After half a century of turning rubber into smoke, drifting is arguably still an underrated form of motorsport, which might just be a crime. And who better to address the matter if not the Drift Police? We can see this fictional authority being represented in this rendering via a Nissan sportscar that’s extremely popular among sliding enthusiasts, namely the 180SX, which is closely related to the also JDM-only S13 Silvia or the first-generation 240SX sold in North America.
Drifting kicked off back in 1970s in Japan, while popularizing this form of motorsport is largely attributed to Keiichi Tsuchiya, with the “Drift King” bringing the steer-by-throttle practice closer to the mainstream in the 1980s. However, it would be another decade before drifting landed on American shores.
The rest, as they say, is history, with the U.S. now enjoying the Formula Drift top-tier championship and Japan hosting the D1 GP as its highest form of sideways racing. Of course, there are drivers who compete in both series, such as Daigo Saito, who even likes mixing the automotive culture of the two countries for his builds (e.g., NASCAR V8-powered Hakosuka Nissan GT-R).
The Nissan Drift Police car
The RWD machine catches the eye from a distance and while the familiar black and white livery is the main reason for this, there’s more to this 3D-modded Nissan than its police uniform.
For one, the 90s sportscar has been gifted with generously-sized overfenders and it appears we’re dealing with a Rocket Bunny kit. This also includes the front and rear aprons, side skirts,, and, of course, the wickerbill adorning the hatch.
When introducing this toy, digital artist Jon Pumfrey (aka DomesticMango or dm_jon) also focused on the details, as, for instance, the number plate is included in the Drift Police conversion. Then again, the plate could always be a nod to NFS:Heat, the arcade racing game that can allow one to virtually customize a 180SX in this form.
Nevertheless, one of the most important mods of the vehicle isn’t related to slip angle enforcement. And we’re referring to the front end.
The Nissan Silvia S13, 180SX, 200SX, and 240SX explained, plus the aftermarket Sil80/Sileighty
The tale of this Nissan entry-level sportscar generation kicked off in 1988 (1989MY), when the carmaker introduced the S13 iteration of the Silvia over in the Land of the Rising Sun. The following year, the S13 was accompanied by the 180SX, which added a more streamlined nose with pop-up headlights and a hatch integrated into a fastback profile (as opposed to the Silvia’s three-box coupe shape).
The Silvia never crossed the pond, but the 180S made it to the U.S. as the first iteration of the 240SX, while Europeans received it as the 200SX.
Now, if the official range listed above sounds a bit complicated, you should know that decades ago, Japanese drifters took things up a notch by blending the Silvia and the 180SX into the Sil80, which seems to be the base car we’re enjoying in this rendering.
Going sideways is all fun and games until you hit something and you need to fix the car, which, in the case of the 180SX meant having to deal with the costly pop-up headlights. As such, Japanese hooners decided to throw the front end of the S13 Silvia onto their 180SXs, with the fact that parts for the first were more easily available coming as a bonus.
Tuners quickly took notice and, in the 90s, aftermarket developers introduced their Sileighty kits, with some of these also including notable mechanical upgrades—the Takayama San-run Kids-Heart is probably the most famous developer in this game. And, as one would expect, American 240SX owners also enjoy taking their machines down the Sil80 route, be it in the virtual realm or out there in the real world.
PS: You can find a real-world US-imported Nissan Sileighty in the YouTube video (helmet tip to
DriveHub) at the bottom of the story, which brings a review of the JDM cocktail.