On-road, off-road, classic, modern, and motorsport, Nissan's SEMA display has it all.
The world is happy to have some sense of normality again. Just look at how many people went to the American Formula 1 Grand Prix in Austin, Texas a week ago. People clearly want to be back out in public, and car shows are just one of the treats we can look forward to resuming as per normal. One of the biggest is SEMA, happening next week in Las Vegas. The SEMA Show attracts the who's who of the automotive modification industry, but in recent years, automakers themselves have bought into the hype. They bring in tuners and car builders, and sometimes just showcase what their own in-house departments can do. Nissan is one of the OEMs that will be exhibiting cars this year, with three new in-person debuts and three custom cars that range from off-road heroes to racetrack dominators. For those who prefer their cars stock, the SEMA Show means the first public appearance of the all-new Nissan Z.
The new Nissan Z car set tongues wagging this year when it debuted with a sense of retro-inspired style, kept the manual gearbox alive, and dropped a 400-horsepower twin-turbo V6 under the hood - all developed in-house by Nissan. It's the perfect antidote to the semi-badge-engineered Toyota GR Supra.
Alongside the new Z, Nissan will also be showing off Sung Kang's "DocZ". Kang, who plays Han Seoul-Oh in the Fast and Furious franchise, has long had an affinity for modifying cars, in particular the 240Z. The "DocZ" is a Safari Rally-inspired 240Z that celebrates the 240Z's emphatic victory at the 1971 East African Safari Rally in Kenya. Kang partnered with Erick Aguilar from Erick's Racing to restore this tribute car.
The DocZ has a L24 Nissan engine stroked to 2.8 liters in displacement, with a custom head, exhaust, and triple Weber carbs. Period-correct 16-inch Nanakorobi Waoki wheels wear staunch Michelin all-terrain tires, and the roof rack houses a spare in true Safari Rally style. Kang hopes his restoration project will inspire other gearheads to engage in similar projects, claiming that, "The DocZ is a representation of the best of my community."
Staying in line with Nissan's rally pedigree, Team Wild Grace's Nismo Frontier PRO-4X will be making an appearance. This was the same truck that recently attained a sixth-place finish at the 2021 Rebelle Rally, where it was piloted over 1,200 miles through Nevada and California by Sedona Blinson and Lyn Woodward. Based on the road-going PRO-4X trim, the Frontier was equipped with loads of Nismo parts, including a cat-back performance exhaust, Axis wheels, performance suspension, and driving lights. Nissan has taken part in all six runnings of the Rebelle Rally, and the two co-pilots will be on hand on Tuesday, November 2 to talk about their experience.
For fans of overlanding adventures, Nissan will showcase two debuts, the Nissan Project Overland Pathfinder and Project Overland Frontier. For the Pathfinder, the special upgrades include a two-inch lift kit with Bilstein monotube shocks as part of a prototype Nismo upgrade. The 18-inch off-road wheels are sourced from Nismo too and are shod in 265/60 Maxxis RZR all-terrain tires. A Nismo roof rack, ROAM Adventure Company Rugged Cases, six-inch driving lights from Nismo, Rigid four-inch D-Series driving lamps in the front bumper, custom rock rails, and more all contribute to its overland nature. The finishing touches are a custom livery and a Egoe Nestbox Camper Conversion Kit with a camp kitchen and sleeping platform.
The Project Overland Frontier gets similar upgrades, but is even more rugged thanks to SPC front upper control arms with xAxis sealed flex joints. The rear shocks have been upgraded with Nismo off-road items and the matching Nismo Off-Road rear leaf springs add two inches to the rear ride height and improved carrying capacity. Maxxis RAZR multi-terrain tires are wrapped around 17-inch Nismo Off Road AXIS wheels. It gets many of the same visual upgrades as the Pathfinder, but gets a Front Runner Slimline II roof rack, a Hi-Lift Jack Mount, Roam Adventure Company 83-liter Rugged Cases, and a TruckVault All-Weather bed drawer system. Making it even more capable for overland adventures, a Dometic PLB40 portable battery and Overland Solar foldable solar panel are great additions, as is a Garmin Overlander all-terrain GPS system.
Lastly, the Nissan "Altimaniac" will make an appearance. Fans of three-time Formula Drift Would Champion Chris Forsberg will know of his insane Altima drift sedan - a Nissan GT-R-powered four-seat drift weapon unlike any other. After stripping down a standard Altima, the body was 3D-scanned to ensure the build was a perfect fit at every step of the build. Partnering with Tekk Consulting, Forsberg designed a tube chassis to fit inside the stock body, and then equipped a VR38 twin-turbo V6 from the GT-R, tuned to develop 2,000 hp by T1 Race Development. Handling all that power is an RTS 6XD sequential transmission, and a custom race suspension makes sure the power is put down effectively.
Not built for competition, the interior features four carbon-fiber bucket seats from Recaro, and there's a full double-halo roll cage to protect occupants. The final cherry on top is a Team Valvoline livery designed with 360-degree drone footage in mind.