Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Nissan S14/200SX...

Here at Not £2 Grand we like a bit of drifting. It's cool to watch, amazing to undertake and on the whole, pretty damn cool. Just look at this loon in a Viper for example, he's cooler than a cucumber, right?

Ahh yes, the art of entering a corner with the car already sideways. The application of more power and more steering lock all building up to the heroic slide which ensues - complete with huge plumes of smoke produced by your now scrap Nankang tyres. Yessir, drifting is mega.

Get it wrong though, and your once very expensive (around $100k in the case of this Viper) drift car becomes nothing more than downside-up, opposite-pointy-wheeled scrap...

...hmmm, not ideal. If only there was a cheaper alternative, but one that could be used as a normal daily driver too - not just a full-on drifter.

Enter stage-left a stylish, fun and cheap means of getting your clutch-kicking foot into the world of going sideways at speeds some cars would consider terrifying while going straight: the Nissan 200SX/S14. Who needs a Viper, eh?

Fitted with an SR20DET (that's a 2.0 twin-cam turbo engine to you and me) it was great at going 'woosh' and 'brrrrrm' amongst other noises, which is basically all that matters with a car like this. Another thing that made these engines popular was the blinding levels to which they could be tuned. Extracting 450bhp from an SR20DET is no difficult task; you just need to buy the right bits like a turbo that's as big as a dinner plate, some forged rods and pistons and a bloody great exhaust system amongst others. And you won't need to go to ends of the earth to find these bits' they're all commonplace and easy to obtain. Spend a few quid on the right bits and you really could end up with power figures nearing those you'd find in a Ferrari spec-list, but in a Nissan. And to think, some people have it in their head that only old people drive Nissans, slowly, to Farmfoods, on Sundays.

So that's the car and the engine, now let's look at what it does best...

Woah! Waahh! Woosh! Screech...and so on. Yes, get brave with an S14a and you'll find yourself having plenty of tail-happy, tyre-smoking fun. We do advise you do this on a track or some-such though, not the A627(M). It's not just skidding that the S14a does well - it drives pretty damn well too, rewarding any budding pilot with an enjoyable drive. There's good reason for this; the added bonus of 50% torsional rigidity thanks to the inclusion of higher rear strut mounts, apparently. Also, the fuel tank had been relocated to sit behind the rear seats opposed to being under the boot floor, as was the case in the S13. With the fuel tank between the rear seats and back axle the weight is spread much more evenly across the chassis. This combination of modifications made for a balanced, agile and responsive car - one that real 'drivers' responded well to much as you will too, should you take our advice and buy one.

Like we said, they're cheap...

...and girls like them, pretty girls without a bra at that...

...so you need to buy one. Go, now, go on! In terms of entertainment for your money you'd have to work hard to find something better than this. You won't get a chassis this good with an engine this powerful for less moolah, we promise you. If by some miracle you do, we bet you it blows up long before the seemingly infinitely reliable Nissan mechanicals would.

The S14 will drift around a race-track just as willingly as it will pop down to the shops to get some milk and bread. It's cheap enough to laugh off in the event it does expire and it's modern enough for you to run everyday as a normal commuter-mobile. In a nutshell, the S14 is ace.

Still need convincing do you? Well, let us help you out (we're handy like that). Here's a video of an S14 doing what they do best:


The staff here at Not £2 Grand would like to applaud themselves for making a post about a Japanese turbo woosh-bang-whizzy car without mentioning a certain movie franchise. It was difficult, but they're confident they got away with it.