Heart & Soul: Two Honda S2000s From Italy
Nothing Happens By Chance

In Italy it’s easy to find nice food, good wine, astonishing landscapes and art masterpieces. What’s not easy to find are cars like this S2000 pairing; Japanese sports cars are real unicorns on Italian roads.

I’m Ivan, and since I was 16 (four years ago) I’ve been photographing cars. I think every car has a soul, and it’s my mission with automotive photography to bring this emotional energy out every time I use my camera. I could stay here and talk about cars and photography for hours, but let’s focus on the story of these two nicely-tuned Hondas.


Back in 2018, I met Alessio Cavalletti at the only place you can meet people like him – the race track. It was a Honda day at Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi (otherwise known as ACI Vallelunga Circuit) in Campagnano di Roma, and Alessio’s Silverstone Metallic S2000 immediately stood out to me.

Alessio liked the photos I took of his car, and since that day we have been in constant contact with each other over social media. Alessio and I live in different regions of Italy, but the Vallelunga race track has always been our meeting point.


The first time I visited Alessio closer to his home, it was to photograph a track day he had organized at Autodromo dell’Umbria in Magione. It was there that I met Riccardo Mocini, the owner of a Rio Yellow Pearl S2000.


As I mentioned earlier, cars like these are extremely rare in Italy, so I just had to photograph them together for this story.

Why The S2000?

Every time I see an interesting car, I always ask myself the same thing: why did the owner decide to buy it over something else? I put that question to both Alessio and Riccardo…

Alessio: “This is a question that, after nine years, I cannot answer precisely. Around the age of 21 or 22, I started looking for a sports car. I wanted something relatively light and not very expensive, and of course it had to be rear-wheel drive. In those years, S2000 prices in Europe were very low, and alternatives to such a technical masterpiece were simply not there.”


“My search lasted almost a year, then lightning struck – I found one for sale in Milan on the old Italian forum, Honda S2000 Passion. It was a 2004 model in Silverstone Metallic. A few months later, I went with my dad to pick it up; I can still vividly remember the whole journey back home.”

“Initially the mods were light, then I made two big mistakes: The first was to put the car on the track; the second was to start visiting Japan where I frequented time attack events.”


Riccardo: “After some experiences with other sports cars and modifying, in 2017 I found an S2000 for sale. It was dirty and in poor condition. Owning an S2000 had never been my dream – to me they were a nice car but nothing too special – but there was something about this one that attracted me to it.”

“My first thought was to fix it up, leave it naturally aspirated and use it on the track. I promised myself that I wouldn’t spend an arm and a leg on the car, nor swear eternal love to it. As you would have already realized though, I did not keep my promise.”

The Devil Is In The Details

While these two S2000s share many similarities, they’re actually very different machines. Keeping that in mind, I asked Alessio and Riccardo about their respective journeys to this point…

Alessio: From the beginning, my philosophy has stayed the same. I wanted to make changes that would improve the car’s performance on the track without upsetting everything else. I still wanted to be able to take the car up to the mountains and attack a few corners, and at the same time make it look like the S2000 I had always dreamed of.”


“Over the years my S2000 has gone through various steps, but has always remained naturally aspirated. Almost all of the work on the car was done with my best friend Paolo under the careful supervision of Alessandro Brusciani from Conte Performance, one of the best Honda tuners in Italy.”

“Since 2017, I’ve raced the car at a number of motorsport events, including Time Attack Italy. Despite my S2000 having a naturally aspirated engine and being quite heavy in comparison to other cars in the same category, I’ve achieved good results at circuits around central Italy.”


“To be honest though, when I bought the car eight years ago, I never thought I’d be able to get to where I am now with it. I spend every single second of my free time on this project and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved so far.”


Riccardo: “I met Alessio in 2018, at which time I had broken my car’s F20C engine twice. It was then that I decided to swap in a K20 engine and adapt a Rotrex supercharger to it. I’m crazy for a for a job well done, and an unquantifiable number of late-night hours went in to making it all work. It would have been a lot easier to use a ready-made swap kit, but the decision was made to buy the bare essentials and to build almost all the custom parts.”


“With this swap, the reliability has increased, as has the performance with more horsepower and more torque.”

“In line with this, Alessio and I decided that aerodynamic development should also have its part in the story. Initially, we opted for the simple things: a wing and a splitter, but after a lot of testing and more aero I now have an S2000 that’s really balanced, goes fast and is so much fun.”


