S15 Nissan Silvias have made waves on the Formula Drift scene lately. James Deane won his maiden World Championship title, driving one, top contender Piotr Wiecek pairs them, and fan favorite Forrest Wang is currently training with one as well.
Ming Ito from Fizz is one of the few JDM importers who specialize in authentic Japanese parts, and he chose an S15 Spec-R with mostly stock parts as his target car and aesthetics as his priority.
SR20DET engines have quickly become one of the most sought-after options to swap into an S15, often becoming known as “red top” engines in Japan and “blacktop” ones elsewhere – becoming an icon in its own right in JDM circles.
The SR20DET can produce 400 horsepower, making it an excellent option for anyone wanting to experience sideways driving without breaking the bank on an all-new JZ or 2JZ engine. Unfortunately, however, it isn’t without its problems; clogged intake ports, blown head gaskets, and dented oil pickup from dented sump can often plague these engines, but these issues can usually be overcome with proper tuning or massaging techniques.
The S15 has long been considered a go-to car in the drifting world. With its simple rear radiator setup and nitrous system, making it highly adaptable, this vehicle makes an excellent choice for beginners as well as veteran drifters alike. There are plenty of high-performance options available, such as this GT Autosound S15 featuring an HKS T51R KAI turbo, TAL blow-off valve, and Blitz Dual SBC boost controller – these are just three examples!
With just a few modifications – higher compression pistons and free-breathing intake/exhaust systems – the S15 can easily reach 400 horsepower, making it an exciting car to drive on both streets and tracks alike. The low seating position and free tail release system make drifting easy as well. Unfortunately, it’s unavailable in the United States due to laws restricting the importation of vehicles younger than 25 years.
RB26DETT inline six motor is famous for its racing heritage and tuning potential, producing considerable power with an intoxicating, rich sound. Though heavy but with long-lasting durability, reliability depends on sensible tuning with regard to over-revving, poor mapping, or over-boosting being strictly avoided.
Today’s high-performance parts can allow you to achieve 400+ horsepower without rebuilding internals, but if you want more, a proper rebuild might be in order. The RB26DETT can often be seen compared to Toyota’s 2JZ-GTE, both being DOHC twin-turbo six-cylinder engines with cast iron blocks and aluminum cylinder heads and similar compression ratios and closed deck designs; although, the latter features more significant displacement with peak power coming at lower revs.
Tuners love the RB26DETT’s factory-built quality, which makes achieving 400hp more attainable than with other Nissan engines. It features a large bore and short stroke dimensions of 86 mm and 71.7 mm, respectively, allowing it to rev up past its 8,000rpm redline; cast pistons equipped with oil squirters; sodium-filled exhaust valves; solid lifters as well as six individual throttle bodies (three sets of two-throat throttle bodies) mounted directly on its cylinder block.
It features a reinforced cylinder block and head construction, metal head gasket, forged connecting rods, Garrett ball-bearing turbocharger with boost restrictor to limit maximum output to 10 pounds of boost, high-flow air filter, stainless downpipe, and low air resistance sports catalyzer for added performance. Furthermore, this engine was created specifically to be fitted to one particular car model only, which makes the RB26DETT a scarce machine explicitly designed for one application only.
The RB30 engine is one of the largest and most potent in its series, capable of producing 500 horsepower with either carbureted or turbocharged operation. To increase power production even further, using forged connecting rods and upgraded valve train parts may improve performance significantly.
The RB30 is a 3-liter single overhead cam engine available in several variants, such as the RB30S, RB30E, and RB30ET. Of these models, only the latter two use fuel injection while the former uses turbocharging; its E version was explicitly designed for fuel injection, while its ET version can handle turbocharged boost. Perfect for forced induction builds as it can take large amounts of growth. Furthermore, its reliability and durability make it suitable for running hundreds of thousands of miles without needing rebuilding; however, it may overheat if its radiator is left appropriately bled.
The RB25DETT was one of the finest Japanese domestic market (JDM) engines of the 1990s, boasting excellent reliability and tunability. Due to its immense popularity, its replacement parts have skyrocketed. Furthermore, racecar enthusiasts love this engine’s reliability; it makes an excellent racecar engine. While often compared with Toyota 1JZ-GTE engines, there are vital differences. RB25DETT uses four pots whereas 1JZ employs six. Furthermore, both have different peak outputs as well as stock internals.
The RB26DETT N1 engine used in R32 and R33 GT-Rs was an upgraded version of its regular counterpart, featuring solid lifters, belt-driven cams, piston squirters, water-cooled oil-lubricated turbos, stainless steel dump pipes, up to 14 PSI of boost. Additionally, this upgraded version could also be found in R34 Stagea and WNC34 Skylines; its turbochargers had steel wheels instead of ceramic ones.
After Toyota took an unorthodox route with their Celica sports coupe design, Nissan stuck with their proven rear-wheel-drive compact sports coupe formula for nineteen years – this car can adapt quickly whether it be to running massive camber for local drift meets, hitting drag strips, or setting near perfect time attack laps on tracks.
Autech is well-known for its conversions of S12 and S15 convertibles, but their matte black Spec R is something truly exceptional. Crafted by Masuda-san at their shop and explicitly designed to compete in circuit racing events with its Nismo six-speed transmission connected to an OS Giken twin plate clutch and Nismo rear GT LSD system.
The RB40DETT features an upgraded water-cooling system with a Yashio Factory radiator and Billion VFC Max fan controller for maximum cooling performance, enabling it to complete its maiden lap at Tsukuba in 1:04 seconds in its inaugural test drive.