Modified Civic Type R Battles Modded S2000 on Track. Place Your Bets…

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Speed Academy settles the debate over which of the two hottest track day Hondas is best, well, kind of.

We have to thank our Canadian friends at Speed Academy for continually stoking the fires beneath, and forcing us to actually put in wrench time on our track cars. Their constant feed of track day and performance content is refreshing, and super fun to watch. This latest video, with hosts Dave Pratte and Peter Tarach, is no exception.

When it comes to the modern Honda scene, especially at your average track day, you’re basically choosing between the S2000 and the new FK8 Civic Type R. The S2K is, obviously, a lightweight, rear-wheel drive sports car, with a screaming naturally-aspirated engine. Meanwhile, the new Type R is one of the fastest front-wheel drive production cars around the track that you can buy in the United States.

Speed Academy Modified Honda S2000 vs. Civic Type R FK8 Track Test

The decision as to which is the better track weapon gets a bit tougher due to some of the variables at play here. Both vehicles are modified, in much the way that you would see at your average track day, as Pratte explains.

The Civic Type R is actually a test and demonstration vehicle from K-Tuned, a supplier of aftermarket Honda parts. It has a set of lowering springs, a full turbo-back exhaust system and a set of 19-inch Titan 7 wheels. The S2000 is Speed Academy’s long-term project build. It’s an AP1 chassis with the 2.2-liter F22C1 engine from a later AP2 S2000. Additionally, it has also an intake, exhaust, coil-over suspension and, crucially, an aero package, with splitter and GT wing.

Pratte elaborates on the two cars by noting that both are wearing 255 sectin-width Continental ExtremeContact Sport tires, which should level the playing field, a bit. Time to hit the track, the tight and technical, Toronto Motorsports Park.


ALSO SEE: Honda Civic Type R Track Tested!


Right away, it’s Tarach, in the front-wheel drive Civic Type R, that’s getting out of line. With Tarach leading the race in the CTR, and Pratte following in the S2000, we see everything unfold from the chase car, and hear Pratte’s commentary along the way. “He is loose. Front-wheel drive drifting turn one! How awesome is that?” Despite the two drivers usually being evenly-matched, the S2000 is all over the Type R in the tighter sections. Of course, in the higher-speed, flowing sections of the track, the Civic Type R’s massive power advantage shines.

Speed Academy Modified Honda S2000 vs. Civic Type R FK8 Track Test

Soon, the perspective switches, with Tarach and the Civic Type R chasing Pratte in the S2000. Interestingly, despite the AP1 S2000’s proclivity for being edgy at the limit, it’s Tarach who is working hard to keep the FK8 in line. Between bouts of corner entry understeer, and sawing at the wheel, Tarach says that he continually forgets that a key component of going fast in a front-wheel drive car is patience. As he waits for the front end to bite, the S2000 just keeps pulling away in the corners. Lap after lap, the two cars providing a repeat performance, with the Type R making up for lost time in the straights.

Subjectively, our Sped Academy hosts praise both cars for their respective strengths. However, they both ultimately concede that, from the seat of the pants, the rear-wheel drive S2000 offers a better driving experience. But how about in terms of lap times? The S2000 ran a 1:20.63, and the Civic Type R managed a 1:21.12. So, the S2K held just half a second lead over the Type R. It seems that when it comes to picking a fast Honda track car, both the S2000 and Civic Type R are good choices.

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Jake Stumph is the lead Content Editor for Honda-Tech and several other Internet Brands Automotive websites. He enjoys track days, drifting, and autocross, at least, when his cars are running right.

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