Two dedicated ‘Ring Rats battling in tastefully modified sports cars always makes for good television. Even more so when the cars and the driving styles are different—but both cars possess the same amount of power. With that one control in place, the difference between these two—a turbocharged S2000 and a BMW 135i—becomes clear.
Whereas the BMW is stable, reassuring, and clearly the quicker car, the S2000 is the barely restrained animal. Oscar’s S2000 sports a few choice modifications, including Ohlins Road & Track coilovers and Enkei RPF1 wheels—very lightweight—make the Honda even more of a track scalpel. However, what truly sets it apart from the typical S2000 track tool is a Full Race turbo kit. Its ~370 horsepower seems to be the perfect amount for this svelte and rear wheel-driven car, and when matched with one of the shortest gearthrows in the automotive world, this S2000 becomes a veritable rocket on the Nurburgring’s straights.
Its manageable balance is due, in part, to a staggered setup. Relatively narrow 215-section tires in front and 255-sections in the rear help keep the car from rotating like a top every time the turbo spools, but it is still a little on the wild side. Though it doesn’t always, spinning its Federal 595 RS-R tires at the corner exit isn’t hard. In fact, lurid drifts are only a toss of the steering wheel away (3:15 and 4:17), and he clearly has the hands to match the famously twitchy chassis.
Unfortunately, the turbo power puts a greater strain on the S2000’s brakes, which weren’t truly up to task in the first place. Oscar’s ability to stop becomes worryingly poor at 4:55, at the corner called Ex–Mühle, and he wisely backs off. With a set of racing brakes and a little more tire at each axle, this Honda could be one of the fastest track toys around the ‘Ring.
Fortunately, there have been times when the stock brakes lasted one full lap. This wild, sideways display of driving brilliance is one of them: