Nissan impresses at SEMA 2019
The Specialty Equipment Market Association show is held in Las Vegas annually, and this year Nissan is hitting SEMA with its own one-two combos. The automaker has four performance models on display, including an all-out time attack.
The four models run the gamut from a ready-for-competition race car to a desert-ready Baja-style pickup, a “street sport” compact crossover, and a fully-accessorized truck. If ever there was a full array of what performance imagination can add to a vehicle lineup, it’s encapsulated in the Nissan booth at SEMA this year.
The Nissan Global Time Attack TT 370Z is a 750-horsepower (559 kW) monster from Z1 Motorsports of Carrollton, Georgia. With cooperation from Nissan’s motorsports team, the Time Attack 370Z will compete in the 2020 Time Attack racing season globally.
The Z1 team took an acid-dipped 370Z unibody structure, added a full roll cage per race requirements, and dropped on a full carbon fiber aerodynamic package – including a 3D front splitter, rear diffuser, and sideboards. The Nissan 3.7-liter V6 was revamped, adding Garrett GTX 3076 turbochargers, fuel management changes, and a Z1 Motorsports exhaust. The newly-redone engine was then mated to an HGT Precision 6-speed sequential shift transmission with Tilton custom clutch, and tied to a NISMO GT-R Pro 1.5-way differential.
Attention was then given to the suspension and steering for the TT 370Z. Custom-made, the system consists entirely of NISMO-sourced racing components. A custom-designed Brembo braking system, NISMO radiator, and multiple cooling systems were then added to the car. Tires and wheels finish the build, using RAYS Volk ZE40 Diamond Dark Gunmetal 18x11-inch aluminum alloys clad in Yokohama Advan A052 315/30R18 high performance tread.
The interior of the 370Z Time Attack consists of a FIA-approved OMP HRC-R Carbon Air race seat, a custom instrument panel, and quick-release steering wheel. A competition race harness and safety net system are also there, all supplied by NISMO.
Nissan occasionally throws a bone to fans of the long-lived Frontier pickup truck. The Desert Runner edition of the truck is usually a one-off specialty showcase, often creating a lot of conjecture as to “what might be coming next” for the little pickup. This year, it’s clear that while the Desert Runner is, indeed, a one-off of coolness, it’s definitely not a production plan for the small truck. This is a full Baja-ready nutjob rig.
Working with MA Motorsports in Maryland, Nissan Motorsports completely rethought the Frontier pickup and ended up with this year’s Desert Runner 4x2.
The conversion started by dumping the Frontier’s factory 4.0-liter engine and dropping in the massive 5.6-liter Endurance V8 normally found in the full-sized Titan and Armada vehicles. A race-spec rebuild of the engine made it even more implausible for the little Frontier, adding a Garrett GTX3584RS turbocharger, a customer intercooler, Jim Wolf Technology camshafts, pistons and valves, and an MA Motorsports custom turbo header and exhaust. That makes over 600 horsepower (447 kW) of muscle in the tiny little Frontier. And as if 700 pound-feet (949 Nm) of torque wasn’t crazy enough, the team then went to work on the Frontier’s body and frame.
The bodywork changes are obvious, and include Baja-race-ready designs for fenders (Fiberworx Pre Runner) and edges (MA Motorsports bumpers). The only factory pieces left visible to the naked eye are the doors and cabin, the rest being completely redone. Underneath, there is a BTF Fabrication long-travel front suspension kit, a set of King Racing Triple Bypass front shocks and coil-overs, and Giant Motorsports Link Killer rear leaf springs also matched to King Racing shocks. Fifteen52 TurboMac HD wheels fitted with 37-inch BFGoodrich Baja T/A tires finish the underpinnings.
The interior of the Nissan Frontier Desert Runner at SEMA 2019 is also redone, taking the already no-frills Frontier interior and stripping it even further. An MA Motorsports custom harness bar, Sparco harness, Sparco racing seats, quick-release steering wheel, and a coated floor make up the entirety of the Frontier’s interior.
Kicking it in the streets, Nissan has turned its attention to the Nissan Kicks with a SEMA showcase Street Sport model of the compact crossover. The Nissan Kicks Street Sport is another MA Motorsports collaboration with Nissan Motorsports. Using the Kicks Color Studio online configurator for the car, adding 360 Composites custom pieces, and wide fender flares for added drama, the team started a performance appearance package for the Kicks.
Its fender flares cover larger tires and wheels: Volk Racing TE37V 17x8.5 offset wheels and Falken Azenis RT615K 245/45R17s. A custom suspension sourced from NISMO and Ohlins was fitted to accentuate the stance of the Kicks.
The stock 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine gets its own turbocharger from Garrett, a Turbosmart diverter valve, and a new ECU from UPREV. The NISMO exhaust keeps all of that breathing, but Nissan doesn’t say what the overall changes mean to performance output. It’s got to be significantly better than the 122 horses (91 kW) of the stock engine.
The Nissan Kicks Street Sport is finished with a custom interior fitted with Sparco SPX carbon bucket seating.
As a final showcase for SEMA 2019, Nissan is showing off what’s possible for buyers of the newly-redesigned Titan pickup truck. A fully-accessorized version of the truck options what consumers can add to the Titan directly at the dealership. These Genuine Nissan Accessories include a sliding bed extender, mud flaps, a sport bar, illuminated kick plates, added marker lights, and towing kits.