I’ve always loved japanese car culture, its exaggerations and out-of the box thinking to always propose something new and exciting. It was only natural then, when during last season’s Monza Time Attack challenge I came across Daniele Montano’s Nissan S13 that I had to find out more about it.
A few mails and almost a year later I found myself making the trip down to the Autodromo to finally take a closer look. What I found though, compared to the few things I knew about the car, turned out to be even more exciting.
Beneath the brand new yellow wrapped exterior the S13 had undergone major modifications. Compared to the previous version the aerodynamics have been completely reworked by fitting a flat underbody and a massive rear diffuser. These, alongside new sideskirts and canards, help maxixmize ground effect while the rear carbon fiber GT wing provides the necessary downforce to keep the car stuck to the ground.
Breaking duty is managed by a set of front and rear Tarox 100% rotors and pads while the car sits low on 250/64 R18 front and 270/65 R18 rear Cinel forged wheels, matched with Avon slick tyres. A full TRA Kyoto/Rocket Bunny body kit completes the external look making the car unique and immediately recognizable.
On the flip side the engine bay remains almost completely stock; the original four cylinders CA18DET engine’s only modifications consist in more aggressive camshafts and a custom intake plenum. A set of 1000cc/min injectors, alongside a larger M24 turbo by Garret keep the engine fed, setting the power output to 400bhp, delivered to the rear wheels through the stock manual 5-speed transmission and Nismo LSD.
The cockpit is all about function over form. To help shave unnecessary weight the interior has been completely torn apart and reduced to bare metal: door and floor panels along with front and rear seats are long gone, replaced by a single Simoni Racing bucket seat and a custom-made Cambiocorsa Performance bolt-in roll cage that ensure the car stays stiff and the driver safe through the corners.
Given the serious punishment the engine has endured through the past and current season the guys say future modifications might include an engine swap (maybe an RB?), but for now the old faithful CA will do.
Despite not being a super high-end budget build Daniele and his car currently sit first in the race to the title in the Championship’s Open 5 category by going three on three at Franciacorta, Monza and Imola making them a testament to where passion, dedication and talent can bring you.
Words: Luca Cassetta
Images: Luca Cassetta – Andrea Macchi