As trucks and SUVs have become more popular, off-roading has become more popular as well. To make their cars stronger, automakers have launched new sub-brands like Subaru’s Wilderness and Honda’s TrailSport. People who want to go anywhere have also started making sports cars, like the 911 Dakar from Porsche and the Huracán Sterrato from Lamborghini. Tommy Pike Customs made this Safari Rally Z Tribute for Nissan to show at the 2023 SEMA show, which starts this week in Las Vegas. It’s their take on the style.
Nissan already paid tribute to the rally-spec Datsun 240Z that won the 3800-mile East African Safari Rally with a concept car based on the Juke a few years ago. Nissan hired Tommy Pike Customs in South Carolina to do the work. The company previously made a Leaf-powered 1987 Sunny pickup and an Ariya that looked like a woody wagon for the SEMA show last year. A copy of the Datsun 240Z Safari will be next to the modified Z racing car.
The sharply made sports car got some big upgrades from Tommy Pike Customs. A custom KW safari suspension raises the Tribute build two inches higher. It has movable upper control arms, a strut tower brace, and other parts from NISMO, Nissan’s own tuner. Special black 17.0-inch wheels have big Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003 225/65 tires on them.
A bumper guard and skid plate on the front protect the dirty parts, and a bunch of extra LED lights on the front make it easier to see in dark or dusty conditions. There is a roll bar inside the Z that is connected to four-point harnesses that keep the driver safely in place in Recaro bucket seats.
AMS Performance has also tuned the V-6 engine, which makes it produce more power than the stock 400 horsepower, though Nissan didn’t say exactly how much more power it produced. There is also a heat exchange, a cold air intake, a carbon-fiber engine cover, and a twin-disc clutch and flywheel under the hood.
Also, Tommy Pike Customs added a cat-back exhaust with NISMO logos cut into it using a laser. The final touch is a paint job that looks like the original rally car’s, though the doors have the number “23” on them instead of the “11” that was on the 1971 car.
Although we don’t think this off-road Z will ever be made, we hope that Nissan will sell some of these parts to people who want to make their own race special.