Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Tag: nissan 180sx

The cars of Initial D – Manga Car Spotting – part 1

Manga Cars

Ever wondered which cars are featured in Initial D? And perhaps also wondered which model, make and type these manga cars are? In this third episode of Manga car spotting, I’ll be spotting cars in the first book of Initial D! This first book is the US version of the Manga by Tokyopop and covers chapters 1 to 10 of the Japanese Manga.
The cars of Initial D - Manga Car Spotting - part 1

Initial D by Shuichi Shigeno

I don’t think Initial D needs an introduction: it’s the classic racing manga / racing anime series that gained huge popularity during the mid 1990s in Japan and mid 2000s outside Japan. The manga itself contains many layers of depth and isn’t just about cars, but also about (family) relationships and harsh training by commitment and determination. These first 10 chapters are mostly the introductory of the characters and the setting, so not a lot of action will happen. Still it was fun to do!

You can find the video and the high resolution scans of the panels containing manga cars below:

Continue reading

Hilarious: Nissan Leaf smokes a Nissan 180SX!

I have no idea how realistic this new Nissan Leaf commercial is, but I suspect in real life the Leaf would never beat a highly tuned Nissan 180SX RPS13 with a UR-Style body kit on the drag strip:
Nissan leaf vs Nissan 180SX
Acceleration of the earlier Leafs is rated on 0-100km/h (0-60mph) at 9.9 seconds and the 180SX officially did 7.5 seconds with the CA18DET. The SR20DET probably did better than that and various sources mention around 6.8 seconds. Since Nissan does not mention licensing the insane mode from Tesla I suspect this commercial is highly exaggerated.

See the results yourselves:

So what could have made the Leaf win here then? Well there are a couple of viable options:

  1. The 2016 Nissan Leaf will get Ludicrous mode
  2. The driver of the Nissan 180SX flunked his run
  3. The 180SX is a 20 year old car now and never had its turbo serviced
  4. The surface of the drag strip was wet and the 180SX features no traction control
  5. Nissan fakes the Leaf winning

Now you decide which one it is. ;)

Direct link to video: 2015 ニッサン新型リーフ予告CM(AZE0)NISSAN LEAF

Rare Bosozoku cars: Nissan S13 180SX

Last weekend we featured a very nicely exhaust of the week on bosozoku style: a bosozoku styled Nissan 180SX!

Exhausts look like a sculpture on this RPS13 180SX
Exhausts look like a sculpture on this RPS13 180SX

The 180SX is a rare sight on the bosozoku meetings! We only found two examples of a 180SX and we even suspect that it is actually the same car!

Bosozoku styled Nissan 180SX S13
Bosozoku styled Nissan 180SX S13

Great mystery is why it is badged Datsun and not Nissan: the 180SX is too new to be badged Datsun abroad and in Japan Nissan never marketed as Datsun!

Bosozoku styled Nissan 180SX S13
Bosozoku styled Nissan 180SX S13

The styling of this 180SX is a grancha version of the 180SX: you can’t even recognize it except by its roofline. It looks a bit more like a successor of the super silhouette formula Nissan Silvia Turbo S12!

When the Nissan S platform got into its fourth generation in March 1989 it created the Nissan 180SX (aka 200SX and 240SX abroad). The Nissan 180SX S13 was basically the successor in looks of the Nissan Silvia S12. The Nissan Silvia 180SX was a trim level of the Silvia S110 and the Silvia S12 was already well known in the US as the 200SX (without Silvia badging). It was quite naturally for Nissan to name the car with the SX badge when they decided to split up the Nissan S platform into two seperate models. This created the Nissan Silvia S13 and the Nissan 180SX S13.

Factory stock kouki Nissan 180SX S13 Type X
Factory stock kouki Nissan 180SX S13 Type X

In Japan the Silvia got a coupe bodytype with fixed headlights while the 180SX got a fastback (aka hatchback) bodytype with popup lights. It didn’t take long before the first combinations of those two started to appear in the streets: street racers who wrecked their 180SX frontends mated that with the lighter and cheaper Silvia frontend and created the Sileighty (aka Sil80) this way. The other way around wasn’t popular since it was heavier and required changes in the wiring. When Nissan spotted these conversions they decided to have an “official” Sileigthy as well. They had them produced by Kids Heart and sold some of those cars through the official Nissan dealer network. Also different combinations exist: S13.4 (S13 mated with Silvia S14 frontend) and S13.5 (S13 mated with Silvia S15 frontend, aka strawberry face) since the S platform remained the same.

Nissan Silvia S13 and 180SX crossover: Sileighty
Nissan Silvia S13 and 180SX crossover: Sileighty

The 180SX initially got a 1.8 liter CA18DET, hence the 180SX designation, but in 1991 it got upgraded with the SR20DET engine and later on in 1996 with the SR20DE engine. It remained badged as the 180SX and not as the 200SX. Funny enough the 180SX was badged as the 200SX in Europe with the CA18DET engine and never got the SR20DET engine. In the US it was badged as the 240SX since it was powered by the KA24E and KA24DE engine: Nissan thought the US needed displacement instead of smaller turbo engines.

180SX with the SR20DET engine
180SX with the SR20DET engine

At first the 180SX was available as two versions: the Type I and Type II. The Type I was targeted for performance while the Type II was targeted for luxury. After the first facelift in 1991 the 180SX Type I got the SR20DET engine and got bigger brakes and a limited slip differential factory installed to handle the car better after this power increase. The Type II got the four wheel steering system HICAS II which got improved after the first facelift with the Super HICAS. After the second facelift in 1992 the Type III became available which was even more luxurious than the Type II: it got climate control and a cd player factory installed. After the third facelift in 1994 the Type I and Type II trim levels were renamed to Type R and Type X and the fourth facelift in 1995 only added a driverside airbag. The final facelift in 1996 had a lot of visual changes and added the cheaper Type S trim which offered the non turbocharged SR20DE and lacked the four wheel steering system. Production of the 180SX finally ceased in December 1998.

A great video of Ken Nomura (Nomuken) visiting the 180SX Type X assembly line in the Nissan factory somewhere late 90s can be found here on Facebook.

The 180SX still remains very popular nowadays: it is a cheap mass produced rear wheel drive sportscar. Both its engine types have big potentials: both CA18DET and SR20DET can easily be tuned over 300HP and figures end somewhere between 500 and 700HP! Since the platform itself remained roughly the same almost all suspension upgrades for the newer S15 can be used on the S13 as well. Most people use the 180SX for drifting nowadays and it is often seen at MSC drift events!

A Nissan 180SX driver participating in the MSC drift championship
A Nissan 180SX driver participating in the MSC drift championship

In case you are wondering about the S13 designations you see at your average drift coverage: R stands for fastback/hatchback, P stands for SR20DE(T) and K for HICAS II/Super HICAS. That last designation will most probably be disabled on that car I guess… But of the time you will see either RPS13 (180SX with SR20), or RS13 (180SX with CA18), PS13 (Silvia with SR20) or plain S13 (Silvia).

I can imagine why the 180SX never got to be a popular bosozoku style car: it is too new to be popular in the 90s, it is too flashy and it is too modern styled. The examples above don’t leave much detail of the 180SX to be seen, so can we actually account them for a bosozoku styled 180SX?

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