The Smiling Assassin
Looks to thrill

For the most part, Speedhunters feature car shoots are mapped out weeks, if not months in advance. Every now and then, an on-the-spot opportunity presents itself, as was the case when I dropped by Queensland-based tuner 101 Motorsport to meet its savage 1300whp BNR32 Skyline GT-R on my last trip to Australia.

It wasn’t another ultra high horsepower Japanese street dragger that caught my eye though, but a crazy-eyed K11 Micra.


When it comes to modified cars, personality counts for a lot, and even though I knew nothing about the pint-sized Nissan sitting in front me apart from the fact that it definitely wasn’t stock, something made me call over 101’s owner Varun Sharma to find out a little more about it. Maybe it was the way it looked? I mean, how could I not take an interest with a face like this one staring back at me!


I’m glad I did too, because despite the popularity of the Micra (aka March) as a tuning base, this little car – owned and built by Brisbane local Jason Cheung from a stock-as-a-rock base – has a huge amount of personality, plus a few tricks up its sleeve.


Inspiration comes in many shapes and forms, but for Jason it was the countless pictures of modified K11s in Japan that he found on the internet and subsequent adventures to Nissan’s motherland to check out March tuning culture first-hand, that became the catalyst for the five-year (so far) build.


Taking cues from his favourites K11s, Jason has also done a nice job of marrying vintage JDM parts with more modern ones. There’s no doubt that a sparkling new set of old school wheels would look very cool at all four corners of the K11, but there’s just something about pre-loved equivalents complete with age and wear-inflicted patina.


To find the look he wanted, pushing the boundaries of what’s legal and what’s not was always going to come with the territory. As it turns out, Jason’s K11 wasn’t hanging around at 101 Motorsport to have more modifications bestowed upon it (for the time being anyway), but to have some small road legality issues rectified. Wheels protruding the guard line through excessive negative camber, exhaust pipes protruding the rear bar… that sort of stuff.


Oh yeah, and a wastegate screamer pipe and blow-off valve both venting to atmosphere when they should have been plumbed in. Yes, Jason’s K11 is much more than just looks…

Small hauler

I was pretty surprised when Varun told me that the Micra’s factory-fitted CG13DE motor had been turbocharged too, but even more so when the bonnet was lifted and the extent of the upgrade was revealed. Sitting on uprated Nismo mounts, the 1.3L four-cylinder engine remains largely stock on the inside, save for a pair of 256-degree/8.35mm lift Tomei Poncam camshafts with Mulholland adjustable gears, and an Ajusa metal head gasket to slightly lower the compression ratio for the boost injection.


Pieced together by 101, there’s a T28 turbo from a BCNR33 Skyline GT-R at the heart of the forced induction upgrade. It looks proportionally large in the Micra’s small bay, but given that it’s feeding an engine exactly half the size of RB26 – and a pair of them were used in that application – the Garrett unit is a good match for the 1300cc power plant. Not only that, but since Jason had tracked down T2-flanged HKS cast manifold from a very rare bolt-on turbo kit for the JDM Z10 Nissan Cube, which used the same engine, fitting it was a relatively straightforward proposition too. The set-up also includes a TiAL 38mm wastegate, 101 Motorsports downpipe, a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III intercooler, custom 101 intercooler piping and a Blitz blow-off valve.


To satisfy the extra fuel requirement, a Walbro high-flow in-tank pump and 220cc injectors from a Nissan Pulsar QC18 are used. There’s an SR20DE throttle body in the mix too, as well as a custom 101 Motorsport exhaust system and a Koyo radiator. With a Haltech Platinum Sprint 500 engine management system giving the firing orders, power has shot from 80hp off the production line, to a dyno proven 222hp. That’s hardly a crazy number in the bigger scheme of of things, but when you consider that the K11 only tips scales at a measly 700kg, all of a sudden the resulting power-to-weight ratio becomes rather impressive. This little Micra has the wick to embarrass cars of much larger and much more powerful status.


Despite possessing almost four times the power it left the Nissan factory with, the K11 still runs its factory five-speed gearbox – and so far without drama. There’s an uprated Exedy clutch in the mix though, and a JUN 4.3kg flywheel too. All of the engine and driveline modifications would, of course, be fruitless without performance upgrades to the suspension and braking systems – but those are stones that haven’t been left unturned either. For improved handling, Racing Gear (RG) JTC N1 coilovers feature at all four corners and run alongside a host of Whiteline gear including front and rear sway bars, adjustable panhard rod, an anti-lift kit and adjustable trailing arms. For extra stopping there are Pulsar N15 calipers grabbing slotted DBA performance rotors on the front end and a K11 Super S-spec set-up at the rear.


It’s safe to say that the crazy rear camber angle is hardly conducive to the K11’s handling prowess, but for the time it lasted (remember that defect notice), it succeeded in pulling together the look that Jason set out to achieve. The genuine Green Pepper bumper is a cool addition too, as is the ‘bad boy’ bonnet that’s given the front end fascia some new attitude. The Micra looks happy, but a little bit angry at the same time don’t you think?


