When you’re first given a license in Australia, you’re required to display “provisional plates”, also known as P’s, on the exterior of the car being driven.

Now it’s not uncommon for the majority of P platers to either own, or want to own an S15 during this period. Due to our Power to weight laws and legality of import cars for provisional drivers, the AUDM 200SX or S15 models in a clean state are quite sought after. Fetching big dollars for a car that has surpassed 15 years since production.

Now Tom bought his S15 whilst on his P’s but unlike many of them, this 200SX-badged Nissan is a JDM Spec-R in disguise. The original engine it came with has been swapped out for the more reliable and robust Jap spec SR20DET. Having been complimented with an abundance of mechanical fruit and goodies, including fully adjustable Cam gears to align the Brian Crower shafts, valves, springs and retainers. This particular SR with a NIStune ECU is laying down near 220rwkw which is more than enough power for such a sporty feeling car.

When I first saw the car pull up outside the coffee shop meeting point, I was blown away by the aggressive stance resulting from the excessively wide wheels and suspension setup. Jumping straight in to “Damn this is cool”, Tom further explained the number of adjustable arms and DriftWorx coilovers that this S15 sports, putting emphasis on managing to make the massive 18×9’s fit without scrubbing either the guard or the strut. 5mm spacers were used in the front in order to do so, also amplifying this aggressive look.

We stopped in to grab a morning coffee before heading out to the location for the shoot, because lets be real, no one can function this early on a Monday without one. Grind is a local shop tucked away down an alleyway in Cronulla, Sydney. Even though I’ve been a local to here for the majority of my life, this was my first time here and I will more than likely be back for another in the future!

On the inside, the S15 is just as well presented and perfected as the outside. It’s been kept relatively stock looking with small embellishments such as a likewise shifter, wideview mirror and personal touches.

Additional touches to the engine bay include the FMIC, Turbo-One exhaust manifold with a full 3” exhaust system and varex muffler, 3” Alloy intake with Apexi pod, T28BB turbo, and 740cc Nismo injectors. Braided lines are used sporadically across the bay and just to top things off, the rocker cover has been colour matched with the exterior. Making for a perfect blend when the hood is popped.

As mentioned earlier, this S15 sports a very aggressive wheel setup. 18×9 +22 with 235/40 Federal 595’s to be exact. The combination of sleek tyres and stylish Volk CE28’s was what caught my eye to begin with and it’s something that aesthetically makes this particular S15 stand out from the large number of them at nearly every car meet here in Sydney. That JAP Spec engine is just the heart of gold within.

Hidden behind the gleaming spokes of the Volks are a set of drilled and slotted rotors with the beautiful gold 4 pots concealed discreetly. Unlike many cars that bear wheels of this calibre, by no means do the factory brakes look out of place. They seemingly tie in with the overall colour scheme and furthermore “have ample capabilities with regular upkeep and maintenance” Tom tells me after I had questioned the use of them with the JAP engine.

Our location for the shoot was somewhere i had been before with a number of other cars. Practicing different setups and lighting, both sunrise and sunset. It made this particular car boldly stand out. The light bouncing off the “brilliant blue” colour this car came with from factory, furthermore accentuating each curvature and body line.

I think as much as these S15’s are significantly overdone within the car culture in Sydney, this is a prime example of what can be made of them. Their unmistakable shape and potential for power in the SR20DET is undeniably one of the best platforms for modification and I’m beginning to understand as to why these nostalgic Nissan’s have managed to stick around, some 15 years on.


Spec List

Brian Crower Adjustable cam gears
Brian Crower 264 camshafts
Brian Crower valve springs
Brian Crower retainers
Nismo 740cc injectors
S15 T28BB
Turbo-one steampipe exhaust manifold
Greddy Profec B Spec II electronic boost controller
Earls braided turbo lines
Front mount intercooler
Alloy 3″ intake pipe
Apexi pod filter
GKtech 3″ stainless split dump
3″ stainless turboback exhaust with a varex muffler
Nismo lightweight flywheel
Exedy heavy duty clutch
Slotted and dimpled rotors
ABS R200 LSD (helical)

Drift worx coilovers
Nismo power brace
Hardrace adjustable arms all round
Cusco engine brace

Complete JDM exterior (front bar/rear bar/w pods, fog lights etc)
Spec R GT wing
Yoshio tail led lights