Isn’t it nice when we get a new platform to play with? It doesn’t happen that often, especially when it comes to Japanese automakers, so when a new model enters the sports car fray it’s something to be celebrated.
The new Nissan Fairlady/400Z is a welcome arrival, even if it’s been a difficult car for buyers to get their hands on due to high demand and a few delays. That said, there were plenty of examples dotted around Tokyo Auto Salon 2023, most showing off the first parts Japanese aftermarket manufacturers have been busy developing for the eagerly awaited model.
So call this a quick rundown of what I came across at the show – minus the Nismo RZ34, which couldn’t have been made more difficult to shoot.
Let’s start off with an unexpected drag-spec Z. The Crewch build sports drag wheels and radials, plus a pointy front spoiler and huge drag wing, both hand fabricated in aluminum.
This blue Z at Endless was showing off some functional upgrades – namely a set of Zeal coilovers to lower the car over its Enkei GTC02 wheels, and – most importantly – a complete Endless monoblock brake upgrade. Push the RZ34’s twin-turbo VR30DETT hard and serious stoppers will definitely be required.
Another Z on Enkeis that I really liked was over at Blitz, and this car was showcasing a brake upgrade too.
One of the new Z’s best features for tuners and customizers is its ability to swallow up big wheels. In fact, the stock 19s look severely undersized attached to the car. You’ll see a nice variety of aftermarket wheels in this post, but I thought I’d note just how well a pronounced concave profile suits the RZ34. These 20-inch Enkei RS05RRs serve as the perfect example, especially at the rear.
On the same booth, Blitz had this second Z on display to show off their Damper ZZ-R suspension kit…
And their first Nur-Spec exhaust system for the new car.
Most new Z owners will probably just want to enhance the stock look of their car with a few simple aesthetic additions, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one interested to see what Varis is bringing to the party. They always manage to have baseline aero kit on offer in lightning-fast speed for new performance models, and the RZ34 is no exception.
They’ve given the Nissan a nice injection of wet carbon with a simple front lip, side skirt and rear bumper finisher triple combo. For those wanting more, there’s also a lip spoiler, a carbon fiber hood and a canard set, not to mention the fender trim pieces, which are more for helping people pass the bi-annual shaken test with aftermarket wheels than anything else.
Other companies like Final Konnexion have come up with their own take.
Of course, there are those who take body conversions more seriously in an effort to really transform the look of the base car. We took a peek at the VeilSide FFZ400 prior to TAS, but seeing it under the spotlights at Yokomaku-san’s booth was pretty special.
At least if you’re actually looking at the car and not… feet?
Yokomaku-san deservingly took home the coveted ‘Dress-Up Car’ category win, adding to his long list of Tokyo Auto Salon accolades over the years.
While on the subject of true body conversions, Miura-san of TRA Kyoto got in on the action too with his Pandem offering in the Trust booth.
Trust also displayed their own RZ34 development car, which you’ll remember I went to see the week after it was delivered.
The RZ34 Pandem conversion goes far beyond an overfender kit; there’s also a vented front bumper with a top section that has been pinched and pulled outward giving the Z an almost shark-like nose.
The front and rear fenders have that flat-top section, which we have seen used on other Pandem kits including the one for the GR86. In case you’re wondering, yes, you do need to cut the stock fenders to accommodate the massive wheel and tire package that the kit was designed around.
The exaggerated duckbill spoiler adds continuity and balances the rear look. As soon as I saw this kit in its entirety, I couldn’t help but think that it would look perfect on a drift car.
Obviously I’m not the only one that thinks this. Goodride thought the same and built this Pandem-kitted Z for the 2023 Formula Drift Japan series which kicks off in April. The car was on display at the RAYS booth, fitted with Gram Lights 57CR 2324 Limited Edition wheels, which you can get in any color you like as long as its Mach Yellow.
Still at RAYS, another Z was used to showcase the forged Volk Racing G025 in Shining Black Metal with a diamond cut rim edge.
It’s nice to see the Volk catalog grow to accommodate varying designs.
But I’m sure I’m not the only one wanting to see the new Z dropped on a set of CE28Ns, or ZE40s perhaps.
Then there’s the NE24, RAYS’ new performance/race wheel which we first saw at Nismo Festival last month. The NE was designed with the same philosophy as the CE and TE wheels, so we might be seeing more of these at soukokai events in the future.
Other Zs at TAS 2023 were purely showing off accessories, but it’s always nice to see different wheel fitments.
I think the BBS RI-Ds suit the Z rather well. This one was in the Works Bell booth.
I had to include a couple of shots of the Fairlady X, a pure concept car dreamed up by Nissan Technical College’s aspiring engineers.
I think the idea here was to take the same approach Ford took when designing the Mustang Mach-E, but applying it to an old Nissan Murano. What do you think of the result?
It’s always interesting to see how the aftermarket world embraces a new platform. Japan is taking its tried and tested route of baby steps, which will make it fun to follow and see how everything develops. With the experience US tuners have with the VR30, they are already miles ahead when it comes to actual engine/mechanical parts and tuning, but I’m sure Japan will get there soon enough.
