The internet is filled with strange renderings of sports cars turned into SUVs. Automakers are clearly watching, with the Corvette now rumored to become its own brand complete with 4×4. But what if you’re more of a JDM fan? What if you want the “400Z” as an SUV? Meet the Fairlady X, the Z’s 4×4 twin that you never knew about.
Of course, there is no such thing as a 400Z. Nissan uses displacement when naming its sports cars, so where the 370Z has a 3.7-liter engine, this new generation would have to be called the 300Z because of its 3.0-liter twin-turbo V8. But for some reason, nobody thought of turning this thing into an SUV… until now.
You’re looking at the creation of Nissan Gakuen, which literally means Nissan school and sounds like the title of the best shonen anime ever. The Nissan Automobile Technical College in Japan must have seen all those SUV renderings online and thought they’d give NATS a run for their money since they made the GT86 SUV a couple of years back.
No Nissan Zs were hurt in the making of this SUV
In fact, they used one of the most frequently criticized Nissan models of all time. This strange SUV sports car mix rides on the bones of the Murano. It was considered ugly by many plus it started that revolting trend of convertible SUVs with the Murano CrossCabriolet. Anyway, it does have something in common with the Z, and that’s the V6 engine, a VQ35 like the old 350Z. Unfortunately, this one probably makes about 260 horsepower, nowhere near the 400 hp of the Z.
Obviously, this is just a piece of fun art with wheels, but the apprentices did a pretty awesome job. The front end sports the exact same headlights as a regular 2023 Nissan 400Z, and the bumper has been subtly massaged to fit the taller body of the Murano by making the grille taller.
It has a new grille too, and the bumpers of the Fairlady Z have been bonded to the original ones, creating a seamless transition. The rear is a little different. It borrows the retro taillights of the sports car, but because the shape is different, this ends up looking like a minivan from that era yet somehow also resembling Nissan’s electric crossover, the Ariya.
And then there’s the smaller stuff, like the two-tone paint job, the trademark Z badges, and a partial interior swap, complete with 2023 bucket seats. Expect to see this bad boy at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon taking place in January at the Osaka Auto Messe.