Rally-Inspired Nissan Z and Vintage 240Z Shine at SEMA 2023

The Datsun 240Z emerged victorious in the East African Safari Rally in both 1971 and 1973. To honor these historic wins, the automaker pays tribute by creating a modern Z model with design elements reminiscent of the classic rally machine for its grand reveal at the 2023 SEMA Show. Furthermore, a true-to-form replica of the original 240Z is set to grace the event.

Tommy Pike Customs took the helm of crafting the Safari Rally Z Tribute, drawing inspiration from the 1971 East African Safari Rally champion. It showcases a deep, rich red body accentuated by a black hood. At the front, additional lighting embellishes the lower bumper, hood, and the base of the A-pillars. A sleek tubular guard and skid plate are mounted at the front.

Inside, the Safari Rally Z Tribute boasts Recaro Pole Position seats and a roll bar, perfect for securing a four-point harness. The passenger-side dashboard proudly displays a map of the East African Safari Rally course, alongside vintage timing equipment.

This Z rides on a bespoke KW Safari suspension, raising the ride height by 2.0 inches. The upper control arms, outer tie rod ends, front and rear end-links, rear mid-links, and rear traction arms are all adjustable, offering the flexibility to fine-tune the ride for various conditions. Prototype Nismo Safari wheels, measuring 17 inches in diameter and 7.5 inches in width, are adorned with robust Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003 tires.

Under the hood, an AMS tune supercharges the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6, pushing it beyond 400 horsepower, although exact figures aren’t disclosed by Nissan. A wealth of Nismo components has been seamlessly integrated, including a twin-disc clutch, flywheel, heat exchanger, coolant expansion tank, cold-air intake, carbon-fiber engine cover, and cat-back exhaust.

In addition to this rally-inspired Z, a faithful recreation of the original Datsun 240Z from the East African Safari Rally graces the SEMA event. This vintage gem is on loan from a collector who painstakingly crafted it in 2013 and even made a recent appearance in a Nissan commercial.

Notably, Nissan expanded its Z lineup in July with the introduction of the Nismo model, boosting the twin-turbo V6 to 420 horsepower. This variant also features a nine-speed automatic with revised tuning compared to the standard model, along with a suspension adorned with new sway bars, retuned dampers, and stiffer springs. The pricing starts at $66,085 after accounting for the $1,095 destination fee.

In the 2023 calendar year, Nissan delivered 1,309 units of the new Z, marking a significant increase from the 86 units delivered in the same period in 2022.

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