This baby has been around. From auto shows across the nation and races on both sides of the Pacific, Signal Auto's S15 Silvia has logged more travel miles than an Aerosmith groupie. We caught up with Kousuke "The Mad K" Kida and the Signal Auto crew after the Osaka Auto Messe, a trade show on par with the Tokyo Auto Salon.
Kida started out as a street racer, but soon turned to sanctioned racing. He set up shop more than 10 years ago in Osaka and expanded into the United States with Signal Auto USA. The company made a name for itself with its famous candy orange tuned cars. Its motto is "tuning for everybody without fear or prejudice," and its versatility shows in the range of cars and races it has worked on.
This S15 returned to Japan from the United States in late '03. As an "Option" magazine project, the S15 went a whopping 194.72 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Unsatisfied with the results, Signal took it to the races in the United States. In the NHRA Street Class, the S15 clocked an 11.2-second quarter mile.
Then Signal entered it in a couple of drifting competitions, with Kazuya "Chunky" Bai behind the wheel, including the first D1 Grand Prix held at Irwindale Speedway in August, 2003.
The S15 is powered by a Nissan SR22DET four cylinder with a monster turbo that puts out 560 hp. A SARD fuel regulator and two Bosch fuel pumps regulate the juice that supplies 850cc injectors. Engine operating parameters are controlled by a Signal-tweaked HKS F-CON V Pro computer unit. The bulk job was done with a Toda 2200 kit that upgraded the original Nissan SR20DET to a SR22DET. The added displacement was achieved by upping the bore to 87mm and the stroke to 92mm.
The S15 is armed with Tomei rocker arm stoppers, Toda camshafts with 68 degrees of duration and 11mm of lift with a Toda valve guide and slide pulley. An A'PEXi 1.8mm head gasket keeps the cylinder pressure inside the engine. Signal made the finishing touches and polished up the port.
A Trust exhaust manifold with 45mm-diameter runners feeds a Trust T88-33D turbo kit. A Trust/GReddy PRofec boost controller keeps the boost in order, while a Trust three-layer intercooler increases the density of the boost charge as it makes its way into the engine.
Lastly, a Trust Type R blow-off valve regulates pressure on the cool side while a Trust Type R wastegate controls boost on the hot side.
Signal's partner, Exedy, provided the carbon-based twin-plate clutch that connects the SR22 to a Trust six-speed sequential transmission outfitted with an ARC cooler to ensure a long and fruitful life. A Trust carbon driveshaft and a Cusco Type RS LSD (final gear rate 4.3) were installed to control the differential motion. Most drifters prefer this type of LSD because it delivers traction and control on the edge.
The suspension consists of a Tanabe R/R damper kit augmented with a 14kg full pillow-ball-height adjustment setup, which helps tailor suspension performance to the car's job of the day, be it drifting, time attack, street cruising or drag racing. An ARC titanium strut bar was mounted to enhance rigidity no matter what angle the g-forces hit from.
The driver's seat is a Bride Dinos locked down with a Simpson five-point harness, the passenger seat is from ZEAT, and the back seats are custom made by Bride. Also included are Trust water, oil, EGT and boost pressure meters, a Do-Luck roll bar and Victor steering wheel. These were all necessary to pass the inspections before blasting on the Bonneville salt. Signal now has the know-how to participate in pretty much any regulated race event.
Underneath the trademark Signal orange paint scheme is a Target full aero kit, a Signal carbon-fiber hood, a Carbon GT wing and some intense wide-body alterations. The trick carbon mirrors are from Ganador.
The S15's rolling stock consists of Rays TE37 adorned with chrome finish and BFGoodrich rubber. Underneath the license plate is the parachute, which was installed for Bonneville.
The Signal S15's next moves will be in time attack events and more shows on the road in the Japan. But don't blink; this S15 could be overhauled and shipped right back out to the trenches in the United States.
Signal Auto Silvia S15 SpecsEngineSR22DET: Toda Camshaft in, ex/68degrees, Lift 11mm, Toda Slide pulley, Toda valve guide, Tomei rocker arm stopper, Signal port, cylinder process, Apex head gasket 1.8mm, Toda 2200kit 87x 92mm, Trust connecting rod, ARC oil pan, Signal oil pump processing, Trust T88-33D, Trust exhaust manifold 45dia, Trust Type R wastegate, HKS F-Con V Pro, 850cc injector, Signal 80dia CB muffler, Trust Type R blow-off valve, Trust three-layer intercooler, Signal aluminum piping, Trust Profec B-spec boost controller, Signal Aluminum radiator, Trust oil cooler, Border fuel delivery, SARD fuel regulator, Signal fuel line processing, Bosch fuel pump (2), Signal oil catch tank
ClutchExedy Carbon Twin Plate
TransmissionTrust six-speed sequential, ARC transmission oil cooler, Trust carbon driveshaft
LSDCusco Type RS LSD (final gear rate 4.3)
SuspensionTanabe R/R damper kit, 14kg full pillow-ball height adjustment, ARC titanium strut bar
RearBride custom made, Trust water/oil/heat pressure meter, Do-Luck roll bar, Simpson five-point harness, Victor steering
ExteriorTarget full aero, Signal carbon hood, Signal Carbon GT wing, Ganador carbon mirror, Signal wide body alteration, Signal original candy orange paint job