In some parts of the world - and sad to say, we're not part of those parts - there is no car better suited for drifting other than the Nissan Silvia, S15 to be exact. What's even better than a S15 Silvia, however, is the Spec-R S15, and it's precisely one of those platforms that drove Swedish enthusiast, Aldin Turcinhodzic to the drifting world. Decent weight, a near bulletproof engine - yes, the S15 Spec-R is a great car indeed. But the story doesn't start out so great (they never do, do they?).
Winning is never a straight path; there are pitfalls and mistakes to be made, even for the most prepared. That's exactly what Aldin experienced his first time building cars. His first stab at building a Nissan 200SX created some issues to say the least. In its stock trim, the SR20DET-engine of his first 200SX S14 (They're called '200SX' in Europe. - SS staff) was not equipped for big boost numbers. Two engine failures later and the builder was beat.
"I swore to myself to never touch a turbo car again," Aldin explains. "Still wanting a Nissan, I bought an N/A 350Z." But the thirst for turbo power remained. "I went crazy! There was no meaning in my life without the turbo kicks in the back. So I sold the Z car and bought my S15 Spec-R in almost stock condition. This time I was going to do my homework."
With a six-speed gearbox, firmer chassis, limited-slip differential and four wheel steering, the Spec-R was the hottest of the S15 models when it arrived in 1999. But it didn't take long before the car took on a bigger role. With upgraded engine components you obviously get big power gains. The SR20DET has been beefed up from a modest 250 horsepower stock, to double the power with improved response. The bottom end has been rebuilt with forged CP pistons, Eagle rods and lightweight crank. "This last winter I decided to remove the engine to replace the gaskets while it was out," says Aldin. "But I also figured, why not just rebuild it all? With a few failures in my history, I learned that being cheap is expensive in the long run." Along with a freer-flowing 3" exhaust, more aggressive cams and a GReddy turbo mapped to 18.5 PSI, Aldin's S15 now pumps out 453hp with a full 469lb-ft. Not bad at all for a small four! Aldin hopes to improve the drivetrain by bolting on a beefy NISMO gearbox, matching the Carbontech flywheel and clutch.
Inside the experience is quite sparse, with everything from sound deadening material to unnecessary control boxes removed. The same effort that has gone in to the exterior has also been given to the interior, and as such, many hours of prep work went in to laying down an identical, pure white paint job on the metal interior. In search of additional weight savings (and you might find this to be a bit overkill), even the rear windshield wiper was removed and replaced with a plastic cover. "Rear windshield wipers should be forbidden on all sports cars," Aldin smiles.
The exterior is based on Origin Japan's Aggressive kit, which gives the body a sharpened look that still looks properly JDM. With rolled fenders that hide the concave 19'' wheels, the S15 has a wide stance with big hips to boot. No matter how close you look, there are no scuffs or scratches on the flawless exterior. Something that is hard to find on a semi-race car, showcasing the owners' skilled driving. The color is a solid, pure white base with additional golden metallic pearl that covers the body as well as the wheels for a full-on white-on-white experience. The aggressive exterior is rounded off with crystal rear lights and a dominating carbon wing that matches the width of the body and the height of the roof.
With the four wheel steering disconnected and a proper amount of power, the car is now a raw drift spec vehicle for both the street and track. Aldin's S15 isn't a daily driver, but still gets a proper beating when the need for adrenaline shows itself. In the near future, he'll focus on making it to the professional Swedish drifting series, which could ultimately lead to the big leagues in the States. But before that comes practice, practice and more practice.
1999 Nissan Silvia S15 Spec-R
Owner Aldin Turcinhodzic
Engine 2.0L SR20DET; CP 86.5 mm pistons; forged Eagle connecting rods; Cometic head gasket; ACL Celico-bearings for crankshaft and rod;. JECS 740cc injectors; Garrett GT3576 R turbo; Nissan 300ZX airflow meter; HKS air filter; Tomei Poncam 256 camshafts, Expreme header (heat wrapped), oil sump and 3'' downpipe with gaskets; Trust 3'' silencer with test-pipe and oil cooler; NISMO engine mounts and oil cap; DME Engine Torque Damper kit; GReddy sandwich adapter, Type-R blow-off valve; ARP head and block bolts; Koyo radiator; Cusco radiator cap; SARD front mount intercooler; Walbro 255 lph fuel pump
Drivetrain 6-speed manual gearbox; OS Giken 2-way LSD; Carbontech clutch and flywheel
Engine management GReddy boost controller; A'PEXi Power FC; tuning by Japtuning
Footwork & Chassis HKS Hipermax coilovers; adjustable front/rear strut bars and camber plates; TEIN steering knuckles
Brakes K-Sport 8-piston calipers with 356mm slotted discs; Endless brake pads and lines; Driftworks hydraulic hand brake
Wheels & Tires 18x9.5'' Rota P45 wheels; Bridgestone Potenza S03 225/40R18 tires
Exterior Origin front spoiler, side skirts, rear spoiler and crystal rear lights; URAS carbon wing; NISMO white sidemarkers; JDG light covers; rear wiper delete; Fiat white with golden metallic
Interior Bride seat; Sparco floor mats and shift knob; black panel meters for oil temperature, oil pressure and boost
Ice Kenwood head unit; Orion 6.5'' coaxial speakers
Thanks you Japtuning, AT Tires, Dad & Mom, JD Garage, my girlfriend, Gunnar Silfors, Pierre Norlén and Claes Nilsson