Two words: Bad. Ass.
There are countless custom "safari cars" out there in the world, but they all share a few key core attributes: a raised suspension, big rugged off-road tires, and a healthy dose of extra cladding. Most trace the trend's origin back to Porsche's iconic 911 East African Safari Rally entrants from the 1970s, although the safari car "style" has since been extended to all manner of different sporty RWD machines.
Well, it didn't take long for someone to try it out on Nissan's new Proto Z - the concept version of the forthcoming Nissan 400Z sports coupe - and we have to say: it looks pretty slick.
Seen here, the Proto Z safari car has been rendered in the typical fashion with a seriously raised ride height, beefy all-terrain tires, and matte black tack-on fender flares. The pair of red tow hooks up front is a nice touch, as are the rugged-looking skid plate and amber lights inset into the grille, but nothing comes close to the cool factor of those deep-dish black wheels with beadlock rings.
And then, of course, there's the elephant in the room - or on the roof, as it were: the roof-top tent. That's not necessarily typical of the safari car style, but we can dig it.
While safari car builders still seem to tend toward Porsches, Nissan is no stranger to the style. In fact, the Japanese automaker has a whole line of Patrol Safari vehicles aimed at the Middle East market, replete with lift kits, beadlocking wheels, intake snorkels, and the like. Granted, those are based on SUVs - not on the brand's flagship RWD sports car.
Will we ever see a Nissan 400Z safari car? Certainly not from the manufacturer, but just maybe, years after depreciation has started to creep in, driving 400Z prices to around what a good used 350Z costs today, someone will take on the project.