While Hondas dominate the world of import front-drive drag racing, threats to their front-drive records are becoming more common and more serious.
The Mitsubishi, Toyota and Nissan camps are all moving forward to grasp the title of the world's quickest, whether the category is unibody or tube chassis. Mitsubishi has the Extreme Motorsports Mirage and Talon piloted by Sean Glazar, Toyota has Chris Rado's new tube-chassis Celica and, last but not least, AEBS has what we think will be an impressive Nissan.
We tend to feature vehicles that have proven themselves by running a number but one glance at this SR20-powered Nissan and we knew we had a feature worthy of running a single-digit number. At the IDRC East Coast Nationals, we witnessed James Farrer's SE-R push the limits of a moderately built SR20DE engine. The vehicle qualified number 8 in the Quick XVI, landing its best e.t of 10.37 at 138 mph.
Considering the Sentra ran with the factory computer, stock valvetrain, a bottom-end loaded only with forged pistons and a stock transmission, there is a great deal of potential still to be tapped. This means no re-sleeved block, billet rods, stand-alone engine management etc. With the mods on this Nissan, we can honestly say the AEBS Sentra is going to open a 55-gallon drum of whoop-ass on those flexing the VTEC badge.
This one-piece front end was...
This one-piece front end was made by Nismo and allows the hood to be removed without removing the whole front end
This San Diego-born racer started out its drag race life at Carlsbad Raceway and it was here where AEBS would learn the grueling lessons of building a competitive front-drive drag car. Nissans were not considered a threat to the Honda camp, but back in the days, this Nissan was able to boast a best time of 12.1 at 122 mph. Considering the car made 420 ponies and turned in a 122 mph tells you it was in need of traction. It was also a street car. After experiencing clutch, transmission and drivetrain problems, the idea of re-designing the car from scratch arose; from that point on, this vehicle has been on the rise to front-drive stardom.
To disperse air charge evenly,...
To disperse air charge evenly, AEBS tossed the factory intake manifold in favor of a custom aluminum model, complete with four individual velocity stacks mounted within the plenum while an Accufab throttlebody was tailored to control airflow.
AEBS decided to stick with...
AEBS decided to stick with the SR20DE engine, modifying it to accept the parameters of forced induction rather than utilizing a J-spec SR20DET front-drive version.