It's hard to believe that my 2000 S2000 will be turning 5 years old in October. Every time I drive it, it still puts a huge grin on my face. It probably helps that I've rolled up fewer than 20000 miles on the car in its tenure with me. The car is such a fantastic package on so many levels, there are few things that I would change about it. The only modifications I've made to the car in the past were a Spoon chassis X-Brace (no noticeable difference), a K&N style filter (manufactured by JR), and a Mugen header. The Mugen header resulted in modest gains in midrange torque, but no peak power, and in fact is no longer installed on the car.
From an aesthetic standpoint, the sound of the S2000's 2.0L screaming to 9000rpms is pretty amazing, but I've always thought the sound could be improved with an opened up intake, exhaust, or both. After installing the AEM and driving the car around a little bit, it turns out I was correct. The sound is phenomenal, though if you're like me, you might be tempted to tach up the car much more frequently, possibly attracting the wrong sort of attention from the local gendarme. Listen for yourself in the following video clip:
Windows Media V9 - 2.42MB (480x360, 0:27)
DivX 5.1.1 - 2.56MB (480x360, 0:27)
This is the third AEM intake system we've officially tested and installed, and again we're impressed with the completeness of the kit. Every piece of hardware that you'll need for the installation is included, as are clearly written instructions. There are a few steps in the instructions that could use a bit more clarity, but if you know your way around under the hood of your S2000, it should be no problem. Beware, though, this installation is more involved than a simple short ram intake, and requires some cutting of the plastic trim underneath the bumper and inside the fenderwell. The directions also call for draining "about 1 gallon" of your coolant, presumably to minimize leakage when the stock coolant lines are disconnected from the throttle body. I followed these directions but in speaking with Shawn Church afterwards, he mentioned that he skipped that part and had no problems, so I could have possibly saved some time by doing the same. If you install a V2 in your S2000 and decide to skip this step, be sure to cover your alternator and other components beneath the coolant lines to protect them from any coolant that might drip out. And keep several towels handy. You'll have to jack up the car, remove the front passenger side wheel, and the front plastic undertray to get access to everything. All told, it took me a little over two hours to get the V2 installed, but I was in no rush.
Since the installation requires messing with the throttle body coolant line, I decided to use the old throttle body coolant bypass trick to keep the intake temps down a bit during the hot summer months. It seems to have helped lower the IATs by at least 20-30F, but during colder weather I'll have to keep an eye on it.
For those of you who are interested in trimming as much fat as possible from your car, the full AEM V2 intake system weighs 6.52 lbs. The stock system weighs 10.50 lbs, so the AEM represents approximately a 40% weight reduction.
By now you're probably wondering about the results of our dyno test. As you'll see, the net results were quite good, but they are likely to be the source of discussion and perhaps a bit of controversy.