and so does the idea of digital camera side mirrors. Also factor in the “mesh” patters around the taillights and you’ll probably get a stunning Blade Runner, cyberpunk, or whatever you want to call it vibe. Of course, if you’re more into old-school mods, this Honda S2000 rat rod “Model AP” might be more to your liking.
As some of you know, Audi offers this electric SUV with cameras instead of rear-view mirrors in markets like Europe or Japan, even though US regulations mean new cars still have to offer traditional mirrors. Well, the cameras for the virtual mirrors on this S2000 sit on the front fenders (hi there, Teslas of the world!) while the two screens flank the dashboard.
The F22C naturally-aspirated 2.2-liter four-cylinder up front, which offers 237 hp and 162 lb-ft (220 Nm) when stock, now uses top-exit exhaust like the McLaren 600LT. Sure, the British supercar’s mid-engined layout means the top-exit setup is more efficient. And while this isn’t the case here, it sure as hell looks cool when that VTEC engine shoots flames at the sky.
Oh, and I also have to mention the faux air extractors on the front fenders, which brings us back to that old Porsche rivalry. Plus, there’s a hardtop on the extreme Honda S2000, which conceals the roll cage inside. Heck, the cage job is so thorough that a pair of “X” sections replace the doors. Are you worried yet? Well, the driver and passenger can be well fastened to the Sparco bucket seats via multi-point harnesses.
The enthusiast has yet to tell the world about the tech mods of his S2000, but with SEMA 2023 just weeks away, that should change.