Welcome to this week’s FC Throwback, where we take a look back at some of our favourite previous feature cars. This week it’s Sara Choii’s Honda S2000 CR from back in 2014…
Sara Choii’s S2000 Club Racer is one of the rarest cars on Hawaiian soil right now. But that hasn’t stopped her adding her own slice of individuality into the mix for good measure.
The tropical roads of the Hawaiian Islands are becoming an increasingly exciting place to witness some rare and powerful tuner metal hooning around to an unbeatable backdrop. Some of the recent shows on the remote group of islands have made it apparent that, Jap-style tuning is as popular here, as it has become in every other corner of the planet.
Young Sara Choii from the island of Oahu is one of the many car nuts that has clearly been influenced by JDM culture. Her car history prior to this yellow marvel should be enough to paint a picture of her priorities when it comes to motors: 1989 Honda CRX, 2000 Honda Civic Coupe, 2004 Honda S2000, 2005 Honda S2000… We think you get the picture!
But with plenty of S2000s lurking around in the Aloha State, what makes her most recent purchase so interesting? To the trained eye, the clue is in the wing-mounted badges, where a small ‘CR’ sits below the usual S2000 livery. This indicates that Sara’s S2K is part of an extremely exclusive club – one of a very few factory-tuned Club Racer cars. And as if that wasn’t quite enough excitement for one day, Sara’s already started modding her newly-acquired beauty to fit in with her killer JDM tuning style, and so far she’s got it bang-on.
If you’re not familiar with the CR-spec S2000, you may think that Sara has already poured a whole heap of modifications into this car. But the brutally-altered body, wild spoiler and sparse interior are surprisingly still very close to what Honda intended, explaining why this crazy car was only made in very small numbers. One Honda insider was quoted explaining how the CR is the closest the brand went to creating a ‘Type-R’ version of the S2K, with the standard models being nearer ‘Type-S’ spec. If they drive anything like the Civic or Integra Type-Rs, then the CR is definitely the one to have!
The bonkers styling of the standard CR didn’t quite cut it for Sara, who has already initiated the start of a comprehensive plan of mods to unleash on the Rio Yellow Pearl two-seater. “Life’s too boring for a stock car,” she bluntly explains. We couldn’t agree more Sara!
To start with, she wanted to add some serious lows to complement Honda’s enhanced aero kit. Once dumped on coilovers, a set of newly-designed SSR GTV01 rims caught her eyes. Opting for a sensible 18-inches all round, and finished in sleek black, the rim choice could not have been better to enhance the flawless bright paintwork and black detailing dotted around the car. This did require a trip to the garage for some subtle arch rolling to ensure that the wheels rolled freely and without snagging.
A set of RX-7-based carbon fibre side skirts serve to perfectly finish off the edgy and eye-catching lines started by the extended front bumper and rear wing. Finished with a couple of choice decals, Sara’s subtle body mods have resulted in an exterior that could not look more gorgeous if you tried.
Inside, and Honda got the CR’s interior pretty much spot-on from the word go. Gone is the leather-clad cocoon we’re used to with standard S2Ks, with heavy-duty cloth bucket seats in their place, and no radio or air-con as standard. Sara has capitalised on this focused feel with a beautifully no-nonsense Spoon gear knob, along with a JDM sat-nav setup. With no soft-top, the CR relies on a removable hard-top when the weather gets a bit dodgy. This has allowed the car to incorporate Ferrari-esque humps behind each seat, which look insanely cool when cruising with the roof off. Sara admits to being caught out without the roof on occasion, though: “I’ve learned not to go anywhere near the car if there’s any chance of rain – not only is it a complete handful, if you’ve gone roofless, you’re screwed!” she explains.
Sara understandably jumped at the chance to own such a rare and stunning car, which looks particularly unique against the usual monotonous motors you normally see in Hawaii. Although only a young’un and still very early into the ownership of this particular motor, she has already proved that her thoughtful, subtle mods have hit the nail on the head in terms of improving the dynamics and look of this stunning S2K. But she’s not done yet, a turbo kit is next on her list. Nice work!
WHAT IS A Honda S2000 CR?
Conceived by Honda’s legendary chief engineer, Shigeru Vehara, as a final hurrah before retirement, the S2000 CR (or ‘Club Racer’) was a limited-run, track-focused special edition of the facelifted AP2-shape S2000. Only offered in the ‘States, the CR was made for just one year in 2008, with under 1,500 ever making it to the road.
Upgrades were aimed to lower the weight and centre of gravity of the car, offering faster track times without any engine tuning. These included a wind tunnel-tested bodykit, distinctive rear spoiler and stripped-out cloth interior. The electric folding roof was removed and replaced with a removable hardtop as standard. So make sure you check the weather forecast before you take a trip out in one of these without the roof on!
TECH SPEC HONDA S2000 CR
Rio Yellow Pearl paint, rolled and pulled front and rear arches, carbon fibre RX-7 side skirts, genuine Spoon windscreen banner, Vision in Progress side racing decals.
9.5x18in ET+45 2014 SSR GTV01 rims, with 215/35×18 front and 245/40×18 rear Federal SS595 tyres, Function & Form Type II coilover system, SPC camber ball joints.
JDM satellite navigation dash conversion with RHD JDM bezel, Spoon Sports gear knob.
F22C 2.2L VTEC engine, head tuning by Harano Garage, AEM V2 cold air filter, Invidia N1 single-exit titanium exhaust.
VPR Hawaii, Christian Baba, Import Dynamics, JS4KIX Hawaii, LRG Auto, HiDecalFX, Car Audio Tech, Racesauce, and all of Sara’s friends who helped and supported her.
Words Sam Preston Photography Anthony Nguyen