A few months ago, I was chilling on my balcony (road-view) with my girlfriend. Suddenly I heard a ridiculous sound and I saw a white F16 flying over the main road. After I few seconds I remembered that white F16s don’t exist. That was my first introduction to Lars’ Nissan Silvia S15.
A few months later, Lars finally invited me to be his navigator for a few minutes. First I thought I could compare the Silvia with Snow White, but after that short ride I would say: Compare this machine with the Hulk. The Silvia is very beautiful from the outside, but you have to hold your breath when Lars put the right pedal to the ground! 317 horsepower and almost 300 lb/ft of torque on the rear wheels, I would say: suicidal!
This is an interview with Lars van der Lugt (25) and his Nissan Silvia S15.
Where do you live? What do you do for a living?
Hi, currently I’m living in Noordwijk aan Zee. I live there with my parents and I’m proud of it, haha. As what I do for a living, I just switched jobs actually. My next job will be working at Schiphol Airport doing security there. Really looking forward to it to be honust.
Can you tell us something about your car? Which brand and type is it?
My car is a Nissan Silvia S15, which I imported myself from the UK. There, it drove around for about two years, after it was imported from Ireland, where it was for just about a year. In the UK, the previous owner had the engine rebuilt, bored out, honed, decked, larger pistons, and so on. Together with other Stage 3 mods, the car was tuned by Horsham Developments to a nice 317 BHP and 293.51 lb/ft of torque, though only at 1 bar (14.5psi), because the valve springs we’re about to give and started floating under higher pressure. But thats for me to change to either Tomeis or Brian Crower springs.
That much horsepower on the rear wheels; that must have a big fun factor right?
Big fun factor is an understatement here, haha. Though its mapped safely, it still goes like stink. It easily goes sideways and rips asphalt when you launch, though I hardly do these things yet, because other then my valve springs needing to be done, the gearbox is about to give in too. Still, give people a headstart and then floor it and do a real fast flyby always puts a smile on my face! The spool-up is perfect from what you expect from a Garrett 2871 turbo and, together with the Gizzmo boost controller and a little bit of tinkering, it spools nicely from 2800 rpm and full boost can be achieved at 3500! Pedal to the metal, wait for spin up, and fly away it goes!
You told me this is your daily, why this particular car as a daily?
The reason behind picking an S15 is very simple actually. The very first time I saw one, even though it was on the internet, I was sold. The lines of the car, the possibilities of the car, and performance capabilities. It all was perfect for me. I knew of Skylines, Imprezas and Evos, but most of those cars were not within my budget or didn’t meet my needs. Those cars mentioned, you see them drving around pretty often, and most of them are pretty heavy and pricey in maintance. The S15, on the other hand, was within reach (PX’ing my DC2 helped!) and, for a “simple” 4 cylinder, it makes good power and is still very reliable. I often find myself just staring at my car in the morning when I want to take it to work, just admiring Nissan’s work. I couldnt find a better car for myself than my Silvia!
Currently this is my daily, yes, and the reason for it is simple. My previous job was pretty close by and therefore it was rather silly to have two cars, because here in the Netherlands, cars aint cheap. Taxes and insurance just pile up. But with my new job being further away, Im looking for a cheap run about so I can leave the Silvia at home, up the spec more, and just use her for events, meetups, and just driving around in dry weather.
Though the boys at Horsham slightly overfuel the SR20, it’s mileage is still very doable for current gas prices. With some highway driving and a 6th gear, I can get as much as 28-32 mpg. Weird right? But that is driving like a grandpa and the car sure as hell doesnt like that. So with occasional 180kph (112mph) fly-bys, some cruising, and some dori dori, it comes to a nice 20-25 mpg. Haha!
What are some of your previous cars?
I had a few to be honust, and it sums to a 1992 Nissan Sunny, a 1996 Opel Corsa 1.6 GSI (never buy one of these!), a 1995 Honda Civic EG Coupe DXi, a 1991 Honda Civic ED (used more oil than fuel), a 1998 Honda Integra DC2 (if you have to chance to own one of these, please do so!), and then this 2000 Nissan Silvia S15.
Can you compare them with your Sylvia?
The first few are not to be compared with anything to be honest. They are fine for driving around and normal things. But the Integra, that was an eye-opener. The handling and feel of the car, which was almost factory-standard, is just perfect. It corners like a brick, pulls nicely and you really get the impression that YOU control the car instead of the other way around. Of course compared to my Silvia, the power the Integra had is nothing when you put them next to each other, but I would bet my money on the Integra – even in factory condition, versus my Silvia any day. Drag strip would be a different result, being the difference in power output, but for circuit racing the ITR is just perfect.
What are the modifications you’ve done so far?
Well, to be honest, I havent done anything to the car yet except some suspension parts. Adjustable arms mostly, to set the camber, etc., how I want it to be. I’m planning to do the turbo elbow, as it’s still is the OEM one, heat wrap everything, an oil cooler, and doing the valve springs. Other than that will be cosmetic; change of wheels, maybe a full re-spray, and some other things.
Which part are you the most proud of?
Can’t really tell, but I think I’m most fond of the complete engine. SR20DE’s are almost bulletproof, and with all the current internals, it can hold up to 1.4 bar (20.3psi), so plenty of room for other mods to up the power more.
What are your future plans for the Silvia?
For now, it will be some small performance mods, nothing too big; either rebuild the gearbox or swap over with a Z32 box. When the valvesprings are done, I’ll go for a NIStune, meaning a remap to about 1.2 bar (17.4psi). A set of different wheels, maybe a re-spray next year. As you can see, I have plenty of things I want to do with the car.
Are you a real Gearhead? If so, why?
Not sure, coverd in grease, dirt, and parts laying all over my room, house, and shed… I think I am. (wink)
[We’re inclined to agree! – Ed.]
Jap speed FMIC
Jap speed manifold, down pipe, decat and cat back
NGK 7’s spark plugs
Nissan 555 injectors
Walbro 255 fuel pump
Gizzmo set op 1.18bar
Apex 56mm radiator
braided turbo lines
Apexi RVS pipe AFM to turbo
Forged recirculation valve
Bottom end rebuild:
Bored out to 86.5mm
ACL race Bearings
New water/oil pumps
New crank seals
Belts and chain
Nismo upper strut
Nismo upper & lower arms and tie rods
Tein Super Streets
Driftworks adjustable arms
Braided brake lines
Rota Drift Grids 8.5″ front and 9″ rear with 225/45 and 245/40 TR1s
Vertex front bumper
Carbon Culture rear board
What do you think of this car? And what do you think of the little 4 cylinder with 317 HP? I think Lars’ Nissan is very impressive. If I see this car again, I will definitely bow for this Japanese warrior. Gearheads united!
Thank you Lars, for this (first) interview.
And thank welcome, Mario Van der Zwet to the GBXM team. We’ll be formally introducing Mario with an interview before too long, but please join us in welcoming him to Gearbox!
Photo credit: Theresa Hagge