Dino Dalle Carbonare
Yep, particularly the front end....
Ugh, this nose is nauseating
Is the Z really not coming to Europe / UK in any form?!?
That's a solid NO for the Murano with the ugly kit and the wrong drivetrain.
Awesome post! It's sometimes hard to navigate all the options the aftermarket puts out when the new models hit, especially these mass produced popular ones... SH showing up with a concise visual list like this is great and solid public service. Maybe throw on some distribution lists amd SH partner discounts and style shopping will be a party.
The more I look at the new Z, the more it makes sense but the headlights are going the other way... Too 2010 Mazda! Smaller, Rounder S30 style interpretations would've flowed spectacular. Not a fan.
Knew that the new Z will be at this year's TAS and I love all the builds here
Each one has their own style and flair which stands out with their own uniqueness
I even saw the new Z at a C&C meet just recently and I started to like it even more
However, the deal breaker for me is the price especially when a base price for a near basic model is like $40k
Don't get me wrong the new Z is cool for what it is and it is great to have a car like this on the market which will definitely have its own fanbase however for a car that uses a lot of recycled parts from past Nissan and Infiniti models which isn't necessarily a bad thing but even so $40k is a lot of money for a car that's not really all new and we're talking about the base price for a near basic model that has cloth seats and no LSD before we even get to the Performance model and even that is like $50k that's pretty much in the same range as the Supra 3.0 which now has a manual and that's a much better performing car than the Z even if it's mostly based off a BMW at least that was made all new even the base 3.0 has an LSD and a much nicer interior that feels well put together
And there's also the Mustang GT which both the GT and GT Premium model is at around $40k and you get much more for the money than the Z and this is not only about the V8 this is also about the performance and the entire package you get too
I can even compare it to the Civic Type R and the GR Corolla which is also at around $40k and sure it is in a different market but even that has a lot more to offer compared to the Z before we get into the FWD and AWD versus RWD argument
The new Z just falls behind the entire competition with its performance and value and even I was hoping that it would be priced more affordably compared to like the Supra and even the Mustang but sadly it just falls behind and it doesn't make it up for its flaws either
As much as I want to like the new Z, it's hard to justify getting one especially at that price point when there are better options out there it just doesn't make a good enough case to why I would get one in the first place
The new Z isn't a bad car and it's definitely going to have its market and fanbase but it just falls short of its hype and expectations
Maybe that might change maybe not would maybe like to drive one though..
Your absolutely right! Can't see spending that much money!
$40,000 base price and $50,000 for the upgrade then ad another $30,000 for more hi performance upgrades and convert to wide body not worth spending $70,000+
My guy, how do you have such a strong opinion for a car you haven't even driven?
You typed out like, 4 paragraphs bashing it, just to say at the end "but maybe I'll like it if I drive it."
Just say you're uninformed and go...
I personally think this will be the car to save Nissan as a "tuner" brand, IF they can keep pricing and supply under control. I hope it's a success because it seems like it's going to be a really fun car, which we desperately need more of.
Yes you are right I haven't driven the car yet haven't experience it for myself however there are reviews coming from Car and Driver, Road and Track, and Motortrend and it's been pretty mixed
They did praise the car for a few things and they also did point out a few flaws the car had and you look at the comparisons say like to the Supra and Mustang it just falls behind the main competition and sure it may be oh I'm taking other people's opinions however these are all in-depth very detailed tests and feedback done by very well known auto journalists if anything that gives me an idea how good a car is and if I should put my money down for one or not I like to do my research here
And I think you missed my point here I was pointing out that the base price for the new Z is $40k and it is a bit much for what it is as it is not anything entirely new
I don't see how it has better value compared to both the Supra and Mustang when they're both much better performing cars and are even at the same price at the Z too both the Base and Performance model
And I was acknowledging the feedback I heard about the car whether it's from the press, the audience, the fanbase I just wanted to be sure I wasn't being too dismissive about it
And you're right the Z is the tuner car Nissan needed after a long time but they could've done better with the resources they had and the pricing making a car with aftermarket support is one thing but making a car that relies on aftermarket support is a whole different thing
Plus the pricing doesn't make it any better either had they put the MSRP at like $35k or even $37k and the Performance model at around $45k it would've have been more reasonable and people would've appreciate the car more
But it's just that I don't know $40k is a lot of money for a car that utilizes mostly recycled parts I guess we'll see how it goes few years down the line
Reskinned Murano is an interesting idea, but not my cup of tea. Now if they had made a Z shooting brake...
The Murano was a study. The goal was to present a challenge for the students, using engineering fundamentals. In this case, not bad overall.
It probably was not their first pick either, but as an engineer, one shouldn't be motivated solely on how fun a project is.
Blitz kit has got to be my favorite of the bunch, simple and good for a small subtle improvement.
The new Z is beautiful in all forms. Apart from that pandem kit - that one's hideous in my opinion :p