A Scoot-Built 4-Rotor Datsun 240Z
The Kyusha Craze

The popularity of historic Japanese cars, or kyusha, doesn’t seem to be slowing down here in Japan. At least that’s the impression I’ve been getting through the shows, events and meets that I visit.

Not only am I coming across more classics than ever, but it’s plainly obvious that owners are striving to come up with exciting new takes and ideas when it comes to restoring, modding and tuning their prized vintage machines.


Thinking outside the box has become synonymous with this scene, and when the owner of this Australian-market Datsun 240Z decided to do something rather unconventional, he brought Koseki-san from Scoot into the picture.


Getting reactions from fellow car enthusiasts has become quite a goal it seems, and it sort of makes sense. I mean, when you are talking about a 40-something-year-old car like the S30, you can safely say that every possible thing has been tried and experimented with.


Yes, swapped and tuned examples of old Zs are roaming the streets everywhere, but if you checked out my recent tour of Scoot’s workshop in Kanagawa, you’ll know why this Z might be a little more special than that 600hp V8-powered S30 your friend’s uncle built in his shed.


The fact that this car is an import makes it a superb base to create something a little unique with, and running the longer G-nose conversion gives it even more visual presence.


As I’ll touch on soon, the long nose actually created a few issues when it came to the engine swap, but there is certainly no arguing that in the looks department at least, it makes perfect sense.


The Datsun sports an authentic look with bolt-on over-fenders gently increasing the car’s proportions and adding aggression just where it’s needed.


The rear flares are a little bigger allowing for the SSR XR4 Longchamps to be fitted in a slightly wider size than the 15×7.5-inch fronts – 15×9-inch to be specific. Tyre-wise, you’ll find Yokohama Advan AD08s transmitting every steering input at the front end, while the rear makes do with a pair of older Advan Neova AD05s.


I’m a great fan of ducktail spoilers on cars like the Z – they add the right sort of finishing touch without ruining the vintage lines. Except this ducktail seems to be a bit taller than most I’ve seen.


And to emphasise the fact that this is not actually a Nissan Fairlady Z, but a rare, right-hand drive import, there’s a 240Z badge to set people straight.


A well cared for and sufficiently spiced-up exterior is always a nice thing to see on a S30, but if you came across this car at a big Japanese classic car event, it probably wouldn’t stand out that much.

A 240Z That Goes Brap Brap Brap

Even the quad tail pipes don’t really give too much away. It’s only when the engine is fired up and the Datsun is doing a fly-by that its hidden secret is revealed.


I’ve seen Mazda rotaries dropped into old Zs before, but never a 4-rotor. I’m not going to take the tabloid journalism route and declare this as the ‘first and only 4-rotor S30 in the world’ – maybe someone has done something similar, and great if they have. But what I can say is that this is definitely the only S30 running a custom Scoot 4-rotor motor in Japan.


And like Koseki’s own FD3S demo car, it runs the newer itineration of his engine based around four 13B housings and rotors.


The beauty of a setup like this is its size. Physically, it’s no longer than the Nissan L-series engines that we usually see in this chassis, but it’s slightly lighter and all the weight sits lower, which does all sorts of great things for the car’s center of gravity and weight distribution.


‘Custom’ is a good way to describe everything you see here, and most components are either hand-built by Koseki-san or adapted. Each of the housings sport peripheral ports, which is of course the ultimate way to make big power on a naturally aspirated Wankel engine. These ports are matched to milled and flanged sleeves onto which each of the four intake tracts bolt. They’re topped with individual mechanical throttle bodies fed by short velocity stacks, which as you can see are fitted with sponge filters to help cut down on unwanted debris being sucked in by the engine. Right below the intake ports are the exhaust ports, which channel away exhaust gasses through a one-off exhaust manifold that Koseki-san fabricated. Given the intake and exhaust ports are so close to one another, a heat shield has been added as well as some heat wrap to the exhaust side and heat-reflective material on the intake. As I mentioned before, the G-nose does cause some issues, and they’re all to do with the cooling. Even at speed, the massive core of the radiator just isn’t as efficient as it would be if it had more airflow passing through it, but the two electric extractor fans at least help in that regard.


Given its position at the front of the engine bay, the alternator suffers from the heat too. Koseki-san has fixed this with some large-diameter flexi-pipe.


With two spark plugs per rotor, there’s a lot of igniting that needs to be done, which is where the eight remotely-mounted coils come into play. The custom engine package is controlled by a Vi-PEC V88 ECU, which has no problem handling the ignition and fuelling maps for the 4-rotor. Koseki-san has certainly come a long way on the engine management side of things; I recall him using a pair of A’PEXi Power FCs on Scoot’s 12A-based 4-rotor prototype engine he built back in 2004. The result is 530PS in a car that probably tips the scales at around 950kg.


