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Nissan V8 ute and Sunny EV among concepts at SEMA

Nov 01, 2023Nov 01, 2023

The SEMA Show in Las Vegas usually features some wacky concepts, and Nissan has certainly indulged us this year with a sextuplet of new show cars. It includes electric, performance and off-road vehicles that Nissan says "will inspire owners to customise their own vehicles for next-level excitement".

One of the new concepts is based on the fully-electric Nissan Ariya which has been treated to a "woodie" makeover. Called the Ariya Surfwagon concept, Nissan claims it's a California-style surf wagon, providing a glimpse of what electric car customisation could look like in the future.

The Surfwagon features a custom vinyl wrap with wood panelling, chrome exterior trim, white wall tyres, 20-inch wheels and a custom roof rack for surfboards. Despite the wild look, Nissan claims the concept retains all the utility and functionality of the standard car.

Elsewhere, the 1987 Nissan Sunny pick-up has been brought into the 21st century with power taken from the Leaf. The conversion sees a 40kWh battery swapped in with 110kW and 320Nm of torque, meaning the concept has more than three times the power of the original.

The list of modifications is comprehensive. Nissan has somehow managed to mate the factory-original manual transmission to the electric motor, there's a "Hakosuka" Skyline body kit, it uses a custom driveshaft, while there's also LED headlights, heavy-duty leaf springs, 17-inch Rotiform wheels and a Nissan 240SX front suspension conversion.

Nissan's mid-size pick-up truck for the American market is the Frontier. The Nismo Off-Road Frontier V8 concept is a pretty extreme interpretation of it, featuring a 5.6-litre V8, custom wide-track suspension with Bilstein shocks and a wide body kit with carbon fibre front wings.

Another Frontier has been used to create the Frontier Street Truck Project. It's a lowered truck inspired by the 1990s truck scene in the US. It features custom suspension, a wide body, a MagnaFlow cat-back exhaust, Alcantara upholstery and 20-inch alloys.

Nissan's performance car sub-brand NISMO has created plenty of new accessories for the new Z Coupe sports car. The list includes NISMO coilover suspension, strut tower bar, camber links, traction arms and tie rod ends. There's also a NISMO big brake kit and new 19-inch alloy wheels. There's also a revised cold-air intake, a stainless steel exhaust and a clutch and flywheel kit designed to cope with up to 597kW and 1019Nm of torque.

SEMA will also host the public debut of the new Nissan Z GT4 – a new race car that will compete in GT racing around the world in 2023.

Alastair Crooks

Alastair Crooks