Silvia 240RS: Made For Rally

When Nissan went Group B rallying in the early to mid-’80s, this is the car it used as a base for its World Rally Championship campaign.

Aside from the odd rally car that every once in a while shows up at the Nismo Festival, the Silvia 240RS isn’t a car you see often on the streets of Japan. In fact, prior to seeing three examples at the recent Nissan Matsuri, I can’t recall the last time I actually saw one in person.


This angular and over-fender-equipped special version of the Silvia was created to homologate the car for Group B, which is why only 200 cars (the minimum number required) were ever made.


The Group B rally era is best remembered for the wild turbo and four-wheel drive machines that were eventually deemed too fast to race and banned, but some manufacturers decided to take a different route, one of which was Nissan.


It’s not like the Japanese automaker couldn’t have built a flame-spitting gravel monster, it had the engine from the Group 2 Silvia Turbo and was working on the 4WD system that eventually became ATTESA-ETS, but Nissan still opted for a simple, honest rear-wheel drive car based on the S110 Silvia platform; its hopes pinned on success at long-stage rounds of the championship where reliability counted for a lot.


So while you might assume the generously vented and louvered fiberglass bonnet is hiding a big-boosting engine, it’s not actually the case.


What you’ll find is a FJ20-based naturally aspirated 2.4-litre DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder fed by twin Solex 50mm carbs – not even fuel injection, which was already being used in Nissan production cars at the time. That said, the ‘FJ24′ wasn’t short on power and the 265hp it created (275hp in the Evolution version) was a good match for the car’s sub-1,000kg chassis.


The basic nature of the car and its relatively reasonable (by Group B standards) buy price ensured that a large number of the cars built and sold were actually used for rallying, and even in ‘road car’ form it was halfway there in spec. This particular car was sitting on a set of period correct magnesium alloy rally wheels shod in gravel tyres.


Like the front end, the back too received massive fiberglass box flares. A fiberglass boot lid and polycarbonate side and rear windows were other weight-saving measures.


Out of the three 240RSs present at the Nissan Matsuri, this one was in the worst condition by far. So why did I choose to spotlight it over the others? Simple, the owner obviously drives the hell out of it and isn’t afraid to put miles on it. It might be a rarity, but at least it’s still being put to good use more than 30 years on.


The coolest thing about the 240RS has to be the interior. The cars came with barely-accessorised dashboards – essentially four analogue gauges and then an expanse of flat empty plastic where rally instrumentation and equipment could be mounted.


This car had a period correct JX-555 rally meter and a digital timer and distance counter right next to it too. It’s pretty cool.

All in all, this 240RS is one of most unique cars I’ve ever had the pleasure to spotlight in Japan, and a fitting way to wrap up my coverage from the 2015 Nissan Matsuri. Click the link below to see all my content from the event.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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What an awesome beast, great feature Dino


The front looks a little like an Audi Sport Quattro, well it's the same era. Lovely feature Dino


Oh my. Reading this article, i'm really looking forward to a Group B revival. Thanks Dino!
Greetings from Germany


Cars like this is what I like to read about ! The 80s vibe in this car is perfect ! As you said if the owner does not treat the car as a garage queen makes it even more special !


265 hp/2.4L= 110hp/L N/A! In the 80s!!


DerekAlexander well alfa romeo gta 1300 junior had a 1.3l and 160hp (123hp/l) in race spec in the early 70's so nothing extraordinary, but yes still an impressive number :)


Fantastic car, one of my favourite nissans, along with r34 skyline gtr and 240z


I'd love to see an Audi Sport Quattro vs the 240RS Evolution back to back on circuit. One is AWD, boosted 306hp and 1000kg. The other is RWD, N/A, 275hp, 970kg. I'd like to see if the Nissan's better weight distribution could keep up with the Audi!


Does RB series compatible with this..?


Like it but still a little underpowered compared to Renault r5 group b which produced 350hp or Peugeot t16 group b making over 400hp. Competition was fierce, no restrictions on turbos. Rallying was as popular as f1 if not more populaR. Too bad wild times ended badly. Today some of these factory rally cars sell in tripple digits.


pugmonster  woa, wish I could pick up a factory rally car for a few hundred quid ;)


juanpcarrera89 Yeah they aren't the most popular with the majority of our readers as you can tell from the lack of comments but I always know there is someone that will appreciate it. Gotta cater to everyone :)


@caroosh My Pleasure!


EH098 So happy to see there are some out there that still appreciate these not so well known cars :)


RacingPast It really does!


I love the S110, and the RS version is certainly the cream of the crop. Those 80's rally flares and pure function interior is simply gold! I like that it has always been the unsung hero of the Silvia name, but it has such a rich history too. To see Nissan enter the WRC fray with AWD machines would be right up my alley, there have been too few and too far between.


How can you not notice that this car is originally dry oil sump-ed and race fuel cell-ed too :)


How can you not notice that this car is originally dry oil sump-ed and race fuel cell-ed too :)


DerekAlexander Ford Escorts had about the same power out of 2 litres already in the 70's


Thank Q for this article :) . With love from Malaysia


A friend of mine had 1 of these in Green, 1.8 Turbo (about 110hp i think), it was special to say the least.


Group B was insane. I never watched it but the stories are wow. I grew up in an era where WRC was awesome. Is it just me or is WRC boring now?


Man the 80s had some sweet cars. I love the boxyness of it.

Great find speedhunters_dino !


speedhunters_dino EH098 Isn't it part of your job to let us unwashed and unknowledged heathen learn that these Japanese gems exist? Thank you!

Shakotan Boogie Nerd

Much better than the S13-S15 Silvias. Even the S15 Silvia can't catch the spirits of 240RS.


the car was very good 
really really like to see the car that shiny new car fits like made ​​for walking trailsthe car was very good" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> and very fast" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> mix of colors" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> from which to" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> make want pobud see hatnya" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> kecepatanya" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> was very nice ," rel="dofollow" target="_blank">  suitable for a "" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> sharp bend or not sharp I guess motorists like this is" very skilled in the speed I hope I can membilinya someday will whether there are new cars are better I" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> 'll wait for it , with a stylish car classic" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> style I" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> also like" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> to see would be whether there is a" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> car that is as fast and forius like in the " movie , the car very good car designed a way apparently hopefully there will be new cars more good and the price is quite pantastis then chances are I can membilinya the same as you have at this time


Dear Santa (Dear Lord), May I please finally have one for this Christmas? You may give all the Stratoses and Quattros to whoever you please, just give me one of these and I will never, ever bother you again.