Nissan's Racy Twist

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Safari Rally Z Tribute Steals the Spotlight at SEMA.

The SEMA Show, known for displaying dazzling innovations, witnessed a distinctive transformation as Nissan unveiled its "Safari Rally Z Tribute." The motor world's ongoing infatuation with converting sports cars to rally spectacles got a new entrant, with the Nissan Z undergoing a "safari" makeover.

See how a Nissan 350Z absolutely wrecked a Cadillac dealership here.

Drawing inspiration from the iconic number 11 Datsun 240Z — the champion of the grueling 3,800-mile 1971 East African Safari Rally — Nissan proudly showcased this modern marvel beside a replica of the legendary race car. But this wasn’t just a superficial facelift; the tribute car's backbone lay in its reworked suspension. Merged with custom Nismo components, the car's underbelly was raised by two inches, courtesy of its custom KW Safari suspension. With 17-inch prototype Nismo Safari wheels and robust Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003 tires, this machine is clearly built for rugged terrains.


Protection is paramount when treading the untamed tracks. The Safari Rally Z Tribute comes armored with a robust front bumper guard and skid plate, ensuring the vehicle's vital components remain unscathed. Illuminating the off-road adventures are four-inch Nismo Off-Road driving lights nestled on a custom Tommy Pike Customs front hood, with an additional set of six-inch lights on the front bumper guard.

Under the hood, the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine has been amped up by AMS, pushing it past the 400 horsepower mark. This power beast, besides flaunting a Nismo clutch and a plethora of other Nismo features, surprises with a manual transmission — a rarity since the production Z Nismo doesn’t feature one. Complementing its rally stature, an enhanced Tommy Pikes Customs brake package ensures swift stops on rugged terrains.

Stepping inside, the Tribute offers Recaro Pole Position seats with a custom flair, a harness bar, and four-point safety harnesses, ensuring both comfort and safety. For the Z Safari enthusiasts, Nissan’s tease doesn’t end with the car. They're launching a limited-edition Seiko Safari Z watch, an ode to the original 240Z rally car, with only 240 pieces up for grabs.

While car aficionados are already swooning over this tribute, questions arise. Will Nissan tread the path of Porsche's 911 Dakar or Lamborghini's Huracan Sterrato and transform this prototype into a production car? Only time will tell, but for now, the Safari Rally Z Tribute is undoubtedly the talk of the town.

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