Nissan Silvia Rally Car Specs

By the time the Silvia/180SX S13 began production, four wheel drive was needed to win in the World Rally Championship (WRC) and so Nissan never intended to run it at WRC level. The earlier S12 model (which we knew as the Gazelle) did win the East African Safari Rally in 1987 where more ruggedly built, simpler machines were required during the 80’s. In the WRC, the Sunny (Pulsar) GTiR was seen as the way forward for Nissan, however even though it had the right ingredients on paper, impatience and some design flaws saw little success and the factory withdrew from rallying. The S13 was not sold in Australia by the manufacturer and all examples found locally were brought into Australia by grey importers. Powered by two different engines, it was the 2 litre SR20 that would prove more popular. When drifting took hold in Australia, there wasn’t a lot of choice in smaller, powerful rear wheel drive cars. Soon enough the 180SX and Silvia came to the fore. Sporting a 2L turbo engine coupled to a 5 speed manual and tough rear differential, plenty of tyre smoking wheel spin could be extracted for a cheap price.
Our Cars
Many are taking note of the success we have been having with our cars and are building their own for gravel competition. The S13 platform does require attention to detail to prepare the body shell particularly Silvia S13 rally carfor the rigours of gravel rallying. We have spent some time on development to sort the best base design. A full weld in roll cage and seam welding help strengthen the weaker areas, which is combined with the other competition items such as the driver’s choice of race seats and harnesses. Many aftermarket drift parts have proved suitable for rally so owners often opt for adjustable suspension arms, uprated engine mounts etc as part of the build.
The regulations restrict us to the factory intercooler limiting power output. This is not a major concern as any more than 220-250 horsepower results in shredded rear tyres, not more speed. The Sr20 non VCT blacktop engine is best suited to rally however the red top seems reliable too. Using the lowest available ratio factory differential provides better acceleration when coupled to the standard five or six speed gearbox. There are also a variety of performance clutches and differentials available if further customisation is required.
The brakes on the S13 are too small at both ends and a common upgrade is to fit Skyline R32/300ZX front and rear brakes. AsNissan 180SX rally car flying part of our rally brake package, we also fit a hydraulic hand brake and brake bias valve allowing quick locking of the rear wheels for tight hairpins and finer brake adjustments. The R32 brakes also fit behind 15” wheels which are the largest that may be used for gravel.
Drifting has provided a myriad of performance tarmac suspension brands and several manufacturers do produce gravel suspension. Topping the list is MCA, DMS and STD. As with all of our cars, the brand and type of tyres is up to the driver’s choice.

Details of our most recent build can be found here

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