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Battle Ready

The distinguishable Falken livery on a Nissan S15 with a GP Sports kit, wide front fenders with additional overfenders, massively cambered front wheels, and a big-ass Vertex GT wing. That’s right folks, we got ourselves another drift car feature for your reading pleasure. The Nissan S15 Silvia ended production in 2002 but even after 10 years on it still proves to be a popular and versatile platform for motorsports and tuning. It just goes to show you how well engineered the Silvia platform is.

Engine swap is nothing new in the tuning industry, and the Silvia has always been prime candidate for heart transplants. Safe to say, just about every type of performance engine available has been transplanted into the S-chassis; Nissan RB engines, rotaries, V8s from GM and Ford, high-revving BMWs and even turbocharged Volvos. But since we are located in South-East Asia our choices have to be a bit more sensible. Nothing beats Toyota’s JZ engines for power and reliability, so Garage R went with a 1JZ-GTE VVT-i motor.

While lacking in 500cc of displacement, the 1JZ is essentially the younger sibling of the 2JZ and is just as durable and potent as its older brother. Compared to its predecessor, the VVT-i version received some significant changes; the first being of course the then newly developed continuously variable valve timing mechanism (VVT-i). Other improvements included a reworked head, modified water jackets for improved cylinder cooling and newly developed shims with a titanium nitride coating for reduced cam friction. The turbo setup changed from parallel twin turbo to a single turbo and the compression ratio was increased from 8.5:1 to 9.0:1.


With competition in mind, the engine gets stripped down and fully rebuilt, balanced, ported and polished, with a new HKS metal head gasket to replace the standard one. A HKS GT3037 Pro S sits on a Tonnka turbo manifold, with a Turbosmart Pro-Gate external wastegate fitted for safety reasons. The custom Garage R piping connects the K&N air filter with the Turbosmart Race Port blow-off valve to the HKS R-Type intercooler. HKS camshafts were installed to improve the engine response too; 264° on the intake and 264° on the exhaust. Helping to feed the fuel comes courtesy from a set of DeatschWerks 850cc fuel injectors and a Bosch external fuel pump.

The Toyota R154 gearbox is known to be a strong gearbox but with drifting you don’t take any chances. An Exedy COMPE-D twin plate clutch helps to keep gearbox running strong and reliable. A custom prop shaft is required to connect the Toyota gearbox to an R32 GT-R rear driveshaft and differential, which houses a Nismo GT Pro 2-way LSD.


Even with a potent chassis at hand there were still some required modifications to make it competitive. Additional body strengthening was achieved with spot welding and a custom roll cage was fitted for safety regulations. Getting the most out of the suspension required a HKS Hipermax-D kit, Cusco rear tie rods, and Driftworks rear knuckles. Wisefab knuckles are globally known for their massive steering angles, so of course a set had to be installed in this machine. Being a Falken machine means having Falken tyres to wear, and the Azenis RT615K tyres sit nicely with the Rays Gram Lights 57D wheels and Project µ brakes.

The interior is full-on race spec and stripped of all luxuries. What you will find instead are a pair of Bride seats with Takata harnesses to keep the driver firmly strapped in and a full set of Defi gauges for the vital statistics. They say that less is more, and we couldn’t agree more with the custom console panel fitted to house the switches, buttons and devices. With a RIX Engineering handbrake kit placed conveniently next to the gear shifter getting sideways could not be any easier.

Car: Nissan Silvia S15

Engine: 1JZ-GTE VVT-i 2.5 liter 6-cylinder turbocharged, fully rebuilt and balanced, port and polished, HKS metal head gasket 1.6mm, HKS camshaft – 264° intake & 264° exhaust, HKS GT3037 Pro S, Tonnka turbo top mount manifold, custom Garage R front pipe, Turbosmart Race Port blow-off valve, Turbosmart Pro-Gate external wastegate, K&N air filter, Protune oil catch tank, DeatschWerks 850cc fuel injectors, Koyo 53mm aluminium radiator, custom HKS R-Type intercooler, Driftworks power steering cooler, Trust oil cooler, Billion Super electric fan 16″ pull, Billion Super electric fan 14″ push, Carbing surge tank, Bosch external fuel pump, custom exhaust system by Garage R

Electronics: HKS F-CON V Pro

Transmission: Toyota R154 gearbox, Exedy COMPE-D twin plate clutch, R32 GT-R rear driveshaft and differential, Nismo GT Pro 2-way LSD, custom prop shaft from “The Driveshaft Shop”

Chassis & Handling: HKS Hipermax-D suspension, Cusco rear tie rods, Driftworks rear knuckles, Wisefab front full knuckle /angle assembly

Brakes: Project µ caliper/rotors

Wheels & Tyres: Rays Gram Lights 57D, Front: 235/35/17 offset +12, Rear: 265/30/18 +22, Falken Azenis RT615K tyres

Interior: Defi Advance control unit, Defi Advance multi display unit, Defi water temp 52mm white, Defi oil temp 52mm white, Defi BF tachometer 11000rpm, Defi fuel pressure set, Defi oil pressure set, Bride Zeta III seats, Takata harness, HKS EVC VI control unit, Carbing battery box, Carbing foot rest, AP Racing brake reservoir, RIX Engineering vertical handbrake kit, custom roll cage, spot welded, OMP FIA rollbar padding, custom console fabricated by Garage R

Exterior: Replica GP Sports kit, custom front fenders by Kazama Auto, replica Vertex GT wing, AeroCatch bonnet pins

Garage: Garage R

Text: Sean Eu
Photos: Kenny Yeoh

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