Nissan has a long and fruitful history with rally racing and it’s using the forthcoming 2023 SEMA show in Las Vegas to go back to its roots.

    The Nissan Safari Rally Z Tribute is a lifted, off-road-ready rally car that’s intended to pay homage and be a modern take on the original Datsun 240Z rally car that won the 1971 East African Safari Rally.

    This Z rally car will be displayed alongside a replica Datsun 240Z Safari rally car at the 2023 SEMA show, which runs from October 31 to November 3.

    The Safari Rally Z Tribute has been built by Tommy Pike Customs, which previously created the electric Datsun 1200 ute restomod for the 2022 SEMA show.

    There haven’t been any internal modifications made to this rally-ready Z’s 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, though there is a Nismo street twin-disc clutch and flywheel, cold air intake, heat exchanger, carbon-fibre engine cover, and a track cat-back exhaust system.

    Nissan claims the Safari Rally Z Tribute produces more than 298kW of power.

    Other key modifications include a custom KW Safari suspension kit which provides a two-inch raised ride height, plus adjustable upper control arms, outer tie rod ends, front and rear end-links, rear mid-link, rear traction arms, and a strut tower brace from Nismo.

    The Safari Rally Z Tribute is fitted with 17-inch prototype Nismo Safari wheels that are wrapped in Yokohama Geolander M/T G003 tyres.

    Providing the stopping power are a set of Tommy Pike Customs brakes.

    On the outside, this rally-ready Z comes with a red and black livery to match the original 240Z Safari rally car.

    There are also Tommy Pike Customs prototype aluminium bonnet mounted light pods with 4-inch Nismo off-road driving lights, as well as a custom front bumper guard and skid plate with 6-inch Nismo off-road driving lights.

    Inside, the prototype receives Recaro Pole Position seats with custom inserts made by Tommy Pike Customs, as well as a custom integrated harness bar, and four-point safety harnesses.

    Given this is just a prototype it’s unclear if Nissan actually intends to create a road-going version of the Safari Rally Z Tribute. If it does it would like be a cut-price rival to the likes of the Porsche 911 Dakar and Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato.

    As recently reported, the forthcoming hotter automatic-only Nissan Z Nismo is set to arrive in Australia either in late 2023 or early 2024.

    Nissan Australia’s first allocation of 100 examples were sold out in less than an hour.

    At this stage it’s unclear when the next allocation of Z Nismo vehicles will become available in Australia.

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    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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