Return of the Mak:</br>The Perfect All-Round S15?
Jack of all trades

If you had to piece together your ultimate street machine, what would it be? Something with immense power? A creation with show-worthy looks? The ability to drive in comfort to the race track and then cut quick laps or hit apexes with a few turns of counter-steer dialled in? For the owner of the Nissan S15 Nissan Spec-R that we’re about to show you, it was a combination of all those things; a road car with no bounds.


Creating a machine that excels on multiple levels isn’t an easy thing to achieve, but for Nagano-based ‘total tuning car shop’ Garage Max, and the two brothers behind the operation, Tatsuhiro and Kazunori Miyagawa, it’s something they’ve forged a reputation for.


Of course, building a car with multiple performance attributes is one thing, but doing so within the bounds of road car regulations (or close to them at least anyway) can throw a spanner – or a wrench, depending on where in the world you live – into the works.


But here’s all the proof you need that it can be done.


Through constant evolution, the Garage Mak S15 has become one of most complete street car builds we’ve ever seen. Even the Miyagawa brothers admit that there’s not much left they can do to it! Call it the ultimate embodiment of a Silvia street car; something played out through a multitude of modifications, beginning with the bodywork.


To achieve the look it was after, Garage Mak took a bunch of its ‘Revolution’ catalogue parts and mixed them up with some custom work. The front end features Mak’s Type 4 front bumper, carbon fibre bonnet and a pair of 40mm widened front guards. There are also Type 2 side skirts with added carbon side bars and a custom scissor door conversion. The latter might seem slightly misplaced on a build of this nature, but it was a prerequisite from the owner who thought the modification would be a good way to make the Silvia stand out. It’s certainly achieved that, although I’ll let you be the judge… One things for sure it certainly ticks all the boxes.


In an effort to achieve some balance at the rear, a pair of custom bolt-on overfenders were designed and manufactured in carbon fibre as a one-off. They’re each a full 55mm wider than the factory steel arches which needed to be cut back to allow enough breathing space around the wheels once the ride height was dropped to a more appropriate level.


There’s absolutely no shortage of carbon fibre around the place, and every piece – including the Garage Mak canards and Type 1 under-cover (aka splitter) – has been beautifully executed.


As the rear angle proves, Garage Mak absolutely nailed the visual proportions, thanks mostly to the addition of its Type carbon fibre GT wing. The carbon boot lid, rear bumper and LED tail lights are all Mak, but the rear diffuser isn’t. In fact, coming from RE Amemiya, it’s not even meant for this car. Some custom work was required to get the FD3S RX-7 Diffuser-Pro to fit right, but it’s absolutely paid off in the completed visual product.

SR power

As race-ready as the S15 appears on the outside, the theme definitely does not stop there. While staying true to the Silvia’s roots with an SR20DET, Garage Mak put some serious work into the four-cylinder package to ensure it had the power and reliability to cut quick laps on the circuit.


Built to see 9,000rpm, at its heart a Tomei 2.2-litre kit adds forged pistons, H-beam rods and a stroker crankshaft to push out capacity by 200cc. After being thoroughly ported and polished in-house at Mak, the DOHC 16-valve cylinder was given a full fit-out with an HKS Step 3 system adding its lash killer kit, inner and outer valve springs and unique Y-shaped rocker arms. HKS 264-degree cams were also given the nod before the head was sandwiched back to the block through a 1.8mm metal headgasket and reinforced studs from Tomei.


Perched high on a custom Garage Mak tubular stainless steel header, it’s not hard to miss that HKS GT3240 54T A/R 0.87. The suitably-sized turbo uses an HKS GT wastegate and has its charge cooled through an HKS Type R intercooler plumbed via Garage Mak pipes. On the hot side there’s a custom front/down pipe flowing to a HKS sports catalyst and then into a one-off titanium Garage Mak Revolution exhaust system.


Very light and very pricey titanium was also used to construct the intake pipe, which was sliced up and sectionally welded to maintain a 100mm diameter through its course from the HKS Super Power Flow Reloaded air filter to the turbo’s open mouth.


Considering its ability to flow a lot more air, the intake side of the equation has been extensively upgraded too. The beautiful Garage Mak intake manifold fitted with a Pulsar N15 throttle body is the most obvious modification, but there’s also a custom fuel rail to supply four 1000cc/min HKS injectors, plus a Sard fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator and jet pump killer from the same maker.


