In the standard, four-doors-plus-tailgate form, wagons enjoy little love today, as the world is hyped on SUVs. And yet there’s one niche universe where crossovers have no power: the two-door wagon. Based on sports or muscle cars, these shooting brakes enjoyed their golden era in the 1970s, but the Internet’s rendering trend means we get to enjoy more of them nowadays. However, not all CGI work is pure fantasy. For instance, this digital Nissan Fairlady 400Z Hatchback, as the artist behind it calls the proposal, is reminiscent of the 240Z wagon the original designer of the Japanese coupe penned five decades ago.
The late Yoshihiko Matsuo was more than the designer of the 1969 Nissan Fairlady Z—this was the JDM designation of the sports car, while Americans got it as the Datsun 240Z (this custom 1972 example brings a standout approach). The penning master envisioned the go-fast machine and ultimately got this approved despite his bosses resisting the idea.
An open-minded character, Matsuo-san didn’t limit his 1960s designs to the fixed-roof coupe that started the iconic Z bloodline. Instead, he also penned a targa-top model and (drum roll) a shooting brake.
And while we’ll naturally side with the design in terms of the decision to build the Z altogether, we can’t make an argument for Nissan building a long-roof version with a rear hatch. That’s because the number of people who would actually buy such machines has always been extremely limited, confining such creations to the custom car world.
Speaking of which, an American enthusiast built a Datsun 240Z Sport Wagon as a one-off back in 2014, six years before Matsuo-san would pass away, which meant the Japanese designer got to enjoy the real-world version of his old-time vision in person. And you can zoom in on this part of the story in the YouTube video below, which comes from Jay Ataka, the man behind the project (JDM Car Parts is his channel).
The Nissan 400Z sport wagon looks perfect
Now that we know that this 2023 Nissan Z hatchback/shooting brake/wagon is more than a digital dream, it’s time to focus on its details.
By now, the rendering realm has delivered countless long-roof takes on the new Z. In fact, you are now gazing at a slightly tweaked iteration of an earlier CGI released by the artist known as Sugarchow, which we discussed on the first day of the year. Nevertheless, at least to our eyes, this appears to be the most accomplished transformation of the sort.
There’s not much to discuss up to the A-pillars. However, the way in which the roofline flows downwards and the little body-colored kink that adorns the C-pillars—a well-known industry styling trick—make this one a sight for sore eyes.
As for the posterior, with its roof spoiler and its hatch, looks like it’s ready to be produced today! And while we’re on this topic, the 2023 Nissan Z probably landed in showrooms too late for its full aftermarket potential to be unlocked in time for this November’s SEMA show.
Nevertheless, the Japanese sports car will clearly become a custom sensation, so we might just see a Sport Wagon emerging for the 2023 edition of the Las Vegas event. Of course, since Nissan isn’t building a convertible iteration of the Z anymore (here’s Sugarchow’s 400Z Roadster CGI), this might be a priority for third-party developers.