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CARSPOTTING> S2000 + Mugen M7 in 18 Inch?!

Alex Zhao Mugen M7 Honda S2000 hardtop

Last night, I was driving around near Pasadena when I noticed a black Honda S2000 with Mugen M7 wheels. Upon closer inspection, I found out that the car wasn’t actually black – it was dark green! Since this obviously isn’t an OEM Honda paint color, I knew I had seen this S2000 before! The only guy I know with an S2000 painted this color (Maserati Verde Good Wood Metallizato) is Alex Zhao from Southern Cali’s AS1 crew. Approaching the car for a closer look, I also noticed that Alex’s slammed S2K was proudly rocking a Motor Mavens “M” sticker on his windshield. Awesome.

I didn’t recognize the car at first, because the last time I saw it, it was wearing a different set of wheels. Apparently, Alex changes his wheels more often than most people change their oil. He was in the area to meet up with his friend Brian; another Honda guy who had his Acura RSX recently featured in Super Street. Obviously since Alex was already rocking a MotorMavens sticker on his window, he didn’t mind repositioning the car really quick so I could snap a few photos. (Luckily, I was coming back from another shoot and had all my gear with me!)

Alex Zhao Mugen M7 Honda S2000 hardtop

The first feature about this S2K that caught my eye was obviously the wheels! Mugen M7 wheels are highly sought after by Honda owners… so of course these wheels alone would make people turn their heads.

The thing is, I’ve seen other cars with Mugen M7s at car shows, so normally I wouldn’t make a big deal about seeing an S2000 with M7s. It is, however, very rare to meet a set of Mugen wheels with such a fat outer lip! I’ve never seen such wide M7s in my life! Just look at the view from the rear! The stance on this S2K is damn near perfect. You would be hard pressed to find an S2000 with a more aggressive setup.

Speaking of wheel setups, Alex says that this is his seventeenth wheel setup this year alone! What the hell! That means he changes his wheels about twice a month?! What the hell. Seriously!

Alex Zhao Mugen M7 Honda S2000 hardtop

From this photo, wheel afficionados with a trained eye might be able to notice something… it’s pretty subtle though. See the rear wheels? Those are actually eighteens!!! See the hint from the tire sidewall? The front wheels are 17x8J Mugen M7s with a +28 offset for an Acura NSX, with 215/45/R17 Bridgestone RE050s. Alex added a 25mm spacer to the front, so that means the effectve offset on the front should be +3. That’s insane, right?! Most wheel catalogs recommend S2000 owners to purchase an embarrassing +50 or some sort of ridiculous high number offset. Don’t listen to the wheel manufacturer’s recommendations! They don’t know S#!t!!!

Okay, let’s get to business. Most of the people who read the title of this post must be thinking… EIGHTEEN inch Mugen M7 wheels… WTF? Mugen only made seventeens as the largest production size for M7s, so what gives? Apparently, these wheels have been rebarreled from 17 inch to 18 inch!!! Crazy, right! The rear math is 18×10 +28 with 265/35/18 RE050 tires. (265… doesn’t that sound super fat to you? I asked Alex about that, and he said he didn’t want to run super thin stretched tires on his S2K, because he still wanted to retain the grip and functionality of the fat tires in the back.)

Another thing I noticed about this S2000 – I really liked the contrasting paint job on the hardtop. Many S2K owners that I see with hardtops usually leave their tops with the standard carbon fiber finish, or they paint the entire top body color. Alex’s hardtop was painted body color, but it has a gloss black panel in the rear, to match the window line. I think this is a really sensible and stylish touch to the car. I like a little contrast on a vehicle.

