SEMA 2021: Nissan Reveals Project Car Lineup

SEMA 2021 is just a few days from this article going live, but Nissan is previewing its lineup ahead of the big show. Major automakers have attended the massive aftermarket trade show for years to entice customers with the modification potential of their current offerings. This year Nissan is looking to capture the attention of off-road enthusiasts, drift fans, and streetcar aficionados.

Project Overland Pathfinder

Nissan's Project Overland Pathfinder parked next to a stream. The car will be on display at SEMA 2021
Nissan Project Overland Pathfinder | Nissan

The Nissan Project Overland Pathfinder is the automaker’s take on a “family adventure” vehicle that can be taken straight from a dealership and to an overland trail. To help the Overland Pathfinder manage the unbeaten paths, it’s been upgraded with a prototype NISMO Off-Road 2-inch lift kit. The kit features a set of custom Bilstein high-capacity monotube gas-pressurized shocks.

Despite all of those modifications, this Nissan Pathfinder looks relatively subtle compared to some of the other SEMA 2021 builds you’ll see on this list.

Project Overland Frontier

Nissan Project Overland Frontier truck driving along a mountain road. This truck will be on display at SEMA 2021
Nissan Project Overland Frontier | Nissan

As you may have guessed from the name, the Overland Frontier has the same overlanding theme as the Pathfinder but in truck form. The Overland Frontier features a NISMO Off-Road Performance Suspension kit with a 2-inch lift in the front. The front upper control arms have been replaced with upgraded pieces from SPC. The rear of the truck is lifted 2-inches with custom NISMO Off-Road leaf springs. To keep accessories powered, there is an external lithium battery with a solar panel to keep it charged while tacking trails.

Considering that the modifications aren’t over-the-top, we could imagine a special edition Nissan Frontier equipped like this from the factory. Expect to see many subtly modified new models like this at SEMA 2021.

Rebelle Rally Nissan Frontier

2021 Nissan Frontier Truck driven in the Rebelle Rally. This truck features a white red and blue livery inspired by classic Nissan race cars. This truck will be on display at SEMA 2021
Rebelle Rally Nissan Frontier | Nissan

The Rebelle Rally is the second Frontier truck in the lineup. This truck was built specifically for the all-female rally that spans the deserts of Nevada and California. The rally is meant to spotlight notable women in motorsports and other facets of the automotive industry. This particular truck is a 2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X driven by Sedona Blinson and Lyn Woodward.

The Frontier is equipped with NISMO Off-Road driving lights, performance suspension, and cat-back exhaust to manage the desert rally.

For style points, which will be important at SEMA 2021, the truck is adorned with a livery inspired by Nissan’s vintage race cars.

Sung Kang’s “DocZ” Safari Rally 240Z

1971 Nissan 240Z with a red and black paint scheme and roof rack with full-sized spare tire. Dubbed the "DocZ" this car was built by 'Fast and Furious' star Sung Kang. the DocZ will be on display at SEMA 2021
1971 “DocZ” built by Sung Kang | Nissan

Sung Kang plays “Han” in the blockbuster Fast and Furious films and is just as much of a gearhead in real life as his on-screen persona. Kang has an affinity for the Z car and already owns a widebody 240 project dubbed the “FuguZ.”

The Tokyo Drift star is taking on a new 240Z project dubbed the “DocZ.” The DocZ is a Safari Rally-inspired take on the 240Z. The classic coupe has a custom paint job that pays homage to the Z car that won the East African Safari Rally in 1971.

The original L24 engine is enhanced with a stroker kit and triple Weber carburetors.

The brakes were upgraded to manage the increased power, and the suspension was modified to give the car a Rally-inspired stance. A Rally-style roof rack was added to house a full-sized spare tire, thus completing the theme.

Nissan Altimaniac

A 2021 widebody Nissan Altima shot while drifting as a large billowing cloud of tire smoke trails the vehicle. This car will be on display at SEMA 2021
Chris Forsberg’s “Altimaniac” Nissan Altima drift car | Nissan

What happens when you give three-time Formula Drift champion Chris Forsberg a brand new chassis and tell him to build his vision of the ultimate drift car while pretending he does not have to adhere to a rulebook? You get the “Altimaniac.”

As you may have guessed from the name, the Altimaniac is based on the 2021 Nissan Altima. However, we use the term “based” loosely here. The car was stripped down to its floor and effectively turned into a tube-chassis car. The stock engine was replaced with a power unit from a Nissan GT-R and mated to a sequential six-speed transmission.

The body panels were reworked entirely, widened, and then re-fit back onto the car, and the Altimaniac is the result. According to Forsberg, the Altimaniac reliably makes 2,000 horsepower. It’s too bad Chris can’t legally run the car in Formula Drift.

2023 Nissan Z

2023 Nissan Z in yellow with a black roof and bronze wheels. This version of the new Z car will be on display at SEMA 2021
2023 Nissan Z | Nissan

Rounding out Nissan’s SEMA 2021 lineup is the new 2023 Z. While the car will be completely stock, it is still so new that Nissan believes it deserves a place next to the wild custom concepts it will be sharing booth space with.

In case you’ve been purposely ignoring all automotive media for the last six months, the 2023 Nissan Z will come equipped with a 3.0 liter 400 horsepower twin-turbo V6 mated to a manual 6-speed transmission or a 9-speed automatic gearbox.

See all of these cars at SEMA 2021

All the cars we listed here can be found at Nissan’s SEMA 2021 exhibit in just a few days from the time this article goes live. Stay tuned to MotorBiscuit for additional SEMA coverage.

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