At the rear you’ll find an East Bear bumper and diffuser, and a carbon fibre duck tail wing from Auto Shop Aspect. Yes, the JDM force is definitely strong in this one, and that’s something that was always going to extend to wheel choice. A 114.3 hub swap was required to allow the fitment of proper vintage Japanese alloys, and in my mind the Speed Star Racing Mk3s – measuring up at 14×7-inch and 14×8.5-inch front and rear respectively – are the perfect accompaniment. 


Here’s a closer look at the bonnet modification. It’s amazing how such a small alteration – in this case an addition of extra metal to form a straight edge across a radius that originally followed the line of the headlight – can have such a big impact.


What the bad boy bonnet does for the front, dual upswept tail pipes and LED tail lights from a later-model Super March do for the rear. Unfortunately for Jason, the bosozuko-inspired exhaust detail is – as far as state police are concerned – another modification that needed to be undone before the car could be put back on the road legally. Building a car like this was never going to be straightforward though…

Small details, big impact 


After talking with Jason, I get the distinct feeling that this is one of those cars that will continue to evolve rather than ever be truly finished. At the time of the shoot, the bonnet and front guards were yet to be resprayed in the same colour as the rest of the body work, but I quite like the silver/muted gold two-tone look.


Inside there are as many details as the K11’s exterior and underpinnings. The Nardi steering wheel was a prerequisite, as was a bolt-in Safety21 half cage and fixed back race seat for Jason to park himself in, but there’s also a Nardi pedal set, billet short shifter and an HKS EVC V and Defi VSD heads-up display mounted on the dashboard.


Fixed on a custom rail, the Recaro SPG driver’s seat has been treated to a few custom details including a Japanese hachimaki that I believe reads hissho (‘determination to win’). Sticking with the theme, a Sabelt four-point bolted to a custom harness bar got the nod too.


Under the dash I spied the EVC control unit and Bee*R’s iconic two-stage, ignition-cutting rev limiter – which also happens to induce backfires and flames from the exhaust. Not that this Micra really needs to attract any more attention…


For a little car there’s a lot going on here, but regardless of the clash of colours and styles to a certain extent, the sum of all its parts and that ‘personality’ I talked about at the beginning of this story, absolutely works.


With that much power and that little weight, I didn’t need to jump behind the wheel to imagine how much fun it must be to drive either – being in its presence alone is enough to make you smile. That said, I’m sure there would be a lot of pleasure to be had hassling Silvias on winding back roads, and when this Micra’s legal line-walking modifications are reversed, I’m pretty sure that where you’ll find Jason and his one-of-a-kind K11.

Brad Lord



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Best front end shot ever :)


Wow.. a 'badboy' bonnet! Suzy and myself were talking about them just last week! :D


Damn it im now on ebay searching micra


Cool car. The front is just hilarious. I can't but help seeing a face. Hahaha
Whenever I see a micra I think of topgear with Richard Hammond driving around town with a bag over his head.


Impressive build!


Nice. I always love to see absolutely bonkers tiny cars.


@Jason Cheung if your thinking to change your rear beam back to stock, I WILL buy your old setup I'm from the gold coast.


Speedhunters_Bryn  It's like a Pokemon character. I love the side mirrors too - looks like some wonky ears/antennae. :)


The first thing that I thought of when I saw that front-end.. :D


Angry + happy = psychotic.


This is really cool! I thought about doing something similar way back with my first car, a Opel corsa A, but decided to go with the 20xe engine instead.
However, there's no way that thing is pushing 222 whp with 220cc injectors and a standard ceramic bcnr33 turbo. Even if I would, it wouldn't last long with 18 year old factory internals. While I'm at it, 80hp x 4 = 320hp so that's not even close.
Hate to leave a negative ending to my comment but I just can't handle bullsh*t


SuzyWallace That's what it is! I nearly said something in edit about one of them being on the cock and didn't because it actually adds to the character. Ears it is!


Ewottaja  Spot on :)


Can anyone confirm the wheel/tyre sizes here? If they're 7's and 8.5's with 185/60's then my plans are out the window! I'd have thought a 185/60 would stretch a bit harder on an 8.5 and less on a 7......and front and rear seem to look pretty similar here.

Very cool little car though.....definitely appreciate the work!


in this Shane's old car?


Why do people bother wasting time and money on a car like this...? Just for the sake of having "character"? I doubt this thing is fun to drive.


@Oldtimers  you doubt 200 at the front wheels combined with 700 kg is fun ? Sounds like a slightly porkier ff Caterham.


@Oldtimers  Wow, you must be so much fun at car shows.


That defect sticker is pretty much what it is like to have a modified car in Australia... They're seen as "dangerous" whilst a complete shitbox with mismatching panels in fine!




So Dope


ADimitriRoumeliotis  yes


AGR  80hp stock power is at the flywheel(engine) and 222hp is at the wheels. 80hp - 30% driveline loss = 
56hp x 4 = 224hp so almost what's written. Turbo is from an R32 GTR.