The quintessential Japanese aftermarket SR20DET engine management system – A’PEXi’s Power FC D-jetro – gives the firing orders, and according to the Miyagawa brothers, a solid 645hp and 623Nm is generated from the hardened four-pot. Those are some fairly serious numbers and more than enough to warrant substantial upgrades in the driveline, beginning with an HKS six-speed sequential gearbox. There’s a Nismo twin-plate clutch plus a Garage Mak trans cooler in the mix, while out the back you’ll find a ATS 1.5-way limited slip differential running the car’s factory automatic-spec 3.9:1 final drive.


By now I’m sure you’ve figured out that this is a car built with compromise – something that extends to the suspension system too. Although drift-specific HKS Hipermax D coilovers are used at each corner, every arm, rod and bar beneath the car has been replaced with an aftermarket equivalent, so there’s more than enough adjustability to be able to set-up the car for slide or grip duty, depending on what’s required.


For street duty the S15 rolls on a set of timeless Enkei RP-F1 wheels measuring 18×9.5-inch with a +15 offset front and back, and shod in Federal 595RS-R tyres – 235/40R18 and 255/40R18 respectively. Against the metallic paint work and high-gloss carbon fibre, the Enkeis’ matte black finish is a nice contrast, but it also goes a long way to highlight the GReddy brake system. And what a set of stoppers they are: six-pot calipers on the front end and four-pots on the rear, both wrapped around giant 355mm slotted rotors.

Mission control

Before I even laid eyes on the inside of the Silvia, I had a fair idea what I’d find, and the overhauled interior space lives up to every single expectation. JDM dreams are made of these.


It’s a classic Japanese tuner fit-out inside with Bride seats (a ZIEG III fixed-back bucket shod with an HPI harness for the driver and an XAX II recliner for the passenger), a Nardi steering wheel on a Works Bell quick-release hub and some metallic blue Cusco bar work – not a cage however, but a pair of side reinforcements designed to add rigidity around the b-pillar. Although the factory dash remains it’s been given a freshen up with a very cool Garage Mak carbon fibre cover.


Given all the aftermarket electronic devices around the dashboard, I was surprised to find that the original combination meter hadn’t been swapped for Nismo’s 280km/h equivalent. But I’m sure the owner gets a lot of pleasure watching the speedo needle blast it way around and off the clock with little provocation. On the far left side of the top left shot you can see the Ultra digital gear position indicator, which is a handy device in a machine fitted with a sequentially-shifted transmission.


Along with a Defi VSD heads-up display that projects its digital readings onto the windscreen, you’ll find a Blitz boost meter on the A-pillar and an oil pressure meter retrofitted into one of the central air vents, plus a Billion VFC-elM electronic fan controller to boot.


There are many aspects to the Garage Mak S15, but the sum of all its high end parts is a machine that succeeds in mixing aesthetics with power with functionality. It’s over the top, yet because of its monochromatic pallet somehow manages to look refined at the same time.


The ultimate Silvia street car then? It would surely have to be close. But then again, the  Miyagawa brothers of Nagano have made quite a name of themselves doing this sort of stuff over the years.


In my mind at least, it’s hard to think that the S15 could be improved upon, but since Dino pointed his camera at the car, Garage Mak has continued to make refinements and alterations, all the while maintaining balance between the Silvia’s alter egos. That’s never an easy thing to do, but when you create without compromise, anything is achievable.



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Oh yesss ! Maybe next time a feature on their awesome red 180sx ?! Garage Mak is a very good tuner !


probably a strange question, but why is there a position selector for the headlights?  does it allow you to change the angle of the headlights from inside the car or switch between daytime running, low and high?


this is a beautiful machine from top to bottom, and from inside and out. Love it, love it, love it.


This is ricey as hell. But in a good way. I like it whole damn lot. The holy grail of rice, 9k rpm turbo I4, huge spoiler, carbon fiber up the wazoo, lambo doors and those mirrors. So wrong yet so right.


Dynames The selector is for when you load up your trunk and don't want to blind people in front of your car. It just points the beams down


What I love: Everything on the interior and under the hood.
What I don't like as much: The very track bodywork on a "street" car. All that beautiful carbon aero work would make that car a bit of a headache to live with on the street without destroying it on a regular basis. I've had this idea of a car like this with all the aero done with 1/4 turn quick release fasteners so that it can be a usable street car but quickly transformed into a full aero track monster.


