Nissan Silvia – Everything You Need to Know | Up to Speed

Nissan Silvia – Everything You Need to Know | Up to Speed


(engine revs) (tires screech) – If you’re into drifting,
and ya should be, you’ve probably heard of
the 240SX from Nissan. Maybe you’ve even heard specifics,
like mentions of the S13, S14, and the beautiful strawberry faced S15 models. So you’re probably thinking
“what the heck are they even mean, James?” The S-chassi started out in
life as the underpinnings of affordable alternatives
to larger and more powerful rear wheel drive sports cards. Not only have countless stories
been made with these cars, entire careers have been launched using the humble S-chassi. This is everything you need
to know to get up to speed on the Nissan Silvia 240SX, 200SX, 180SX, S-chassi. (video game music) If somehow you live inside
of a rock and you haven’t heard of these cars, the
formula was pretty simple. The company used these S
abbreviations to signify the development of their small
rear wheeled drive car line with S being derived from the
name of the model in Japan, Silvia. The numbers represent
which generation it was. 240SX and the S-chassi
story begins in 1976 with a car that nobody really remembers. While Nissan had a small-ish
sports car in their Z car, that car was becoming
more expensive each year. So they made just what the
needed, the S10, created to be the cheaper lighter
car that Nissan wanted and the rest of the world needed. The first S-chassi was born,
equipped with a 1.8 liter engine everywhere else
and sold as Silvias, American S10’s were sold as
a larger two liter engine and badged as just 200SX’s. While Paul Newman had
raced the earlier S10, the S110 received much more
factory attention, gaining fame in a number of racing leagues.
The two most famous of these racing S110’s couldn’t really
have been more different from each other, the group
B 240RS and the Japan only super silhouette racers. We
all know how crazy group B was while it existed, all wheel
drive and spectators risking everything just to get closer to the cars. Nissan’s entry into the series,
the 240RS, was not really any of these. Still they had to make 200 road
going versions of the 240RS for homologation rules,
and thus grace the worlds roads with a badass, rally
bred, box flared creation. The other racing S10, the super
silhouette racers built for the Japanese only racing
series, was insanely powerful. (engine revs) They made more power from
their tuned, turbo charged, two liter, four cylinder than the
formula one cars of the day. To handle this power,
the company utilized some pretty extreme arrow. Surprisingly, this car and
others like it, which only raced for four years, spawned an
entire subculture of its own, the insane bosozoku culture in Japan. Nissan got rid of their S110
platform in 1984 and released the new S12 chassi. The S12
introduced the most important development in S-chassi
history, pop-up headlights. (engine revving) In all seriousness, the S12
generation was when Nissan started getting their act
together and started to focus on the sport part of their
affordable sport coupe. The S12 was available
from the very first day with a turbo charged engine,
even in North America, that’s right. Nissan sold… a turbo… S-chassi car here, and you little idiots forgot about it. (bell rings) Nissan pulled the plug on turbo
chargers in 1987 for the US and instead introduced the
new 200SX sports edition. This car featured a unique trait among factory S-chessi cars, a V6. Nissan killed the S12 in
1989 and introduced the car that cemented the S-chassi into history, the S13, ya ever heard of it? (tires screech) America received both a
coupe and lift-back version of the S13 and gained its
name from the 2.4 liter, four cylinder, KA24
engine used in US cars, producing a whopping 140
horsepower, and coming from a truck this engine would weigh
down the S13 in America from day one. – I mean was it heavy? Did
it achieve total heavy-acity? – Despite this lack of
motivation from the power plant, this engine in one form or
another, would be the only engine on offer for the rest of
S-chassi’s life in the US. Meanwhile, over in the rest… of the entire freakin’ world, the SR20 would soon be
hitting the roads and the S13 with over 200 turbo charged horsepowers. This engine would turn out
to be a tuners wet dream, easily capable of handling 350 horsepower with only minor modifiocations.
This power combined with the classic S-chassi formula:
three wheel drive, lightweight and affordable, would turn
the S13 into a star in the new and growing sport of drifting. (tires screeching) (engine revs) Pretty soon, Japanese
underground drift stars were customizing their S13s in
ways never before thought of. This would lay the
foundation of drift culture as we know it. (engine revs) Late 1993 would see the
introduction of the S14 Silvia in Japan, with the rest of the
world receiving it in 1994. The car became wider, lower
and had a longer wheel base, making drifitng even easier.
Styling can be divided between two distinct non pop-up headlight periods. The earlier Zenki cards
produced from 1994 to ’96 and the more aggressive Kouki
cars from ’96 until the S15 was introduced in ’99. America’s
S14 still had to soldier on with a mildly updated K24
engine, while the rest of the freakin’ world still got the SR20DET. Nissan reported 75% of 240SX customers in America were women. (country accent) I wouldn’t
mind meeting the type o’ gal that bought a 240 SX new. (normal) The final generation
of the S-chassi, the S15, was introudced in 1999 and
only lasted three short years. Sold only in Japan,
Australia and New Zealand, this car was slightly smaller
than the S14, and was powered by the last and greasted SR20
offered from the factory. The S15 is the forbidden
fruit of the model line to Americans, as they will be
illegal to import and drive on the streets until 2024.
Popular S-chassi models carry a sizeable increase over their
market value, a phenomenon better known as the Drift Tax.
Despite this increased cost, Nissan’s S-chassi has
become a culture of its own. This same fan base has been
clamoring for Nissan to build an S16 Silvia. Nissan was said
repeatedly that the market just doesn’t exist, and a
better way to reach enthusiasts was through trendy and
hip vehicles like the… (pop music) – (foreign language) Juke. – (beeps) you Ya know and Nissan owns Mitsubishi
now, so they’re the guys who made the Eclipse. However,
recent rumors are that Nissan may have changed their little
minds. With Toyota bringing back the Supra, as well
as already making the 8-6, the competition is ready and awaiting. (gong buzzes) Special thanks to Honey
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