Video: Grip-Tuned Nissan RPS13 Hauls Around Ebisu West

Seeing a grassroots time attack machine with this level of all-around performance is uncommon, and seeing one made from an RPS13, the chassis code for Nissan’s S-chassis, is quite rare. The tendency for these cars to spend most of their time spinning their wheels is well known, but this particular car has been made into a stable, reassuring, and spectacular machine.

To make this hatchback as stiff and predictable as possible, SGR Works added a full cage, pillow ball mounts, and GP Sports coilovers. The bodywork has also been tweaked, and peeking out under the wide blister fenders are massive 295-section Yokohama Advan A050 tires allowing all of the SR20DET‘s 320 horsepower to be administered to the pavement efficiently. Bear in mind, the turbocharger (Tomei B7652) and the ECU (Power FC) are the only major engine modifications present. Clearly, this car has been designed to get around corners as quickly as possible.

As the engine only enjoys a bigger turbo and an ECU, this RPS13 has clearly had its tuning focus placed on other departments, and that shows. Photo credit: timeattack.co.jp

However, a straight-line machine it is not. The slow, technical nature of Ebisu West caters to the 2,450-pound RPS13. It has absolutely no problem braking late and rotating into slow corners. In areas where an avid drifter might expect the car’s tail to breakaway, it sticks, and its grip only improves with speed. Mechanical grip — there is no shortage.

That grip, when coupled with a little aerodynamic grip and enough suspension travel to handle curbs, makes it so capable when the speeds increase. The composure this car shows as it hops over the curbs at 0:10 is staggering. Even when riding on two wheels, at high speed (0:57), the Nissan does not breakaway in any major way. Everywhere its owner puts it, the Nissan is happy to do anything he wants in a friendly, predictable way.

If anything, this wine-red Nissan dispels all the nasty notions associated with these cars and proves that, with the right modifications to the footwork, these cars are very capable.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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