What’s the greatest thing about rotaries? The sound, of course! However, with what some may classify as a ‘normal’ exhaust setup running your usual silencer or two, you would never quieten the raw bark of an engine like this. That’s where Koseki-san had to really think outside the box as one of the main goals here was to end up with a totally useable, street-legal car.


In theory it was pretty simple – there was a need for multiple silencers and big ones at that. In practice, however, it was a bit of a headache. Finding the space to house these extra cans meant that the factory fuel tank had to be ditched all together. The spare tyre recess was cut out and sealed up with a flat sheet of steel, and above that there’s now an ATL 60L fuel cell. Where the stock tank once was is now home to the rear end of the exhaust system featuring three large mufflers. It’s a work of art and actually manages to muffle the noise rather well.


The exhaust is finished off with four oval pipes, which may make the car look like it’s running a V8 swap.

Hit play and hear it for yourself though! The engine isn’t fully mapped yet so it’s a bit rough and unresponsive when cold, and you may pick up some of that in the last portion of the video.


Hearing that unmistakable engine note certainly makes you look at this 240Z in a whole different light, doesn’t it?

The Finishing Touches

The Datsun sits on a set of height adjustable Star Road coil-overs. Yes, it could be lower but then the underside would be kissing the road way too often.


With a new-found 500hp per tonne on tap, the factory S30 brakes were in obvious need of a beef up, which is where R32 Skyline 4-pot calipers come into play. They’re good enough to keep you from sweating too much, and manage to fit inside the 15-inch SSRs. The rear drums have been left stock.


The familiar S30 cabin has been treated to a few select upgrades, starting with a carbon fiber cover for the dash, which adds a modern touch to the interior.


The Datsun Sports steering wheel is always a great classic addition.


Since the engine revs up and down faster than a V10 F1 motor without a flywheel, there was the need for an accurate tachometer – hence the Kameari upgrade. Koseki-san told me that the engine can safely rev to 10,000rpm, but the redline has been set at 8,000rpm (400rpm after peak power is achieved) for longevity’s sake. More modern instrumentation follows with the digital speedometer and some temperature gauges.


The leather seats are supportive and very comfortable, and for when the car is used in anger Willans harnesses are always at the ready.


The repositioning of the fuel tank means that the car has pretty much no trunk room, except for whatever space is left behind the seats.


I couldn’t stop looking at the car from the rear. It may look like many other S30s, but there are a few touches that hint towards the extent of its modifications. Those old AD05s at the back looked slightly past their use-by date and a tad on the narrow side to juggle 530PS and 50kg/m of torque, but it must be one hell of a drive!


Is re-powering such an iconic Datsun with a custom Mazda rotary a travesty? Of course it isn’t. This is the stuff dreams are made of – a crazy idea turned into reality.

We salute people like Koseki and the owner that commissioned this build; this is precisely what we like to see come out of Japan. More of this please!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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Those quad pipes really sets this build apart. I've never seen any S30s with 4 pipes before.


Its RHD?


Thanks for the vid you can really hear how fast it revs. Bet the owner's happy!  I find slow rev engines a bit irritating :/
What is the driver side floor mat - aluminum?  It's lots of work to do a swap like this and not have random wires all over the place. Carbon dash cover it a nice touch. And the pie cuts & welds.. wow.  These flares are the standard by which i judge all others! Beautiful car.


STJ88 Yep, that's the side they drive on in Australia


I just couldn't believe my eyes when i saw the video.

Feels unreal to be hearing a Z with a braapp braapp like that, like the sound was being dubbed later somehow LOL

Great article speedhunters_dino !
Still don't get how the exhaust works tho. So it needs 3 mufflers installed serial to quieten the sound?


And no flat out vid? Or wangan run inside this monster?
So disappointed :)


Will this sort of automotive masterpiece earn the right value in the future ?
Doesn't this kind of cars , made ​​with this kind of attenction to details , and artistic craftmanship deserve the same treatment as their fully original counterparts ?
The usual historic car philosophy that establishes that modified cars has no value in representing the history of a country or a manufacturer doesn't apply in this kind of build to me.


The stuff dreams are made of. I agree


All i can say is yes! This is just perfect...


Igorionia Same


520-ish horsepower in a Z? That's some carpe diem/yolo horsepower right there.


very cool! love the front with those fender mirrors


I really like this car. I wonder is it possible to build a 4 rotor and pass smog in California.


hanablemoore put it in a pre 75 and who cares?


Pretty much perfect.