I'm confused by the carbon fiber being destroyed on a regular basis comment. Fiberglass would be destroyed on a regular basis , but carbon fiber is five times stronger than steel of the same thickness. Carbon fiber would be a breeze to live with on a regular basis.


IanBange  I'm confused by the carbon fiber being destroyed on a regular basis comment. Fiberglass would be destroyed on a regular basis , but carbon fiber is five times stronger than steel of the same thickness. Carbon fiber would be a breeze to live with on a regular basis.


@Seeking Perfection the first feature car of 2014 was shot back in 2012?!?!






all the time I come here it's the same cars same stuff I beginning g to think you guys are running out of ideas same s15 s 14 s same kits very redundant noting that pops sorry being honest just look for yourself why don't you guys help people who are intoyour site reach their goal with their car via speedhunters do something different for 2014


Wildcardfox  IanBange Carbon fiber is an incredibly strong material when properly used, however it isn't bullet proof. It is brittle and doesn't take well to impacts. Its all well and fine on a track but on the road with speed bumps, curbs, and road trash, it will bump into things and when it does it will get damaged.

I suppose if the car is intended to be seldom used and almost always used in a "fun weekendmobile" setting it could be appropriate, but the article seemed to focus on how good a road car this was. To me (and this is very much just an opinion), a good road car is one that can be USED on a day to day basis. For that matter I'd also question the sequential gearbox on the same basis as the bodywork. Great for the track, not so good to live with around town.


IanBange Wildcardfox  

Well I disagree. I think we need to preference first that if we are talking about a part that is 100% carbon fiber. If it is full carbon then it is strong. I say this because there are many parts that are carbon look: They have one layer of carbon fiber and then the rest is fiberglass—carbon look parts are still fiberglass parts with fiberglass properties. 

A full carbon part will stand up to any damage that a daily driven or race car can dish out. They are not brittle, and short of a complete collision will not fail. It will grind off just like a metal part if it is dragged on the ground or a curb, but it will not shatter or be destroyed from normal driving and rubbing. A full carbon part is incredibly durable and is not a delicate part or brittle show piece. For instance, I had a carbon fiber diffuser on my car with carbon strakes (fins) that were 1/8"-3/16" in thickness. Those strakes would drag on the driveway all the time. They would grind off, not break. 

I build carbon fiber parts. If they are made correctly—with epoxy and the correct resin to fabric ratio—they are incredibly strong and durable. If something needs to be bulletproof or flex with impacts, then we add kevlar as the backing. If carbon fiber was so brittle, it would not be used in airplanes, race cars, spaceships, etc. It makes an extremely lights and extremely strong part.  

On my daily car, almost half of the car is carbon fiber. And their lots of full carbon cars that last throughout daily driving.


Wildcardfox  IanBange You make a good point - pure carbon fiber parts are significantly more durable than cheap fiberglass with a layer of carbon on top.

I think perhaps I need to phrase my issue a little differently. While carbon is very durable, like ANY other rigid material, if you run it into something, it (or something it is attached to) will take damage. If you drove the car in the article on a regular basis, and I mean really used it. Take it to the store, go to lunch, etc. It is eventually going to bump into something. The way the front aero sticks out makes that extremely easy to do. When that happens, that big beautiful carbon piece is going to take some damage. A car with a more stock lower bodyline would fare much better. Take a look some time at the RWB Porsche's which use a rubber skirt that can flex and take that abuse. They are an example of a highly modified car that I think could actually be used on the street.


IanBange Wildcardfox  Well I think on that point, it is more preference. On my car I have a modified road racing body kit. It originally came with a front splitter very similar to the one on this S15, in that it stuck out from the front bumper. The kit came with a fiberglass version due to cost. If a person ran off the race track or crashed, replacing a fiberglass version is a lot cheaper than replacing a carbon version. I made a carbon version as my car is a street car. I did it because I needed something that was more durable, could take hits from rocks, curbs, etc., and still be intact. I wouldn't have had a problem running that thing into a curb. It would be scratched up, and if the carbon weave was displayed, the scratches wouldn't make a very pretty ascetically pleasing part, but it would stay together. If it is designed and built well, then it is not going to break on a bump or a run in with a curb. The RWD rubber skirt does not produce downforce like the front splitter on the S15 car.


Wildcardfox  IanBange Absolutely on point. Its definitely a matter of preference!


The bodykit is a bit fussy for my liking (on S15s I'm more a fan of the Vertex kits), but I'm really digging this car. Nice to see such a well-rounded, comprehensive build. It's doubly nice to see a well-tuned SR20 rather than an LSx swap or something.