“That’s not to say that in the future I won’t chase even more power, because, you know, it’s never enough!”


These cars exude passion from every bolt; they have a unique charm and tell you how fast they are even when they’re parked up. The commitment and dedication of Alessio and Riccardo is admirable. So much blood, sweat and tears have gone into the two builds, and after years of passion and sacrifice, seeing this petrolhead pair so happy with their creations is good for the heart and soul.

Ivan Caravona
Instagram: ivancaravona


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Alessio Cavalletti’s 2004 Honda S2000 (AP1) 

Engine: Honda F20C, tuned stock intake manifold, 70mm Spoon throttle body, carbon fiber intake, custom lightweight pulleys, Tegiwa header, Berk 74mm header-back exhaust system, Tegiwa aluminum radiator, Setrab oil cooler, AntiG sump baffle, AntiG fuel baffle, Optima battery, Innovative 75A billet engine mounts, AEM Electronics Series 2 engine management system tuned by Alessandro Brusciani/Conte Performance

Driveline: Factory 6-speed gearbox, Exedy Racing Stage 1 organic race clutch kit, Competition Clutch 3.9kg flywheel, HEL stainless steel clutch lines, Car Garage Amis shifter bushing, Innovative 75A billet gearbox mounts, Carbonetics 1.5-way LSD, 4.44 final drive, J’s Racing differential collar, Innovative 75A billet differential mounts, Blox driveshaft spacers

Suspension/Brakes: Tein Mono Flex coilovers with 10kg/mm springs front/rear, J’s Racing front roll center adjusters, Energy Suspension bushing kit, Blox steering box spacers, Wilwood Superlite 4-pot front calipers & 330mm rotors, Ferodo Dsuno front pads, Honed front brake cooling air guide kit, factory rear calipers, Ballade Sports 330mm rear rotors, Carbonetics carbon rear pads, DLE brake stopper

Wheels/Tires: Track – Enkei RPF1 17×9-inch +22 offset, Yokohama Advan A052 245/40R17, Street – JR5 17×9.5-inch +25 offset, Toyo Proxes R1R 255/40R17

Exterior: Voltex Street carbon front bumper, Group A Motoring carbon canards, Fiberworxx FRP front fenders with side & upper vents, SixthCarbon rear overfenders, SixthCarbon carbon side skirts, SixthCarbon FRP rear duckbill spoiler, 1,600mm carbon wing with 275mm custom stays, APR GT3 carbon mirrors, SixthCarbon carbon hardtop, Alex Novi front tow hook, custom rear tow hook, custom Silverstone Metallic respray

Interior: AG Works 4-point roll bar, Corbeau Clubsport seats, Buddyclub seat rails, Sabelt 4-point harness belts, Personal 330mm Neo Grinta suede steering wheel, NRG Innovations short hub adapter & quick release, custom shift knob, AEM Wideband 02 gauge, Depo oil pressure & temperature gauges, Broadway 380mm rear-view mirror, Modifry Yellow Box Speedometer Corrector

Riccardo Mocini’s 2000 Honda S2000 (AP1)

Engine: Honda K20Z4, Toda K20 chain tensioner, F20C intake manifold with 2NRS K20 adaptor plate, 70mm throttle body, Rotrex C30-94 supercharger with custom mount, GReddy Type-RS pop-off valve, custom front-mount intercooler, Bosch 1,000cc injectors, Denso 340lph fuel pump, Skunk2 MAP sensor, DC Sports F20C exhaust manifold with 2NRS K20 adaptor plate, Toda Racing dual header-back exhaust system, custom Accusump, custom radiator with SPAL fan, Tomei oil cooler, K20A2 oil pump & sump, Skunk2 x Tractuff oil sump baffle kit, 2NRS K20 kit with Hasport billet engine mounts, Doctronic tuned by Alessandro Brusciani/Conte Performance

Driveline: Factory 6-speed gearbox, 6-puck clutch, Quarter Master flywheel, Hasport gearbox mounts, 4.44 final drive, Hasport differential mounts

Suspension/Brakes: Tein Mono Sport coilovers with 12kg/mm front & 10kg/mm rear springs, Hardrace front roll center adjusters, Powerflex bushing kit, Buddyclub rear roll center adjusters, PB Racing 6-pot front calipers, PB Racing 330mm front rotors, PB Racing front pads, factory S2000 rear calipers, Track Solution 330mm floating rear rotors, Ferodo DS3000 rear pads