Would you look at that!



hash the toyota man

Well it seems someone is jelly :p
Although silver does look a bit better than red on a g-nose


225 at the rear! Scary bananas.


dayum XD


That's possibly one of the absolute coolest cars I have laid eyes on.


Taryn Croucher Because he didn't do a lairy burnout for the camera? I agree, this sensible sort of driving is totally sacrelicious in a quad-rotor S30!


And this absolutely delivered, Dino you've done it again. Although I'm more of a bucktooth fan over the G-nose (Sorry Taryn!), this looks so good. Despite the S30 being my unicorn, I actually welcome various engine swaps due to the gloriously long engine bay, it just begs for it. And a 4-rotor is a worthy mill! The stance, the rims, tidy interior, and the subtle overfenders just tie this whole thing together. I wonder what kind of weight distribution this has now.


Love that car! 

Just out of curiosity: Can someone guess what MPG you'd be getting with such a setup?











Speedhunters udithaumesh I heard that Hun from FF is building a Datsun 240z too. :)


udithaumesh Wow, thanks.you seems to know a lot about cars and stuff. :) Speedhunters


Speedhunters Timelessly stunning car right there.


Umezhh U0001f60e


A really beautiful and commendable build! It really is a well done 240z. I like the G nose, I think it looks really good in its own right as does the standard front end but the G nose looks much more aerodynamic. Also good looking out on the exhaust. I would've looked into a system that activates a butterfly valve above say 3000rpm but not remote activated cos thats illegal here in NZ. I don't like droning and too loud a sound either. Overall its one of my favourite 240zs I've seen and I would put it up there with the Rocky Auto carbon fibre 240z.. btw.. we need more TA Auto and Rocky Auto please!


This car is a masterpiece and a beauty. Thank you for spotlighting this piece of art but i can see something weird happened to the first picture in presentation mode. Would you be kind enough to reload it?


Thank you very much. It will be perfect background for a darky day.


NOW that's what I call ROUGH IDLING Vol. 71


Taryn Croucher Nothing with an engine as crazy as a 4 rotor is sacrilege. You could swap that into any car and it increases it's cool factor. An LS or 2JZ is sacrilege(and boring).


Love it, and I'm no Z car lover for the most part, but you can't not love a car with a 4 rotor.

A travesty, no, because the Z doesn't come with an inspiring or "different" engine to begin with so any swap is better(generally). Something like an LS or 2JZ is a travesty, and boring too!


Well this is just the best thing ever.


speedhunters_dino STJ88  The correct side. ;)


I'm a "keep it in the family" type of guy through and through when it comes to engine swaps, but for this, I'll make an exception...

Gianluca FairladyZ

this is "brap, brap, brap" to the fullest. Man it's so sad we don't have these things over here! By the way, anybody knows if these wankel's are easy to work on? Is it complicated? Because we don't really have a Wankel Pro shop here........ So i would have to fix it myself.


Datsun 240Z outside, custom inside


Igorionia "not fully mapped". It's still being finished, and a flat out run would be no use if the engine's going to lean out and melt the internals or start knocking or do something unintended. Give the tuner some time and hopefully we'll see some footage of this thing screaming.


Pretty sure this is a 260z with rear lights from a 240z/FairladyZ; the dash is from a later car, so are the door cards, and the rear hatch has two struts instead of the single one found on the earlier cars.


Gianluca FairladyZ Where's here? They're fairly easy to work on and even rebuild yourself if you do the right research, but it's all in the tuning with how reliable one will be.


Peter_Kelly Me too for the most part, but a rotor can go into anything and I'll be happy! Especially a quad!


Wheel size, fitment and ride height is spot on. What a beautiful car!

I'll accept the Mazda power, too.


Spaghetti Peter_Kelly It's a rotary, automatic exception!


Slappy_Pistons Like I said in the story they aren't done setting it up


StreetStatik I don't think you are the only one!


elvexilix Or fun... if the owners knows how to drive properly!


oneslyfox Best comment!


Taryn Croucher Oh come on.....lol

Gianluca FairladyZ

Spaghetti Gianluca FairladyZ  Switzerland. Where rotary rockets are rarer than Bugatti Veyron's :)


waste of a 4 rotor engine


That has to be one of the baddest steering wheels ever made.


@morbias It's a non-us 240, so it may have come with some different options. A lot of the europen 240zs had parts and options that didn't pop up on the z car in the us until the 260.


Yes I know this, I own a 'European' 260z ;)

No 240z came from the factory with that interior and looking at the photos the car also has the upper door seal that no 240z (or even the early 260z) ever came with.


overflowing with personality i love it


@wasteoftime you are a waste of sperm.


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Quick remap and increased rev limit will see up to 90 extra horses and a 9,000rpm redline.