Hero of the nineties: the Nissan S13 – not only we are in love with Kouki, Silvia and Zenki …

Many of you may already know this Nissan. Either because you follow our various social media channels or because you have simply parked it at home as a “HotWheels Car” in your toy car collection.

In the last few years, HotWheels has produced more and more scene-like vehicles such as the toy manufacturer’s “HotWheels SpeedGraphics” collection. Among them is the Nissan S13, which is a definite (tuning) hero of the nineties, and not only for fans of drifting. This is one of the reasons why we exhibited the S13 back at the SEMA Show 2019 with some other (tuning) heroes of the 90s: The Harlequin Polo and a Ferrari 348.

For example, the artwork on the 240SX takes up the design of the S13 from the 1993 IMSA GT Challenge Fuji JGTC. After all, many people always forget that the Nissan S13 was also used successfully in “time-attack races” and endurance races in the early 1990s. Depending on the market, the two-door S13 coupés were offered either as Nissan 180SX, Nissan 200SX, Nissan 240SX or Nissan Silvia as notchback coupé or hatchback (fastback).

In a way, the flash on the Nissan S13 also resembles one of the old “KW Coilovers” logo with its stylistic left-right curve. By the way, with the Honda Integra Type R shown above, we surprised the trade visitors at the SEMA Show 2018.

Less than 14 days later, our Honda with Dai Yoshihara at the wheel came in second place in the “Limited FWD” class at the Super Lap Battle x Global Time Attack 2018, despite the almost series performance!

The wheels mounted on the Nissan S13 are a custom-made version of Fifteen52 based on the RSR design. At the rear axle, the multi-piece alloy wheels measure 9.5 x 17 inches with Falken tires and are the same color as the decorative stripes glued on by Vaderworks.

After the SEMA show, we photographed the Nissan, which incidentally comes from the fleet of our KW-USA colleague Chris Marion, in a gasoline-impregnated man cave in the north of Los Angeles. Of course, the US-240SX model year 1991 with its complete facelift to the Japanese Nissan-Silvia design also looks very good on laminate flooring.

Inside as well as under the bonnet, there is of course still a construction site to be found. The time was simply, as always, much too short. Because when the S13 was built at Eimer Engineering, Dais Toyota AE86 was also in the making there. At the moment the S13 already has a welded roll cage with the bucket seats and the sports steering wheel are made by Sparco.

The rear spoiler is hardware from an old Rocket Bunny 1.0 kit for the Nissan S13. Removed, the spoiler also reminds one of the spoilers of the old Formula Drift S13 by Dai Yoshihara.

At the front axle, the Fifteen52 measure 9 x 17 inches; the tires are from Falken. Since it was a Nissan S13 240SX for the US market, the entire front was converted to the S13 look. The headlights disappeared and were replaced by the Silvia eyes. These headlights just blink sexier…

Not much has happened under the hood, however. Okay, that was an understatement. The old 2.4-liter KA24DE four-cylinder for the US market was thrown out and replaced by the SR20DET “Black top” from the Japanese Silvia model or 180SX. In addition, the first upgrades like a GReddy intercooler were already moving in. Chris Marion also plans to install a bigger turbocharger and other camshafts.

For all Nissan S13 and also for the successor model S14 we have developed the KW Clubsport 2-way Coilover suspension as part of the expansion of our KW Classic product range.

generic KW Variant 3 image

Some always believe that a KW Clubsport 2-way or 2-way Coilover suspension is basically “only” a KW Variant 3 with linear racing springs and KW Clubsport unibal dome bearings. Unfortunately, this is not the case, because although a Variant 3 and a Clubsport Coilover suspension look quite similar at first glance, they differ significantly in the details.

generic KW Clubsport 2-way image

Although the low-speed compression and rebound damping forces (twelve clicks) and the low-speed rebound damping (16 clicks) can be set separately in the Variant 3 as in the Clubsport 2-speed, the two-stage compression and rebound damping valves in the Variant 3 and Clubsport 2-speed have a completely different valve configuration.

For example, we use much stiffer spring rates for the valve springs for the compression (TVC-A, Twin Valve Compression-Adjustable) and rebound valves (TVR-A, Twin Valve Rebound-Adjustable) in KW Clubsport suspension kits. Also, the piston rod diameters differ in most cases and we use different spring rates for the suspension springs in the Variant 3 and the Clubsport suspension.

A KW Variant 3 is, simply put, a Coilover suspension for everyday use, where driving comfort may also play a role and road tires are mounted on the rims. Therefore, you will find the KW Coilover suspension Variant 3 as well as Variant 1, Variant 2, Variant 4 and the new Variant 5 in the category “Street Performance”.

The KW Clubsport applications, on the other hand, are suspensions for near-series vehicles that were built for regular use on racetracks and where shorter lap times simply play a greater role than rolling comfort. On our blog, you will find a small feature in which we take a closer look at the Variant 4 and Clubsport 3-way.

Additionally, all body parts like the front apron, side skirts and the rear are Nissan Silvia hardware, which was imported directly from Japan to the USA.

By the way, Chris Marion’s Nissan S13 drove on his own four wheels from Los Angeles to Las Vegas for the SEMA show and back again subsequently. In the course of the season, the S13 will, of course, be driven a little over the “Streets of Willow Springs” racetrack.

Photo Automotiv (Eddy Paesschezoone), KW / Words C. Schmidt

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