After 14 years, someone is brave enough to automatic swap an S2000.
The Honda S2000 is arguably one of the best open-top roadsters of the modern era.
With its high-revving inline four-cylinder putting out the highest specific output of any NA engine of its time mated to a slick-shifting six-speed manual, and all tied together by a sophisticated suspension setup, it’s a benchmark in Honda engineering.
As journalists praised its driver-centric ethos, some Honda shoppers who wanted an automatic felt left out.
Many sports cars of the time like the Miata, RX-8 and its main rival, the 968 Porsche Boxster offered an automatic.
Even the Honda SSM, the precursor and S2000 Prototype unveiled at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show, had a five-speed automatic transmission derived from the Acura/Honda NSX.
But, when production plans for the S2000 were finalized, a six-speed manual was all you got.
You’d think that after 14 years since the last one rolled off the assembly line someone would automatic swap an S2000 but, not so, that is, until just recently.
Ballade Sports, a tuning shop based out of Garden Grove, CA, recently posted on TikTok that they’re working on a one-of-a-kind turbo S2000 build with a BMW dual clutch transmission swap.
Dubbed the M-DCT, according to BMW Blog,
“…the BMW M DCT was one of the best transmission the brand ever put into production. In fact, looking back, it may be the best transmission ever fitted to a BMW. It featured one more gear than the old SMG—seven versus six—and another clutch.”
Made for the high-revving, quick shifting nature of BMW’s legendary M cars, the M-DCT and Honda’s high-revving four cylinder engines might be a perfect match.
Is this the first automatic swapped S2000 in history?
Here’s their TikTok below.
@ballade.sports Project Turbo S2000 Automatic is 90% done!!! #s2000 #s2k #ap1 #ap2 #balladesports #f22c #f20c #honda #boosteds2k #vtec #vtecclubusa #s2ksocal #s2kult #s2kgram #s2000society #s2000gram #carsofinstagram #carswithoutlimits #s2knation #s2000love #vtecsociety #hondatuning #vtecclub #trackcar #s2k_socal #jdm ♬ original sound – Ballade Sports
“(Here’s our) Project Turbo S2000 automatic,” Ballade Sports says on their TikTok video.
“Look at this. BMW Dual Clutch Transmission, we just received our driveshaft. This only took three days to make.”
Details are few at the moment, but B.S. goes on to show that their custom driveshaft is paired to the stock diff out back.
“If something goes wrong, we want the stock differential to break, not the DCT.”
When finished, this S2000 will be able to row through all eight gears without a third pedal.
And, despite its track-focused mission, might end up being the most livable S2000 when it comes to stop-and-go traffic (no shifting needed.)