You can't calculate drivetrain power loss in percentage. That would mean if the car had 1000hp @ flywheel it would only have 700 @ the wheels. But this was not my point.
R32 gtr turbos are exactly the same as r33 gtr ones. They do not make that kind of power.


AGR Actually that 30% loss is nothing unheard of, yes 700whp->1000hp at flywheel is pretty plausible.
And the only limiting factor in a turbo is how much it flows. I know a lot of R33s' with ~270whp on stock turbo and they seem to take quite a lot of abuse. I only wonder how the internals will hold, but then again I don't know anything about the engine.


AGR  I'v always read that 30% was driveline loss, but after checking might be much less. Also nissan really choked this car from the factory in Australia and was "only" Quoted as having 55KW(73hp)@fly and my old micra had trouble getting anywhere near this figure after breathing and exhaust mods (i think mine around 60whp).


Check your facts. You can not calculate drivetrain power loss in percentage! If a drivetrain "steals" say 50hp, it will do that no matter if you have 250hp or 2500hp. Yes, friction will rise by adding power but we are talking a few hp here and there. Show me one car with 300hp less at the wheels than in the engine and I'll show you a car with a really bad drivetrain. My gtr has around 80hp less at the wheels because of awd. It had it with 580hp, 720hp (dynoproven) and will still have about the same loss when I reach my goal of 1000+
Regarding the turbo, you're probably thinking of the gts which is a totally different turbo. If you're thinking of the gtr it has 2 turbos. Together they max out at 400hp(flywheel) The airflow isn't the issue with the bnr32 and bcnr33 turbos. It's the fact that they can't handle more than 1,2 bar, because of the ceramic wheels at exhaust side.


There's a big difference in loss between cars. Fwd cars has a lot less power loss than a rwd or awd. Automatic and manual are different. Even the same type of cars are different. Take a manual e30 BMW m3 and compare to a brand new one...
There are no magic numbers or percentages that you can apply to all cars.


So what your saying is, that from your knowledge not many R32/33 GTRs with stock turbos make over 400hp@fly (slightly less at wheels) on 1.2bar boost. Then there are 2 turbos each with around 1300cc displacement and 3 cylinders and a compression ratio of 8.5:1.Right? An Rb26 is a much greater engine than an ecobox cg13de, no question. But don't you think it might be possible to get 222whp (more hp @fly/engine) considering the cg13de has 4 cylinders vs 3 .cylinders per turbo, more aggressive cams and I would assume a higher compression ratio (stock is 9.5:1 + thicker head gasket maybe 9:1)this pared with the cams would give greater dynamic compression as well. Also smaller diameter pistons have lower pinging issues (that's why super bikes can have large 13:1 compression ratios on pump fuel). This package with the right tuner should get close. Will it stay together????? Who knows but the engines are dirt cheap ans plentiful so why not.


Not only my knowledge, it's widely known in the gtr world. 400hp is what they call bpu (basic performance upgrade)
After that the turbos and fuel system needs to be upgraded.
The rb26 is designed and built for power from factory and is a superior engine in every way performance wise to a cg13. 222whp in a micra/march would be something like 250-260hp at flywheel. I'm sorry, but that is not going to happen with a gtr turbo@1.2 bar. But let's not argue about the turbo, agree to disagree. How would you explain the 220 injectors? They would be maxed out at around 160-170 flywheel hp on a 4 cyl... That's like 130-140 @ wheels


AGR Yeah, was talking about the ECR33. About the drivetrain loss, it's complicated. Yes 30% is exaggerated especially in a fwd, but it's not a static and all in all it really boils to what you put down at the wheels.
I somehow missed the injectors, maybe he buffed the fuel pressure up? Or that 220hp is talk :)


AGR  of course the rb26 is superior....than an ecobox 1.3L.

injectors seem impossible to get this much power. 
@3bar they could make like 150~160hp

@4bar they could make like 180~190hp        so yes off the mark a little, as everybody knows dyno figures are just numbers. there is also ways to help cars read high like using 2nd gear. or the dude liked the sound of 222hp as opposed  to 160hp or 180hp (which i think is f..king great)


that is a seriously cool little car


blake83 ADimitriRoumeliotis No its a Mix of Shane's old one and Jason's one. Shane's Old one was taken off the road about 2yrs ago due to a list of "illegal" mods, Jason knew the owner that had it at the time and brought the rear axle, front guards/bonnet of him, so Jason has put it all in to his.


this makes me want to import a Micra


@Oldtimers Why do People buy Million dollar + houses ? it's still just a roof over your head :)


@Oldtimers my K11 is only 180bhp, you are quite right its really dull having M3's pull over to let you pass on track.


Its amazing how the main ingredients from my old cars come together with an injection of determination. I sold the green pepper to an interstate buyer and the car to a Sydney local a year later. And they back together, the RG, eastbear, the backyard paint work......this is their destiny. What a good old days memory. Thank you!


Its like the innocent boy vs the gangster~