Back in the day, the unassuming Nissan Sentra B13 offered pretty much what any other benovelent entry-level Japanese sedan of its time brought to the table. It didn’t put a dent in your wallet to buy, sipped fuel, was cheaper to run than peanuts and would probably outlive its owner.
From the factory, the Sentra B13 was packing the GA16DE engine under its hood. To its good fortune, that engine packed a slightly heftier punch than its peers and this made it the default choice for taxi operators that ran the KL-Cameron Highlands route.
Going easy on the fuel yet housing a few more ponies under its hood made it the perfect sedan to haul tourists from the city centre up the windy and ascending asphalt strips heading to the country’s strawberry capital.
Even now, if you’re heading up to CameronHighlands you’ll probably come across at least one Sentra B13 decked out in taxi colours whisking past you without so much as an exhaust rumble as it snakes its way up to Ringlet or Tanah Rata.
In addition to its aforementioned attributes, the Sentra B13 also had pretty decent handling for a car of its time. With taxi drivers that have been plying that route for decades and knew every turn and bump like the back of their hand behind the wheel, these humble sedans transformed into quite the touge machines and were pretty hard to tail or outrun even by some gifted hotshoes; so long as the route was the KL-Cameron Highlands one.
The Sentra B13 we have here today however couldn’t be any more different from the legends of the Cameron Highlands route. It probably gulps fuel now at alarming rates nor will it turn as well either but the good news is that it doesn’t have to at all.
During the recent Speedday event at Malacca, the team came across this rather unusual drag racing candidate. If its 700 horsepower didn’t pique our interest, it being a Sentra B13 definitely grabbed our attention.
Under the hood now sits the venerable SR20 engine that sports the much-desired Neo-VVL head on top that has been plated in gold for some serious engine bay bling. Showmanship aside, the internals of the SR20 have been swapped out for a Tomei 2.2-litre stroker kit for added displacement.
On the turbo front, a sizeable Garrett GTX35 now compresses the intake air and sits atop a custom tuned-length extractor with a surprisingly miniscule Tial 38mm wastegate letting out the excess air to keep boost pressure stable.
An S90 throttle body controls the air entering the stock intake manifold while the fuelling side has been considerably beefed up as well. A Sard fuel rail holds 700cc injectors in place and is fed by a Walbro fuel pump in a custom fuel tank with a Sard regulator keeping pressure stable.
Igniting the air-fuel mixture are MSD ignition coils signaled by a Link G4 standalone ECU. Keeping the engine from going pass the redline is an ECU Shop Rev Limit Control. All the tuning parameters was set by the trusted tuner for this project, Torque Racing.
Completing the engine bay are the usual supporting mods such as custom stainless steel piping, steel braided hoses for longevity and a M7 oil catch tank
Transmissions are the weakest link in the chain when it comes to the brutal launches required in drag racing. To counter this and prevent the gearbox from grenading itself to bits at the start line, the garage entrusted with the build; L10 Pro, went with a dog engagement gear set from Australian company Precision Automation Robotics.
Their dog engagement, straight cut gears use a tooth profile that reduce noise and the input shafts is constructed from multiple pieces for added strength and to simplify repairs. Furthermore, the set retains use of the OEM fifth gear for highway usage should it be necessary.
Helping the driver nail those shifts on the fly and adding some spice to the spartan interior is a K-Tuned shifter that is true billet beauty.
Stopping hard isn’t much of a concern in drag racing and that explains the stock B13 brake set being deemed sufficient with just some Bendix Metal King brake pads thrown in for good measure.
Keeping the four wheels stuck to the ground are a set of GAB coilovers that latch onto Weld Racing wheels; large pieces wrapped in super sticky Mickey Thompson drag slicks up front and narrow pizza-cutters in the rear.
It’s an all business interior with nothing unnecessary left inside. The driver steers from a Momo steering wheel and sits in a Sparco Evo bucket seat with an army of Defi gauges helping to keep tabs on the engine’s vitals. Lastly, a custom roll-cage acts as the last line of defense should something go wrong and the car impacts the wall.
On the outside, the car surprisingly resembles a factory B13 save for the custom front bumper to reduce drag and the left headlight air intake that feeds the turbo. Bolt-on fender flares on the front keep the driven wheels covered under some body work.
Lathered in a bright splash of green, this Super Sentra is every bit a formidable drag machine and shouldn’t be dismissed for its humble roots. With over 700hp on tap, it might not get you up Cameron Highlands anymore but it certainly will get you across the finish line in by the time you’re done reading this paragraph.
Car – Nissan Sentra B13
Engine Mods – SR20VET, Tomei SR20 2.2-litre stroker kit, gold-plated Neo-VVL head, Garrett GTX35 turbocharger, custom header, S90 throttle body, Tial 38mm wastegate, Sard fuel regulator, Sard fuel rail, 700cc fuel injectors, MSD ignition coils, custom stainless steel piping, custom fuel tank, Walbro fuel pump, steel braided hoses, M7 oil catch tank,
Electronics – Link G4 ECU, Rev Limit Control ECU Shop
Transmission – Precision Automation Robotics dog box gear set, K-Tuned shifter
Brakes – Stock B13, Bendix Metal King brake pads
Suspension & Chassis – GAB coilovers
Wheels & Tyres – Weld Racing wheels, Mickey Thompson drag slicks
Interior Mods – Defi gauges, Sparco Evo bucket seat (driver), Momo steering wheel, custom roll-cage
Exterior Mods – Standard B13 body kit, custom front bumper, headlight air intake, front bolt-on fender flares
Garage – L10 Pro
Tuner – Torque Racing
Power – 700+hp
Sponsors – M Power Motorsport, Ban Soon Tyre, Jason Wong, EK Meng