It was once considered sacrilegious to swap a V8 into an S-chassis, but people have seen the light. Cheap, plentiful, and with 6.2 liters of displacement, the LS3 is a perfect fit for drifting, and far cheaper than an SR20 which is comparable in power. Plus, there’s no turbo lag, fewer heat issues, and a mile-wide powerband that makes shifting purely optional.
While times have changed and the idea of a Chevrolet V8 sitting in the engine bay of a Japanese Nissan might not seem as outrageous as it once did, the fact that this particular hodgepodge drifter was made by a group of avid Italians will have some people scratching their heads.
Italian speed shop Brill Steel has an interest in taking budget Silvias and turning them into raucous, mega-powerful monsters – and this one in focus is just a “practice” car. Their more elaborate builds include a carbon S14.5 that boasts 900 horsepower and weighs a mere 2,200 pounds, and has bewitched legions of domestic and import fans alike.
While this little zenki S14 isn’t what you might call a head-turner, it still puts down some impressive numbers and moves with a gracefulness the cars are known for. With 630 horsepower and enough torque to comfortably ripple the asphalt underneath, there no wanting for more grunt. What’s more impressive is the way a relatively understated car commands such a presence. With modest overfenders, a gurney flap, and a carbon, louvered hood, this S14 looks like a grassroots machine built without pretension.
It’s an awesome little package that doesn’t need clutch kicks to get the rear wheels spinning – just 600 ponies, an endless wave of torque, a lightened chassis, and a very committed driver do the trick. It’s not the top-of-the-line, nor is it traditional, but it demonstrates how simple ingredients put together in the right measures equates to an awesome amount of performance.