Why all the buzz about the Nissan Silvia S16?


It’s been over 20 years since Nissan discontinued the Nissan Silvia S15. Yet many enthusiasts still eagerly await the arrival of its successor, the S16.


An artist’s rendition of the Nissan Silvia S16 from Japanese car magazine “Best Car”

The latest rumor is that Nissan will release an EV Silvia S16 around 2025. Here’s the original scoop in Japanese. Since Nissan hasn’t released an official announcement, we’ll just have to wait and see if the rumor pans out.

Personally, I’d rather see the S16 powered by a sports version of Nissan’s variable compression turbo engine. But beggars can’t be choosers and I’ve been begging since 2003.

Why don’t Silvia fans get a life and stop dreaming? Because Nissan Silvias still thrill us like no other car and we believe a new version could dominate drifting. Can you watch this Silvia S15 drift compilation or this Silvia S15 sound compilation without getting excited? Just imagine the potential of the Nissan S16!


A used JDM 1999 Nissan Silvia S15 (Spec-S) exported by Japan Car Direct

Good news for Silvia enthusiasts in the USA.

While nobody outside of Nissan knows when (or God forbid if) the S16 will be launched, we do know that Americans can legally import used JDM Nissan Silvia S15s from January 2024 after 25 agonizing years of waiting.

Many amateur and professional drifters still choose the JDM Nissan Silvia S15 over anything else (including Oceania market versions with 50 fewer kilowatts) because it’s one of the greatest drift cars ever made. Just ask James Deane, Naoki Nakamura, Masahi Yokoi or Piotr Wiecek.

At Japan Car Direct, we can assure you there is no better way to beat the S16 blues than to slide around a wet parking lot in a modified S15. Just be careful when you do it.


The 1999 Nissan Silvia S15 is cool from every angle.

What makes the Silvia S15 so great?

The S15 is nearly perfect for drifting because the engine is in front, the drive wheels are in back, the power-to-weight ratio is high, the weight distribution is nearly 50:50, manual transmission versions are available, the engine is powerful, everything is easy to modify, the car loves to slide while staying in control, and there are tons of aftermarket parts. Plus, of course, it’s beautiful.

Choose the best S15 variant for you.

When January 2025 rolls around, Americans can choose the Spec-R or Spec-S variant of the JDM Nissan Silvia S15. The Varietta becomes available in 2026.

If you plan to limit modifications, choose the standard Spec-R because its turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four SR20DET engine is more powerful (250 PS), its optional 6-speed manual transmission offers an additional gear, its chassis is more heavily reinforced with bigger anti-roll bars and strut bracing, and its brakes feature larger boosters as well as 4-piston front calipers. You can easily tune the engine to produce 400 PS if you choose to later.


The largely stock engine of a JDM 1999 Nissan Silvia S15 (Spec-S)

But the standard Spec-S is cheaper, making it better if you plan extensive modifications like an engine swap – which is always tempting because almost anything fits beneath the S15 hood. The Spec-S comes with a naturally aspirated SR20DE engine that produces 165 PS, a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission (also available on the Spec-R), limited chassis bracing, and 2-piston front brake calipers.

Demand is growing for the JDM Nissan Silvia S15.

At Japan Car Direct, we’re getting lots of inquiries lately about Nissan Silvia S15s. Many enthusiasts excited by S16 rumors are deciding they can’t wait until 2025. Others are buying S15s now so they can sell them for a profit to Americans later. And American callers are of course planning ahead. In some cases they’re putting an S15 in storage now for later import in 2024.

Whatever your reason for interest in purchasing a JDM 1999 Nissan Silvia, contact the experts at Japan Car Direct for insight and assistance. We share your enthusiasm and look forward to hearing from you.