One of the things you can guarantee at Auto Finesse is that there's always a new project on the horizon… and, it has to be said that the horizon comes up pretty damn quickly on a regular basis!
Now, regular followers will be well aware that, when we're not spending our time developing and testing new products, we like to put together the odd build. In fact, over the last couple of years we've seen, let's just say, more than a couple of cars, bikes and even an Airstream trailer.
But, for 2022 we've been planning something (perhaps) a little more special than ever before, a whole new project that you'll not just see sitting pretty in our show displays around the UK and Europe, but out there on the tarmac being used and abused to its full potential. And, what's more, this one is a completely different animal to our track-focused Yaris GR and BMW M2 Competition.
So, that's the story. We - and obviously by "we' we actually mean James the boss of all things AF - are always looking at the next big acquisition, and motorsport-ready projects are something of an all-consuming passion at the moment.
All this, rather conveniently, brings us on to our next big project, a bona fide drag-racing champion that's been busy for some years running 9-second quarter miles in Japan. It's our 2002 Nissan Silvia Spec R.
Aside from the painfully obvious, then, what's so special about this particular beast from the East? Well, put simply, it's already something of a legend.
Put together as a no-expense-spared demo car by Japanese tuning house Endless R, this is the culmination of decades of experience and the entire Who's Who of high-end branded parts from Japan's most famous aftermarket manufacturers - the likes of Tomei, HKS, GReddy and Trust.
It goes without saying that this is a firm with a serious reputation world-wide, and their drag Silvia was (and still is) one of the most highly respected cars on the Japanese racing scene. Eventually though, as all good things have to come to an end, Endless moved on to a new project and this true-blue automotive unicorn came onto the market… lasting all of about 3-seconds before it was snapped up.
Shipped to the UK by premier importers, Harlow Jap Autos, it had only been on our shores for a short time and - as for quite a while James had been looking just about everywhere for a suitably-tweaked S15 - there was only one thing for it. A deal was done, hands were shook, and we were soon heading over to their showroom to pick up the latest addition to the Auto Finesse fleet.
The engine spec is not only immense, it's seriously extensive. We'll save every intricate detail for a full feature at a later date (because, at the moment, there's just not enough internet to house it all) but, let's just say this fully forged SR20 has almost no standard parts inside and out, and would run you well into 6-figures to scratch build today. Not that parts and labour costs was ever a problem for the Endless R technicians you understand.
The business-end is actually a 2.2 stroker with a hardcore lined block, uprated everything else and a simply massive T88 turbo strapped on the side. And all this means that there's over 900-raging horses to play with - and that's without the 200-odd horsepower nitrous system actually switched on!
All this is stuffed through a suitably hardy HKS sequential 5-speed and an ATS LSD to the massive rear wheels.
What's really surprising though, is that it's completely useable, too. And by that we don't mean that it's easy to drive, because it isn't. More that it's all road legal… well, maybe not on those massive Hoosier drag racing slicks, but with some suitably-compliant road rubber this car is fully MOT'd, taxed and ready to rumble on the street or the strip.
While the engine and chassis is one hell of a business-end, the styling and interior is functional to say the least. As you can see, it's all jacked up suspension, stripped out carpets and a simple set of rear overfenders. Not exactly what you'd call Auto Finesse. In fact, if we're completely honest, for such a monster with performance that borders on the ridiculous, it's not to our taste at all… but don't worry, as always, we have a plan for that.
So, asides from performing huge burnouts at every single opportunity, what will be the future of this rather epic JDM monster? How will this one be resurrected and hit the UK in a thoroughly Auto Finesse style? Well, you'll just have to follow our latest vlog series to find out. Keep an eye here on AF:TV to stay up to date with the latest developments - and check out the very first entry below...