Wheels: Team Dynamics Pro Race 17×8-inch +35 offset front, 17×9-inch +45 offset rear

Exterior: Custom bumper with splitter, Fiberworxx FRP front fenders with side vents, molded custom rear steel overfenders, SixthCarbon carbon side skirts, 1,600mm wing, 
SixthCarbon FRP rear duckbill, SixthCarbon carbon hardtop, complete Yellow Rio Pearl respray

Interior: Custom 4-point roll bar
, Bride Low Max seats, custom seat rails, 
Sparco 4-point harness belts, QSP 330mm suede steering wheel, short hub adapter, Skunk2 shift knob, Zeitronix wideband, EGT & boost pressure gauges, 
Depo oil pressure & temperature gauges



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If you don't believe cars have souls. Just wait until you have to work on the car that's been possessed by Satan.


Fact. ahahahah


Nice Job!! Nice to see some italian petrolheads!!


Grazie Mattia!

Ivan Caravona

Today is a very important day for me, Speedhunters is a milestone of global automotive culture and I can proudly say that I have given my contribution in telling the world about a small Italian reality.  Some of my favorite photographers work there for Speedhunters and being published on the same homepage makes me excited, the whole team deserves a big round of applause for everything they does every day. Special thanks go to Alessio Cavalletti, who believed in me since that day in Vallelunga, in 2018.
Thanks again to the Speedhunters team, be on here is such an honor. I hope you enjoyed the photos and the story. For every question about the cars we can't wait to remove any doubts. Special thanks to Brad Lord who helped me put the story together at its best.


Fantastic job, Ivan! It was a great read, and your photos are great! Two really beautiful S2ks, captured perfectly.

Ivan Caravona

Thanks a lot Kevin, Im so happy that you enjoyed everything, this meaning a lot for me!


Those are two S2000s done nicely


Thanks for reading!! Alessio and Riccardo say thank you for the compliments


Much appreciated! Thank you!

Alessio Falconi

Ivan ,Alessio and Riccardo, thanks for bringing our italy to speedhunters, keep it up ✌


Grazie ALE^^


Grazie Alessio!! From Italy to the world!


A great article and great pictures. I look forward to your next one Ivan.


thanks mate for reading!! see you next time! ;)


This article deserves a chef's kiss


thanks a lot! Im glad you liked the article, see you next time!


Men buying car parts = Women buying shoes.

Buying their stuffs are never enough for either gender. hahahahah


hahahahahah that's true mate


nice pokémon reference


Why The S2000?
and I asked myself the same thing: why did the owner decide to put kidney grills on S2K?


Are you talking about the rio yellow one? If yes, Its an "homemade" custom bumper made by Riccardo, He use this bumper only on track (and this time for the pictures) ; probably the grills are like this to make the engine breathe better. If you need more info I will ask it to Riccardo, thanks for reading


thank you Ivan Caravona, installing vented hood can helps a lot with airflow. because there is lots of cold air coming through bumper opening (stock bumper have fairly big opening) but there no way for hot air to escape.


Big thumbs up to Alecava for the stunning car and to you Ivan for this great piece


Thank you very much!!


You are /only/ 20 and you are already taking pictures like this and being featured in SH?
From one photographer to another, keep it up Ivan! You've got a bright future ahead!!!

Cool article aswell, S2k is one of my Top3 "attainable" dream cars, and I'm sure I'd go a very similar route as Alessio did. Loved his car!


Thanks bro!


Thanks a lot, really, every positive comment gives me the energy to do better and better. Compliments from another photographer are worth double! Thanks again dude! I'd like to see some of your pictures, can you leave here your ig name?




So the Hybrid badge on the AP2 is just for laughs, eh? Was half-expecting a home grown hybrid system, but I guess I was too eager to have that happen. Sad.


No, Is a serious badge, my It's a Hybrid, It burns Gas and oil


Hahahaha, that's brilliant.



Another Motorist

Good read, good pictures, good s2000s. I wonder if those 4 holes drilled in the rear of the SSM car has good anti-parachute effect. I've considered doing something similar or cutting the rear half.


Thanks mate!!


Great story and awesome photos Ivan! And super interesting to see something from Italy other than the well-known, home-grown stuff (not that I'm averse to ferraris/fiats/lancias/lamborghinis etc!)


Thank you very much dude!!


che bello vedere su speedhunters un articolo ambientato in italia. grande ivan


Grazie mille Luca! Spero che ne vedrai altri in futuro ;)