It’s hard not to come across sounding like a broken record when speaking of most S-chassis vehicles at every end of the tuner scene today. From the very top examples, such as our past two SEMA cover cars, Full-Race’s AWD RB26 powered “R14” and Jay Pizarro’s super clean Vertex kitted SR22 powered S14, to your everyday single cam KA beater, the 240 is and will always remain a legendary tuner vehicle. But beyond what many have already seen stateside, or perhaps even what many have seen over in JDM-land or by reading Option or Option 2, there is a whole different scene that is alive and well down under. Therein lies Shane and Christine Soutter’s 180SX; an S-chassis with a twist of Aussie love that shows off such incomparable details that remind us all of the nearly infinite possibilities of what is arguably the broadest platform in all the land.
Getting to the finished product, perhaps appropriately dubbed PURESX by owners Shane and Christine Soutter, did not come easy. In fact, Shane along with wife Christine recently had their eldest child “leave the nest,” and thus the freedom from more common people movers was finally had. With the lack of necessity for large scale grocery operations or even small scale school jaunts, the couple decided to look for something with “a little more grunt and a whole lot more style.” While some may not immediately realize the potential of the 180SX without a bit of research, Shane advised on the fact that he was familiar with the drift scene and the connotations it had for the s-chassis aftermarket. “The 180sx is not much to look at stock form, but since the introduction of the drift scene the 180sx has had an abundance of parts to make it look better, handle better, and go a whole lot faster,” Shane noted. The inevitable purchase was made and thus work began on PURESX.
Initially their intent was to “look like a stylish track and drift car with show influence thrown in for good measure.” At the end of the day it’s hard to argue against whether or not he actually achieved this goal, but the whole process was a bit involving to say the least. Starting with the exterior modifications, hand flared metal rear fenders were hand massaged to the tune of nearly 50 man hours. Pontiac GTO vents were integrated as the front fenders also received a flaring and rolling treatment. A custom fiberglass vented hood and a host of FRP and CF bits from Origin finish off the exterior treatment along with a splash of “Denim Blue” paint.
Underneath all of that lies the necessary SR20DET with an upgraded HKS 2540BB turbo, Tomei cams, and a custom manifold mated to a custom plenum. An Apex’i Power FC setup keeps all of this under control while a Blitz boost controller handles the level of “go-fast” Shane or Christine might be up for at any given time. The net result is a healthy 385hp. Helping put the increased power to the pavement, an Xtreme Ceramic Clutch was installed along with a custom STB and engine torque dampener to keep the area around the engine bay from movement under stress. ISC N1 coilovers allow the car to attack nearly any paved road the backcountry has to offer, while Whiteline sways help control body roll in the trickiest of turns. ROH Modena’s of the 18x9 / 18x10 variety fill the wheel wells of the 180SX nicely while Toyo rubber completes the flush treatment and gives the car a nice, aggressive stance. A full Ksport Big Brake Kit both front and rear ensures that this s-chassis gem comes to a confident stop each and every time while steel braided lines enhance durability and pedal feel.
On the inside the couple decided to build upon the OEM theme rather than replace it all completely. Starting with custom grey leather retrimmed s13 seats and a carbon fiber dash cover, the couple then decided to add a few amenities in the form of a Momo combo of steering wheel, shift knob, and aluminum pedals. An Autometer boost gauge, Apex’i rev speed meter and Pivot shift light also adorn the interior as does an ICE setup from the likes of Pioneer, Alpine, and Focal. White gauge faces, a custom shift boot, a custom rear seat headrest, and a few other details ensure that the interior of this car fully lives up to its exterior standards.
With over $70,000 USD invested Shane and Christine have fully realized their vision of what the ideal 180SX can truly encompass. And although it isn’t the meanest, fastest, most over the top s-chassis that Modified Mag has ever featured, we are proud to bring to you a refreshing example of a slightly different approach. While continued uniqueness in a highly developed scene is harder to come by, don’t forget about the land down under; you may just find inspiration where you least expected it.
SPECIFICATIONS AND DETAILS
1993 Nissan 180SX
HKS 2540 ball bearing turbo, twin 3” JUN BL stainless steel split mufflers , Spiltfire coil packs, Tomei cams, ARC front mount intercooler w/custom hard piping kit, Bosch 040 high flow fuel pump, Custom plenum, 550CC injectors, Nismo adjustable FPR
Apexi Power FC, Blitz boost controller
Xtreme Ceramic Clutch
ISC N1 Coilovers , custom STB and engine torque dampener, Whiteline adjustable sway bar, K-Sport Adjustable Camber kit (front & rear)
WHEELS, TIRES, BRAKES
ROH Modenas 18×9 F / 18×10 R, Toyo 225/35/18 F / 255/35/18 R, Ksport 8pot F / 6 spot R BBK, Steel braided brake lines
“Denim Blue” paint, modified Type-X front bar with custom splitter, front fenders flared and rolled, Pontiac GTO vents, Ganador mirrors, Origin sideskirts, modified Origin rear bumper to suit twin exhaust, Origin carbon rear wing, Origin carbon hatch wing, rear fenders metal flared and rolled, custom fiberglass Hood
Custom grey leather re-trim, modified s13 seats, Momo steering wheel, Momo shift knob, Momo race pedals, White face luminous dials, Autometer boost gauge, Pivot shift light, Custom shift boot, Apexi rev speed meter, Custom rear seat headrest, Carbon fiber dash cover, Pioneer AV HD unit, Alpine V12 4 channel amp, Focal 6” splits, 12” Alpine sub
320RWHP @ 18psi