The Spec R is the highest specification performance model featuring either a 6 speed manual or automatic transmission mated to the SR20DET, a 2,000cc 4 cylinder turbo charged engine. The SR20DET has been used in Silvias since the S13, however with each new model of Silvia the engine was tweaked for greater power and torque with the 'black-top' engine in the S15 putting out 184kW, or 250hp. It should be noted that the Japanese specification S15 Silvia is more powerful than the Australian model, which only produced 147kW, or 196hp.
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The Spec-R also included extensive chassis and suspension strengthening via the use of larger anti-roll bars and strut bracing, and featured 4-piston front brake calipers.
One of the biggest changes to the S15 model of the Silvia was the implementation of a helical limited slip differential similar to that found in the 350Z. HICAS (High Capacity Active Steering) four wheel steering was available as an option.