I’ve just stepped out of the Civic Type-R FD2R. After 3 days and over 2000km, the Civic has battered my body with its stiffness, deafened my ears with its scream and won my heart with its character. It was a sad moment to give the car away to Tom but he had a surprise for me to mend my broken heart. He presented me the keys to the Nissan Sylphy and not just any Sylphy it was tuned by renown Japanese tuner and Super GT race team – Impul. Some of you may say that stepping into such a car does not equal to stepping into the Type-R, you’re right, that’s why a mindset change was needed and all expectations were ditched for what was to come, I really did not know what to expect.
Honestly, the regular Nissan Sylphy never caught my eye. I’m not saying it’s unpretty or it’s a design disaster but it’s just that, a normal point A to point B car. Now the Sylphy tuned by Impul is a handsome looking car. The bodykit does wonders in transforming the car from your regular everyday, see it everywhere, type of car to something that holds your gaze for much longer than just a few seconds.
The dramatic effect that the aero kit (that’s what Impul prefers to call it) has on the car are courtesy of a few different elements. Firstly, a new front grille replaces the boring chrome grille that the standard car gets. Then it’s the usual case of a front, side and rear skirts as well as Impul’s trademark wing spoiler. Now this is a RM3,600 option but it charmingly won my heart as it really does add visual character to a otherwise unexciting car. Couple the aerokit to the Impul Sports Suspension System that lowers the ride height by 25mm and you have a Sylphy that now appears aggressive and sporty.
The Sports Suspension System is a RM2,800 option. That may seem a lot to fork out but the entire kit consists of absorbers and springs that have been repeatedly tested so quality is assured. The kit gives the car a firm ride, but it’s not harsh as the absorbers have been designed to be flexible and to ensure comfort with everyday use. It’s great over KL’s harsh roads, you do feel the difference over the regular car as the ruts and cracks on the roads are more obvious but the kit gives you a lot more confidence especially in corners and sweepers as body roll is minimal and the entire character of the car is now in line with it’s look. To put it into words, it’s is as good as it looks to be.
The visual drama is topped off by the rims – 17” black and silver finished Impul Aura SX-10 Alloy Wheels wrapped in Dunlop Formula D 01 205/45 R17 tyres. The tyres do a great job at keeping things manageable in rain or shine but it’s the rims that really get my attention. Just in case you were wondering, these shiny’s cost RM4,600 for a set of four, but it’s not the price but the technology behind the wheels that got me. Not only do they look good, but they weigh 20% to 30% less than any other conventional rim. According to the Impul brochure, it’s all thanks to some New Super Cast process that helps keep the weight down and the sturdiness up.
Well that’s that for the exterior, as you have probably figured by now, I’m impressed with how drastically and dramatically different the Sylphy Impul looks over the standard car, but that’s where it all stops.
Inside the car retains the characteristics of the regular Sylphy. That basically means the interior is still boring, there’s nothing Impul about it except for the addition of black leather seats and carpet mats with Impul stitched on them.
According to the brochure (and I quote), “Impul carpet mats complement the black leather seats in the interior to complete the Impul signature.” I don’t understand how carpet mats and leather seats are supposed to complete the Impul signature because as far as I’m concerned, Impul is a hardcore motorsport brand which competes at the highest level of Japanese motorsport, so leather seats and carpet mats hardly qualify as “Impul Signature”. Then I turned the key and brought the 2-liter 4-cylinder, DOHC with CVTC powerplant to life.
The Sylphy tuned by Impul still retains the same engine as the regular Sylphy, in fact there’s no change in power figures but thanks to Impul’s Blast 2 Exhaust Muffler, the sporting characteristics of the exterior has suddenly made it’s way to the interior as well. That’s because it’s loud and beautifully noted. I’m not sure if the type of people the Sylphy is aimed at would appreciate such a note, but I’m pretty sure that if you’re going to opt to get a Sylphy tuned by Impul, you would expect such aural pleasure.
The exhaust note intrudes into the interior as a muffled, deep hum that changes with every dab of the drive-by-wire throttle and at highway speeds it can get a little overwhelming but hey, this is Impul, such a sporting characteristic can easily be dealt with so no complaints there.
Unfortunately though, the sporting characteristic is only limited to aesthetics and acoustics as the Sylphy tuned by Impul really doesn’t offer much in term of speed and just a little in terms of driving fun. Yes it’s true that thanks to the stiffened suspension you can have a lot more fun in the corners and are able to carry more speed into corners than the standard Sylphy, it’s also true that the exhaust system does very well in terms of making you feel as if you’re behind the wheel of a proper sports car but fact is, 133hp in a car that weighs in at 1,240kg (kerb) won’t do much in terms of thrills.
But to the car’s credit, it’s actually pretty smooth and easy to drive. Gearshifts are silky and the drive-by-wire throttle is sensitive and quick enough to allow for fairly spirited driving with fast downshifts that allow overtaking without too much effort and strain. Driving around KL city was a breeze as the steering is light and great for maneuvering around traffic but a light steering sends chills up your spine at speeds so a speed sensitive steering rack would be much appreciated but I guess that’s too much to ask for in a car that costs RM124,698.30 on the road.
Fuel consumption is also respectable and just for your information, I did not need to fill up the tank at all in the three days I had the car, that’s high praise indeed as I did spend a lot of time in the car which was subjected to “journalistic” driving.
So all in all, the Nissan Sylphy tuned by Impul is a great everyday car for a person that doesn’t really expect much. But that’s hard to say because I reckon that if a person is in the market for an Impul product, then he or she has certain expectations already. It’s pretty sad that the Sylphy tuned by Impul doesn’t do justice to the Impul brand as it’s nothing more than a Sylphy with a good looking aerokit, gorgeous rims, sports suspension and a naughty exhaust note. But if you’re in the market for something different, something that looks good but is cheap to drive around in and offers bragging rights, then this is the car for you.
- The Sylphy tuned by Impul features a complete aerokit (bodykit), a stiffer Impul Sports Suspension System that lowers the car by 25mm, 17″ Impul Aura SX-10 rims that are 25-30% lighter than other conventional rims, Dunlop Formula D 01 205/45 R17 tyres, and a Impul Blast 2 Exhaust Muffler.
- The Sylphy tuned by Impul is powered by the same 2-liter, 133hp, 191Nm of torque powerplant that powers the standard Sylphy.
- Though it carries the Impul logo and it looks the part, the Sylphy tuned by Impul doesn’t do the Japanese brand justice as it’s not fast but thanks to the sports suspension, the car offers thrills in the corners and allows for spirited and confidence induced driving. Just don’t expect to blast up Genting Highlands in it.
- The interior is a comfortable place to be in but it does not differ from the standard Sylphy except for the black leather.
- The Sylphy tuned by Impul comes in four exclusive to Impul colours: Tungsten Silver, Sapphire Black, Brilliant White and Twilight Grey.
- All Impul products mentioned here are available for purchase to current Sylphy owners.
- At RM124,698.30, the Nissan Sylphy tuned by Impul is a great alternative to other cars within that price range with its comfort and looks.