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Secrets brought to light

BY RORY DALEY Observer writer daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, August 08, 2014    

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MARLON Powell may be part of the Darker Shades car crew, but his 1995 Nissan Sentra is anything but so with its bright flawless white paint job and striking coloured wheels.

"I wanted something different," Powell told Auto.

After previously owning Nissan's fire-breathing rally-inspired hot hatchback, the turbocharged four-wheel drive Puslar GTi-R popularly called Baby Godzilla, Powell began his current journey with a bone stock Sentra.

"It was a basic GA15 when I bought it and carried it home," he said.

It didn't stay stock for long, receiving a lengthy rebuild and full respray. After some minor visual upgrades, like a custom front splitter and the OEM SuperTouring body kit, Powell upped the wick and went back to his roots as under the chassis of what appears to be a humble four-door sedan, lays a darker performance secret, the running gear from a Pulsar GTi-R.

The modified Sentra now lives up to its SuperTouring billing with the all-powerful two-litre turbocharged SR20DET motor sitting in its engine bay, and has four-wheel drive.

"It drives pretty aggressive," Powell explained.

That's partly due to the combination of the lower weight of the Sentra's chassis and the fact that the owner went crazy under the bonnet. Long gone is the factory setup, replaced by a larger Holset turbocharger, injectors, a front-mounted intercooler, and an aftermarket ECU to keep things firing on all cylinders.

The drive train wasn't the only thing that made it into the Sentra. The GTi-R's larger brakes were a necessity as well as its front seats to hold the car's passengers firmly in place. Extra traction is found via a fully adjustable coil-over suspension that lowers the ride height to perfection over the 17-inch Konig Zero wheels.

More importantly for Powell it's executed in as if the Sentra came from factory as such in a clean unassuming manner.

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