Over at Nissan, the company’s new 350Z is proving fertile ground for developers to ply their power tools — just as the Sentra has done for years. Nissan’s own performance operation, NISMO, got into the act on both vehicles and just about every other Nissan car and truck, too.
NISMO is Nissan’s own in-house aftermarket operation, and it plans to start hawking its wares in a more organized way next year for both Nissan and Infiniti production vehicles as well as racecars and race trucks. Its pair of NISMO 350Z concepts
offered a mix of those in-house parts and pieces. A new exhaust nets the coupes more horsepower and torque — it’s 295 hp/280 lb-ft in this application — and a limited-slip differential helps keep the power distributed efficiently. Tighter suspension components beneath are given away by the fanciful paint and nifty body mods, including NISMO LM GT-4 wheels and a new aero body kit.
Another 350Z for the tuner crowd is the Axis Sport Tuning
sports job. A new JIC stainless steel exhaust matches up with the existing 3.5-liter V-6, while HKS springs and shocks beef up the suspension. Brembo 14-inch brake rotors have yellow calipers, and the Axis S7 three-piece wheels sport Yoko tires.
Steve Millen’s idea of a family sedan takes root as the Stillen Altima
. A new exhaust system for the four-door ends in stainless-steel tips; while the Eibach Pro Series kit lowers the suspension. New body flair includes rocker panels and a chin spoiler, while the tires are centered on Forte’ Cyber wheels.
2002 Nissan SE-R Spec V Speed Channel World Challenge Race Car conceptEnlarge Photo
Nissan inspired the less heavily funded enthusiasts with the SE-R Spec V Speed Channel World Challenge Race Car
, a snappy SE-R with a 258-hp engine made by Sunbelt Racing Engines. A six-speed tranny mates up the monster powerplant, and a helical limited-slip diff makes the two work better together. NISMO wheels (including the one sticking out of the dash) and engine bits round out the package.
Even plucky but tiny Suzuki got into this year’s SEMA shenanigans with the Suzuki/MA Audio Aerio SX Sport concept car. MA Audio did up the magnificently absurd audio system, which stuffs a multi-format disc player and twin 12-inch DVC subwoofers into the cozy compact. A rearview mirror monitor and a seven-inch TFT monitor also figure into the audiovisual fireworks. Massive-looking 18-inch wheels and 35-series Falken tires roll underneath the sporty hatchback, which in unmodified form is new for the ’03 model year.