Alex Zhao Mugen M7 Honda S2000 hardtop

Here’s a close-up on those 18-inch M7s. They look gorgeous. Too bad Mugen didn’t make them in this size; I think they look awesome, especially with that stepped lip. Come on! In order to make it fit, the rear wheels of this S2000 are actually set to negative 6 camber! (Actually, Alex just texted me a correction to what I wrote; the car is running -4.5 degrees of camber, not -6.) This car had a VIP style camber set up… pretty nuts. Alex said he got flamed on the S2000 forums for trying 19 inch wheels out and posting pics of his car. That’s too bad… in my opinion, car modifications on street cars are just an extension of one’s personality and style. I used to be one of those people who would get sooooo mad when I’d see cars with “blasphemous” engine swaps and such… however, these days I’ve become much more open minded, especially when people are trying to be innovative with their wheel game.

I wonder what our readers think… just how big is too big for an S2000? Me personally, I like the way this S2000 looks with the 17/18 inch stagger… and when I saw photos of Alex’s car with the 19s, I honestly thought they looked pretty big, but I still liked the way the car looked.

Any thoughts and/or input on this? 18s on an S2K? 19s anyone?

:: Antonio Alvendia

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43 Responses

  1. John

    yeah i think the 19’s were too big. anyways, these new wheels look great. check out that mugen-winged rsx in the back of the first pic.


    sick car/better pics but damn that was the corniest article i have ever read

    [QUOTE]Don’t listen to the wheel manufacturer’s recommendations! They don’t know S#!t!!![/QUOTE] LMAO

  3. rich elizaga

    This is sick! I almost bought M7’s back in the day, but thought the lip was way to small for what was out then compared to the racing heart zrm’s or heroes racing ac5’s i had. I loved the face though and with this crazy lip – bow down!!

  4. What Antonio? You don’t carry your gear around 24/7? ha ha Nice catch with that S2k shoot on the fly! Livin’ the dream! I think if the 19’s look good, they look good. If the fitment is right, go for it. I’d personally probably do 18’s, but thats me and I don’t own an S2000 :(.
    Great work Antonio!

  5. pholife

    sorry antonio…all u see are the wheels; too much wheels which are really nice wheels too!

    I want a motormaven sticker on my hyundai so i can get featured! LOL

  6. @Pholife: Want a MotorMavens sticker? No problem. Wanna get your Hyundai Genesis featured? No problem! If it’s a Hyundai Accent or Elantra, it might be a bit more difficult LOL

    @Hechtspeed: I don’t own an S2000 either unfortunately. I wish I did. They’re awesome, especially with the hardtop. I wonder if S2K owners can take the hardtop off by themselves, or if they always need help from a friend to lift it off without scratching the paint… hmm..?

    @Yuta Akaishi: Thanks for posting up on our blog. If this S2K gets approval from the owner of the Shakotan S30, then hell, it must be pretty damn legit!
    BTW Yuta, hit me up if you need some TE72 stuff. I have T series stuff for days.

    @Stanley: You’re right. Good eye!

    @Rich Elizaga: You had Heroes Racing wheels? Those are awesome man!

    @John: dang man, you have a trained eye for sure, spotting the Mugen wing right off the bat!

  7. Edward Uche

    I like that he rebarreled them for a wider stance. A method im resorting to on my BBS’s for the FC. Slamville approved and ride height love.

  8. AEkyuni


    This car is too nutz and sexy. hehehe. and i also love the paint (not being bias as green being my favorite color.). 17 swaps within the year huh? if i had the budget i’d be the same. I’d be imeldific all over for my car collecting shoes for it for different occasions. hehehe.

  9. @Edward Uche: I just heard of a guy in Monrovia that re-barrels aluminum wheels! My friend at So Cal Speed Shop told me that they always use him to rebarrel their wheels. Oh snap, the connect!!! Lemme know if you wanna make those BBS wheels insanely wide. That’s a pretty damn good idea man.