Just goes to show what using all high quality parts can do. And there's just something about the classic Nardi/Bride combo which really does it for me!


So what does he use as track duty wheels/tires?


"help people who are intoyour site reach their goal with their car via speedhunters"
I'm all for constructive criticism but how would that even work?


2xthefun The car is still beautiful...


One thing I didn't like from S15, the tail light


Please stop ragging on the doors.
I'm disabled (boo) and I am going to need to fit "Lambo doors" to my track day due to the ease of reach to close the door, they open up the door area more so it's easier to transition from chair/walking sticks to sitting in the car ready to go and they will make it easier should I end up in the trees for the paramedics to get me out.
I know they have a bad name and, as some have mentioned it looks a bit "ricer" (doesn't everything though to someone?) but they have a lot to offer in terms of access... Especially for the six foot plus driver with mobility issues.


wheatgodBannedAndFurious Le Mans cars are race cars. This is supposed to be a street car. No need for fancy aero on the street. No need for tiny mirrors. And those "eyelids"... Those were played out in 2004. Unpainted carbon fiber? Pointless, if you need to save weight that badly it if better to just free-ball and save the weight with the underpants.


danjapan13 2xthefun I most certainly agree with that, I'm just curious to see what it looks like today. Hopefully the upgrades continued in the last 1+ year since the original article.


epicmotorwerks  "all the time I come here it's the same cars same stuff I beginning g to think you guys are running out of ideas" - Speedhunters doesn't build the cars. Also, punctuation. This isn't a text message.

Please, don't ever post again.


BannedAndFurious wheatgod Stock s13-s15 hoods are heavy as shit. We're talking 35 pounds. A dry carbon hood can drop 20 pounds off. No underwear can drop 20 pounds of weight from a car unless they're as full of shit as you.


I have a question. Why is that tuners have not yet tried converting the intake of an SR20DET motor into individual throttle bodies (a la stock RB26DETT) instead of single throttle body? I mean turbo + ITB? If the Nissan engineers thought that it would be good for the RB26DETT engine, then it can also potentially benefit the SR20DET. Is the cost and effort of doing such would not match its benefits? Thanks!


Nissan themselves actually did it with the SR20 fitted to the Pulsar GTiR. It's a little bit of work to make the ITBs fit an S-series (as the engine is transverse in the Pulsar), but it's certainly been done before.


BannedAndFurious Dynames Which more people should know about and do because it's annoying as hell to get blinded by the person behind you, especially by the newer VAG cars with their ultra bright Xenon!


@Seeking Perfectionwith exact same pictures even

34 it!
what a way to start the year off!


It's hard for me to express how much I like this car without resorting to expletives.


@boronbioIkeya offer that kit, you will find very few running it though as its very expensive.  As it should be being an inhouse made kit.


Ikeya Formula offer that kit & you will find very few running it though
as its very expensive.  As it should be I suppose being one of a kind & inhouse made.


"no need for fancy aero on the street" - Don't you even realize your conformist fascism? Do you really want everybody to drive a Prius?
There's NO need for ANY sports car on the street either. Most truck owners don't need a truck. A Prius would get better gas mileage, would be more quiet - why not take your fool logic one step further, and just say "everybody in the whole world should drive X" ?.
In Nazi Germany, you would've goose-stepped right along with all the other robots, and whoever you are, I truly despise your tiny mind.
I love seeing wacky cars with giant wings, bright graphics and funny doors! WHY NOT!? What does it hurt??? Fast&Furious? OK!!! Do you think you're somehow better? Keep telling yourself that.
So called 'rice-bashing' is just a group of cowards and bullies pretending to be car enthusiasts, and hoping their vain attempts at diminishing others will somehow raise their status.
Anyone dressing up their car with aero on the street has more balls than you.
If you want to put someone else down, use your fists, and leave cars out of it.


I just really like sleepers. Or a car with rubber ground effects.


epicmotorwerks  Well epic motor werks, why don't you guys make a build that gives us something new to see. When you are done, email the speedhunter team and see if someone can come cover it.


I know this comment is a week old, but I saw this vid and thought it was good vid that you might want to check out if you ever get some free time.


To be honest, its a great car, but i dont agree with the theme of the article.
A 650HP two door coupe with rollcage, minimum ride height and fairly short suspension travel, this is NOT a versatile streetcar, this is a track weapon with license plates.