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Nissan Silvia S15 Spec R - Black Hole

Rauh-Welt Nissan Silvia S15

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Sep 1, 2007 SHARE

As the saying goes, "If you want things done properly, do them yourself." This is exactly what the owner of this matte black S15 Nissan Silvia Spec R has done. An employee of well-known Japanese Porsche tuner Rauh-Welt, Masuda-san decided it was time to dedicate some time to his almost-stock S15. Nakai-san, owner of the tuning shop, was in charge of the aesthetic part of the car and responsible for turning it into something very unique. Primarily interested in circuit racing, Masuda-san wanted his car to perform well on tracks but remain perfectly road legal and not turn into an undrivable beast. So with this in mind work began.

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At the heart of the S15, the SR20DET is just as special as the bigger RB26DETT found in the more sought after Skyline GT-Rs. Both can handle huge power levels, but Masuda-san wanted to keep things nice and simple and set himself a target power level of 400 hp. With a somewhat contained curb weight, this would give the S15 a great power to weight ratio without going overboard on the tuning side. Trying to maximize response was the first thing that was done, so off came the head and all of its moving parts. The intake and exhaust ports were ported and polished, while all-new Tomei valve gear was fitted. Since the rpm limit of 7,000 rpm needed to be raised to allow for more top-end power given the larger turbine used, Tomei rocker-arm stoppers were fitted to protect the engine in case the rockers jump. Giving these rockers their rhythm is a set of Tomei Poncam camshafts and adjustable cam pulleys to fine-tune the timing. The stock bottom-end was left touched and only a Trust 1.2mm metal head gasket was thrown in. Again from Trust is the turbine, a T518Z low-mount item mated to a GP Sports stainless steel exhaust manifold that was wrapped to keep heat in check. A Yashio Factory outlet pipe connects to a MF-R EX Chamber from Moonface, which is effectively a front pipe that has the job of keeping a constant exhaust pressure, helping maintain smoother boost levels. This is in turn connected to the custom titanium exhaust system.

On the intake Masuda-san decided to go with the HKS piping kit and HKS foam filter. The stock intercooler piping was used on the intake side due to its small diameter helping keep good throttle response. The intercooler itself is a Blitz LM item and connects to the intake plenum via some aluminum piping and a N15 Pulsar throttle body. Fueling is down to four 740cc injectors fed by a Nismo in-tank fuel pump that is joined by a custom collector tank - a much needed item when pushing high speed in corners. An HKS oil cooler keeps the engine at optimal temperature, and thanks to the Trust large capacity sump there's more of it to cool. Water-cooling is down to a Yashio Factory radiator, a Billion VFC Max fan controller and low-temp thermostat. Even a power steering fluid cooler was thrown in for good measure. Masuda-san preferred to bin the factory six-speed transmission in favor of the older but stronger S14 five-speed unit. This was fitted without a problem and mated to a heavy-duty OS Giken twin plate clutch. This sends the drive to the Nismo rear GT LSD.

A well-prepared circuit car is all about balance. So along with the engine enhancements a lot had to be done to the rest of the car to make it perform well in every aspect. First up was a nice set of new Öhlins PCV adjustable suspension, which offer unparalleled performance out on the twisty bits thanks to their new advanced valving system. This together with the suspension arm enhancements would give infinitive adjustability to the geometry. Brakes were upgraded with Brembo F50 calipers and 340mm diameter rotors up front and Nissan calipers were used out back with cross-drilled rotors. Endless brake pads were chosen, MA11s for the front and CC-Rs for the rear. A BNR34 Skyline GT-R master cylinder replaced the stock item for a firmer pedal feel.

Asked to create something unique, Nakai-san was in charge of the look of this Silvia. First off the new body panels were chosen, parts that would later be slightly modified and adapted to create a totally bespoke look. So on went the T&E front bumper, Ignis blistered front fenders and side skirts. These were joined by M Sports wider rear fenders and rear bumper, which were all smoothed and blended into the rest of the bodywork. The front end was finished off with a Border carbon bonnet. When everything was fitted and prepared the car was sent off to get sprayed in a very purposeful-looking matte black. This no-frills paint-job gives the whole car a very aggressive look and the color looks good under the sun. Masuda-san added that it's very easy to keep clean, since waxing isn't necessary. The car was then finished off with a Voltex rear GT Wing that helps keep those rear semi-slicks planted on the ground. SSR Professor SP-1s were chosen for a true race car feel while a combination of Yokohama and Bridgestone S-tires were used.

When we met up with Masuda-san at Tsukuba he mentioned that it was his first outing since the car was built and ECU tuning was on the conservative side. Despite this, the S15 was putting down 1:04 sec laps - extremely fast for a Silvia. The car gripped very well and proved to stay neutral even as the tires were losing their grip. A small overflow problem with the radiator occurred but this was because of the small air-separator tank that couldn't cope with the amount of froth the radiator was spewing out. Mapping is going to be refined and a time of 1:02 sec is their new target. We have no doubt the car can reach this benchmark, all the time remaining a perfectly usable road car. It seems old sayings really do apply!

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Specs: Rauh-Welt Nissan Silvia S15
400PS

Engine
Ported and polished head
Tomei Poncam Type-R Camshafts
Tomei rocker arm stoppers
N15 Pulsar throttle body
Trust 1.2mm metal head gasket
Trust T518 turbine
GP Sports exhaust manifold
Yashio Factory turbo outlet
Moonface MF-R EX Chamber
Custom titanium exhaust system
Custom air con condenser
Blitz LM Intercooler
Power steering cooler
HKS Oil cooler
HKS Oil filter relocation kit
Yashio Factory radiator
Trust air separator tank
Trust large capacity oil pan
HKS Air cleaner
HKS Suction pipe
HPI Engine Damper
Oil catch tank
740cc injectors x 4
Nismo fuel pump
Custom built fuel collector tank
Billion low-temperature thermostat
NGK racing plugs
Nismo engine mounts
HKS ECU

Drivetrain
Nismo transmission mounts
Nissan S14 5-speed transmission
OS Giken twin plate clutch
Nismo meshed clutch line
Shorter final gear
Nismo GT LSD pro TT model (2-Way)

Suspension
Fully adjustable Öhlins PCV suspension kit
Pillow tension rods
Adjustable rear upper ar
ms Rear member spacer
Custom under guard
Front Brembo 4-pot F50 calipers with ø340mm disc
Rear Nissan 2-pot calipers with original disc
Endless MA11 front pads, Endless CC-R rear pads
BNR34 GT-R brake master cylinder

Exterior
Rauh-Welt custom kit:
T&E front bumper
Ings wide front fenders
Ings side skirts
M Sports wide rear fenders
M Sports rear bumper
Border carbon bonnet
Voltex GT Wing
Custom matte black paint job

Interior
Bride R LowMax driver seat
Bride L Brix passenger seat
Nardi steering wheel
Double boss
Billion VFC Max water temperature gauge andfan controller
Defi Oil pressure meter
Defi Control Unit II
Monster/HKS Lap Timer
Blitz SBC-iD Boost Controller
Blitz FATT DCII turbo timer
Custom billet gear knob
Carrozzeria MD/CD head unit

Wheels/Tires
SSR Professor SP-1 18x9.5 (front), 18x10.5 (rear)
Yokohama Advan A048 225/40/18 (front), Bridgestone Potenza RE540S 265/35/18 (rear)

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By Dino Dalle Carbonare
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