Having been an RX7 enthusiast since the earlier days of the SA22C RX7, I was quite enthusiastic about this shoot. Until I heard the car's exhaust echo in the distance "VRRRROOOOM PISHHH". Wait, that doesn't sound like the rotary I know. Where's the signature "BRAAP BRAAAP BRAAAP"? That's when Bee broke it to me - "It's a Nissan RX8."
"A Nissan WHAT???"
Blasphemy! Heresy! Nonconformity! Dissent!
But would it be any more interesting if it were stock? Nope. Lee Hom (the owner and yes, that's his real name) told us that he had already broken 7 rotaries and was getting tired of being towed back from touges. Nissan SR20 for the win! Not too large, not too heavy and plenty of potential.
Looks like an RX8, rides like an RX8, feels like an RX8 but isn't an RX8? Gotta love those doors. Who doesn't love suicide doors? Plenty of space at the back to comfortably fit an average sized 5ft7 adult and have a pretty decent sized boot, RX8's in general are great everyday cars. Only thing is the horrendous fuel consumption. Oh wait. Nissan SR20! Problem solved!
With mounting adaptors in place, the SR20 sits quite comfortably smack in the center of the engine bay, barely upsetting any of the cars balance and RWD layout. Boosted to 1 bar by a large AR60 turbo 300bhp on wheel was not a problem and in my opinion, perfect for daily driving. A relatively light standard clutch made driving this car quite easy in traffic and running on Bilstein coilovers meant the car was relatively comfortable on both track and on the treacherous Kuala Lumpur roads. Stock creature comforts like body hugging yet comfortable seats, sun roof, air conditioning, and so on meant this car was very high on my "I WANT THIS CAR NOW" list.
The RX8 was never designed to be an all-out mad-racing car like it's younger brother the FD RX7. But slap on a simple and elegant ING front bumper with Mazdaspeed everything else, you then have your handsome "RACE ME NOW" RX8 ready to pounce on any lesser car and eat it for breakfast.
AR60 turbo charged
Custom exhaust system
Suspension and Brakes
ING front bumper
Carbon fibre hood
Mazdaspeed side skirts and rear bumper
Mazda has always made great cars with Zoom-Zoom being their motto. Zoom-Zoom Indeed! Kudos to Lee Hom for letting me molest his daily ride! - Izso