GRR

Video: This Nissan Sunny is the ultimate drag racing dark horse

16th May 2023
Simon Ostler

The Nissan Sunny. You might consider it anything but a performance car, the Sunny GTI might get somewhere close to hot hatch status with its 145PS (107kW) 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine, but you wouldn’t necessarily think of it as a car with world bending performance.

That is, until you ply it with 1,500PS (1,103kW). Then suddenly the whole world gets turned upside down. This heavily modified machine, with an undisclosed engine under the bonnet, which incidentally has an exhaust opening hewn into it, is still recognisably a Sunny in silhouette. But that is possibly where all other similarities end. There’s a huge addition to the front end: a single piece of bodywork covering the front bumper and wheel arches, which basically works to make it look like the Sunny is wearing a facemask. At the rear, you’ll see a pair of parachutes mounted, if ever a bigger clue was required that not all is as it should be here.

It sounds absolutely savage, and its acceleration is utter madness. All evidence here suggests that 1,500PS is probably about enough for this car’s fundamental capability. It handles well at launch, we suspect there’s a very clever four-wheel-drive system working incredibly hard under there, but as the speed picks up it just looks like it will do absolutely anything possible to send itself and its driver off into the nearby countryside. As torque steer goes, this looks absolutely catastrophic.

Somehow the driver manages to keep everything in check, and the speeds they reach are quite phenomenal. We want to see more ringers like this on the quarter mile circuit.

Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: Has the Ferrari F430 just got even better?

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