Iconic Nissan Off-Roader Comes in a Sports Car Guise

November 11th, 2023 by

Nissan of Fort Pierce 2023 Nissan Safari Rally Z Tribute

Photo Source: NISSAN

Nissan paid homage to its decades-long motorsport heritage at SEMA 2023 by presenting the twin-turbo Safari Z Tribute, a modified version of the popular Nissan Z sports car. The Safari Z is a rally-oriented concept equipped with performance and off-road updates that not only enhance the control and power but allow the coupe to embark beyond the pavement. Nissan revealed the Safari Z tribute car alongside its inspiration, a restored #11 Datsun 240Z. 

The original #11 Datsun 240Z won the 1971 East Africa Safari Rally. Nissan reinvigorates its storied legacy of rally motorsports with its latest concept. Designed by South Carolina-based custom car creator Tommy Pike and his team of experts, the Nissan Safari Z combines past legacy with contemporary prowess. Moreover, with the miles of desert, Las Vegas provides the ideal environment to test the Safari Z in punishing conditions. 

An Off-Roading Nissan Z

The Safari Z sports car’s design language and exterior enhancements do its predecessor justice, beautifully mixing the timeless essence of the old-school rally aesthetic with the brand’s sleek, modern tuners. However, the performance upgrades exhilarate the rally and off-road enthusiasts, and the Safari Z tribute car has plenty, including a handful of custom Nismo parts. The Safari Z is motivated by an AMS-tuned engine said to exceed 400 horsepower. The fiery engine pairs with a cold air intake, a Nismo cat-back exhaust system, and a street twin-disc clutch and flywheel. A carbon fiber engine cover also minimizes weight while adding to the visual impact of the replica.

In addition, Tommy Pike and his team toughened and raised the suspension to prepare the asphalt-oriented Z for rally conditions. This incorporates Nismo suspension parts and a custom KW Safari suspension, which give the Safari Z a two-inch ride height lift. While the raised ride height helps when driving in rugged conditions, it also accommodates the large Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003 tires, which encircle prototype Nismo Safari wheels.

The Evolution of the New Vehicle

The Japanese automaker and Tommy Pike set their sights on the Nissan Z with a box replete with Nismo upgrade parts and a singular goal: take this street car and transform it into the ultimate rally car. Even though the Safari Z has yet to generate performance specifications, it undoubtedly looks the part. Stylistically, the Nissan Safari Z resembles a modern variant of the #11 Datsun 240Z rally car. The teardrop-shaped coupe bears the same orange paint job and decal layout as the 1971 rally-winning Datsun, albeit particular decal brands were altered to reflect current Nissan backers. 

Even the number changes from the legendary #11 to #23, possibly alluding to the year in which it debuted. The Safari Z features commensurate lighting, as well as Nismo off-road LEDs. When combined these elements produce additional illumination for night races and dusty conditions. Moreover, the Safari Z receives new skid plates and a new front bumper for enhanced durability, as well as a two-inch suspension lift, ensuring the car can perform in rally conditions, including sand, rocks, dirt, mud, and rough terrain.

If you are in awe of the renewal afforded to Nissan’s classic sports car, please come visit Nissan of Fort Pierce. Are you in need of a refresh on your vehicle to bring it back to life? Our amazing service team can handle that with ease by scheduling an online service appointment with our service center. Sit back and relax as our team of professional technicians take care of your vehicle.

Posted in Nissan, Nissan Z