Nissan to Show Rally-Prepped Z and More Adventurous Concepts at SEMA

Published on October 30, 2023 in SEMA by Guillaume Rivard

Nissan turned heads at the Japan Mobility Show in Tokyo last week and it’s looking to do the same at the SEMA Show taking place this week in Las Vegas.

The automaker’s display will be highlighted by the Safari Rally Z Tribute, which was created in a partnership with South Carolina-based Tommy Pike Customs as a rally-prepped version of the new Z. Styling pays homage to the Datsun 240Z Safari (also on hand in the form of a replica) that won the 1971 East African Safari Rally.

Photo: Nissan

The team raised and toughened the car's suspension with NISMO parts, then added Yokohama GEOLANDAR M/T G003 mud-terrain tires and 17-inch NISMO Safari wheels, increasing ride height by 2 inches. Protecting vital powertrain and chassis components are a new front bumper guard and skid plate, while an assortment of NISMO Off Road LED lights deliver additional illumination for dusty conditions or night racing.

The interior gets a custom roll bar with 4-point harnesses and custom-trimmed Recaro Pole Position seats. As for the twin-turbocharged V6 under the hood, special tuning by AMS boosts output beyond the regular Z’s 400 horsepower, but Nissan isn’t more specific. A NISMO Track cat-back exhaust system makes those horses scream even louder.

Photo: Nissan

If only there was a way to pit this Safari Rally Z Tribute against the Porsche 911 Dakar or Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato

Project Rugged Rogue

Photo: Nissan

Continuing the theme of adventure, Nissan came up with Project Rugged Rogue, which is based on the freshly updated 2024 Rogue. This SUV is packed with NISMO Off Road components including a 3-inch suspension lift kit, 18-inch wheels on Yokohama GEOLANDAR M/T G003 tires, front bumper guard with 6-inch round driving lights, fender flares, rock rails and dual-exit centre exhaust.

An ideal rig for outdoor sports and camping enthusiasts, it also features a NISMO Off Road roof rack with additional 6-inch round driving lights, as well as roof-mounted kayak and mountain bike racks. Hopefully the upcoming Rogue Rock Creek will take a page from this concept.

Forsberg Frontier Off-Road Race Truck

Photo: Nissan

Pickups are more your thing? Check this one out. Nissan once again collaborated with Forsberg Racing and multi-time Formula Drift champ Chris Forsberg to develop a unique Frontier outfitted with NISMO Off Road parts specifically for the rigours of the NORRA 500 off-road race, which Forsberg and co-driver Leticia Bufoni won earlier this year.

The suspension is raised and beefed up, while custom bumpers and skid plates protect the lower body and underside. The same Yokohama GEOLANDAR M/T G003 can be found, but we don’t know their exact size. Clearly, this is the sort of truck Nissan would need to go head-to-head with the likes of the Ford Ranger Raptor and Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.

Sentra DET Concept

Photo: Nissan

Finally, Nissan is using the SEMA Show to give the Sentra some TLC. Or, to be more accurate, some DET. Translating to “Dual overhead cam, Electronic Fuel Injection, Turbo,” the acronym has previously adorned the engines of sporty Nissans like the Silvia/180SX, Pulsar GTI-R, Skyline and Stagea. This new concept is inspired by the cars used in the Sentra Cup racing series and also pays homage to past SE-R models.

The engine is a turbocharged MR20DD 2.0-litre 4-cylinder unit mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and a prototype stainless-steel NISMO B18 performance exhaust that adds a deep engine tone. Output is not specified, but obviously a lot higher than the 149 horsepower generated by the naturally aspirated Sentra coming out of the factory. The prototype NISMO coilover suspension has been fine-tuned with the input of GT4 professional racer Bryan Heitkotter, while the cabin is upgraded with Recaro Sportster CS front seats.

Don’t miss our coverage of the 2023 SEMA Show for more concepts and special projects like these.

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