    @AE92: I like how you created the word “imeldific” LOL

  10. Keruma

    Nice feature. Mikeyskillz sounds eerily like another Mikey I know in the car industry. Last initial “K” rhymes with “HIM”…

  11. rich elizaga

    @Antonio: For some time before retiring my Integra. But sure wish I could have been able to afford like an MR2, Supra o or something back then and a set with a sicker offset/with lip!! Well you know how that goes since offset is your middle name! 😉

  12. Love it, keep the innovation coming and let the pureist cry in the corner. It’s clean, personal and Antonio gave it justice through the camera. Nice write up as well.

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  14. Mikleiel

    What is it about Old Town Monrovia that attracts these sick cars? It’s a nice, peaceful,and quiet little town with not much going on (it ain’t Sunset Plaza on the Westside with TMZ caravans).
    BUT while running errands I’ve spotted 2 Murcielagos, a Ferrari F430, a brown Rolls Royce & a silver G-Wagon on huge wheels, assorted hot rods and even a lead sled!

  15. @Ron Bergenholtz: THANKS BRO I love that you comment on our site! =)

    @Mikleiel: You know what, you’re totally right. I always see Bentleys and cars cruising up Myrtle Ave… I think it’s because if you drive on Myrtle, further up the mountain, you’ll find some nice big houses and some really nice high end neighborhoods. I’m sure some of those Bentleys and Lambos live over there. Theres also a lot of hot rod guys and 240Z guys in that area too, you’re right. Pretty crazy huh!

  16. AEkyuni

    Errr. this might be off topic, but is there a button right here that we can use to share these dope articles on our personal facebook profile. hehe. reppin with shout outs aint enough. hehe.

  17. Nice pictures & articles Antonio,this S2000 is making its own statement,would be nice to get all the pics of his wheel setup in a complete post and we can choose our favourites.

    I know this is off topic Antonio,would be nice if you could set up a wallpaper section for MotorMavens,you got some nice pictures there,which is dying to be a wallpaper in high res.

  18. Hi guys!

    @AE92: yeahhhh relink our photos to websites everywhere! Tell ALL your friends about MotorMavens!

    @Dapip: Thanks a lot for your ideas! Good ones for sure, I’ll mention it to the guys. We WANT to make a killer wallpaper section, just haven’t had the chance to do it just yet. Please be patient with us, we’re a very small team of die hard enthusiasts who work hard at just making the site what it is thus far… we WANT to do more things with the site, but we need help! There’s just not enough time in a day… whew!

    Wallpaper section coming soon! We’re working on it, please bear with us! BTW… you’re a photographer too? If so, email us your webpage/samples! We love seeing photos from other photographers!

  19. Im just a amateur/beginner still practicing,plus where i live (Seychelles) its such a small island,not much rides,but we have some beast here,maybe in time i will be able to get a chance to shoot some nice ride.

    Check my photography blog: http://www.stevephoto.tk
    I did only 1 car photoshoot for now.

  20. repentharlequin

    i remember when people were saying 17’s were too big on civics, if people don’t like it, push the envelope, this car is awesome. every set of wheels i’ve seen on it look sick.

  21. Idiotproof

    In response this comment Antonio “Don’t listen to the wheel manufacturer’s recommendations! They don’t know S#!t!!!”
    Wheel manufactures make recommendations based off oem factory specifications, not vehicles with pulled, cut or rolled wide body panels. Try putting those wheels on an S2000 with factory body panels and see what happens.
    Now who doesn’t know shit?

  22. chippeRX7

    @idiotproof- Dude i think he was requesting that we all push the envelope with fitments. It sounds like you work for Rota or something. “buy my crappy wheels with not enough offset!”
    This is actually good for wheel manufacturers b/c this guy bought 17 wheel sets in the last year.
    Antonio your shit is sik, and this car is . . . . WOW!!!!

  23. Levon

    Nice car for sure. I actually saw this car during the shoot. I was gonna come by and see whats up but I was running late for a movie across the street. Definitely like how it came out. Not sure if you saw, but I had a white G35 sedan with crazy offsets 😀

    Once again, awesome shoot, awesome ride!

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