Drifting as a sport has exploded from the island of Japan into a worldwide phenomenon over the last decade or so. It comes as no surprise, with the diverse cars and exciting driving fueling a passion within men and women, young and old, from nearly every corner of the planet. In many markets, it has evolved into serious motorsports business. Internet pictures would call it ‘srs bzns’. Many have even said that it has become too serious and lost a lot of the style and flavor that seems to intrinsic to the core culture. Regardless of opinion, there are a number of enthusiasts who have managed to combine the many different elements of the evolved sport and kept a lot of style alongside the serious equipment.
Photos By: Aleks Brajic exclusively for StanceNation.com
The S-chassis is obviously a popular platform, creating a massive aftermarket and talented fabricators and builders continue to further development of the market each day. The timeless lines of the RPS13 continue into modern times with no sign of slowing down. Even Nissan took note of its popularity, continuing production of the RPS13 even after the next model (S14) was introduced. It seems as if people never tire of them, even if they are very common in the scene. I see it as a positive quality; with a huge network of car owners the knowledge and parts availability is plentiful and the motivation to push limits is intense.
This particular RPS13 began as a normal 1993 180SX just 6 months ago. Work began quickly to create a slide machine with loads of impact, not unlike the owner’s previous projects. It’s hard not to notice the BN Sports Blister aero, the wide haunches of the Blister fenders are breathtaking and bold. Covered in deep black paint the Japanese aero has many traditional drift elements, with the large flat flaring where the vehicle meets the ground. A vented hood continues the aggressive aesthetics, simultaneously allowing heat to escape from the engine bay. Kouki Type-X taillights and a custom fixed headlight arrangement update the lighting — and eliminate the weight and complexity of pop-up headlight mechanisms. Beneath the BN front hides a custom bash bar for when things get interesting. You may call it SRS BNness?
Contrasting the deep black exterior, a metallic green hue covers everything inside — including the extensive rollcage. Cracked S13 dash, not here — an S15 dashboard takes its place and provides a location for gauges and the switch panel. A single Sparco EVO2 Plus seat provides its pilot with a safe place to reside while cranking up the awesome with the Vertex tiller and custom hydraulic e-brake. A master kill switch and harness add an increased level of safety. In the world of motorsports safety is a serious concern and it was not taken lightly — despite the fun attitude of drifting. There are no frills and no comforts. The cockpit is clear evidence of the purpose of the vehicle. SRS BZNS.
Of course, drifting is all about control. A well-optimized suspension is a dire necessity in these conditions. The popularity of the S-chassis and drifting has created more trick parts than many could have even imagined 10 years ago. This RPS13 is low done right, with Driftworks knuckles front and rear — correcting ackerman, roll center, and allowing for greater steering angle. The rear subframe is from an updated S15 model with a full compliment of Driftworks adjustable arms for dialing in the alignment for the driver’s particular needs. Driftworks also supplied the CS2 coilovers. Several components from an S14 model are also present. A well-functioning suspension at this low of a ride-height is always impressive — it combines the world of function and form in beautiful harmony. While it is arguable that certain stylistic elements taken in this regard are where the new world of extreme competitive drifting and the early days of style-driven drifting part ways it is interesting and refreshing to see this car attempt to combine both mindsets. Clearly, the performance of the car was heavily accounted for — as was style. SRS SSPNSN.
Speaking of style, the massive, deep lipped Weds Kranze LXZs ooze style from every direction. Sized 18×9.5″ in the front and 18×11″ in the rear they do a wonderful job filling out the widebody. The owner tells us that the way the LXZs look with the BNSports aero is his personal favorite quality in the car and I can’t help but agree. The LXZs are currently specified at -41 ET front and -36 ET rear effective, with the S14/S15 suspension updates pushing them out an addition 15mm. Three pairs of rear wheels are ready for drift use. 225/35/18 Falken FK-452s provide front grip while 265/35/18 Achilles ATR are on regular rotation for destruction in the rear. SRS LXZs.
A late model S15 SR20DET provides the power to smoke away those ATRs. Tried and true modifications have been made to the SR, with Tomei camshafts and a TD06-20G turbocharger heading up the power enhancements. Ample fuel and cooling enhancements insure the durability of the powerplant. The 20G is top-mounted on a BRAE manifold with a 46mm Precision wastegate (open dump) very audibly maintaining boost levels. SRS SR.
A custom bell-housing mounts an RB25DET gearbox to the SR. The more robust transmission is fortified with PAR straight-cut 1-3 gears allowing for the driver to lay the hammer down hard, often, with no worries. Appropriate modifications were also made to the transmission tunnel for ease of removal in case the Exedy single-plate clutch needs servicing. An R32 differential with Nismo components provides positive lock in the rear. SRS DRVTRN.
So why so SRS? Maybe it’s not so serious. Despite the spartan interior and trick driveline/suspension setups.. the car was built with fun in mind. Future plans call for a new engine setup, currently a toss up between an RB, 2JZ, or a stroker SR with a VE head. It will definitely be SRS FUN with SRS STYLE.