Nissan debuts Project Clubsport 23 project car at SEMA

Nissan says combination of parts may someday become available at dealers

Published: October 29, 2018, 5:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 2:58 PM

Nissan 370Z Project Clubsport 23

Nissan is using the SEMA aftermarket and accessories show in Las Vegas to show off the potential of its parts bin in the Project Clubsport 23 project car version of its 370Z coupe.

The beauty of the vehicle is that it doesn’t appear any more special, at first blush, than a Nismo Z car. But delve deeper into it and you see a combination of factory and aftermarket parts, from Nissan’s supplier-chain and from respected motorsports suppliers, some mass-produced and others bespoke.

When you look closely, the seemingly-stock Nismo body is enhanced with APR honeycomb carbon-fibre splitter/MA Motorsports air dam and Selbon TS-style carbon-fibre hood with Aerocatch hood pins at the front, and a modified rear bumper to allow better air flow/cooling and fitted in a JDM rear fog light. The sides feature carbon-fibre mirror covers and pillar garnishes.

The goal was not to create a unique show-car, but an ongoing parts-development platform to present an indication of what the Z-owner might be able to duplicate using the same available parts. However, the car on display in Las Vegas might end up being a unique car that might never be replicated, even within a few months, because parts are continuously developed and improved.

As with any customizing project, the Project Clubsport 23 project started with a donor car — a 2012 Nissan 370Z Nismo. The standard 350-hp 3.7-litre VQ37VHR V-6 was swapped out for a 400-hp version of the factory 3.0-litre VR30DDTT twin-turbo V-6 (debuting in the 2016 Infiniti Q50 sedan and then also dropped in the 2017 Q60 coupe).

That presented the first challenge because the twin-turbo engine had to work with the Nismo 6-speed manual. Nissan’s partner in the project, MA Motorsport, developed a new clutch disc, cover and flywheel assembly to complete the connection to the Nismo GT limited-slip rear differential (cooling that with an MA Motorsport differential cooler).

To aid the engine in working in the new application, the project added an AMS Performance Cold Air Intake kit and Z1 Motorsports blow-off valves, and upgraded the cooling system with an AMS Performance heat exchanger, Z1 Motorsports radiator and intercooler silicone coolant hoses. The steering system uses an MA Motorsports power steering cooler.

A bespoke dual exhaust system 76 mm in diameter insure the exhaust flows smoothly from the engine, and since they were doing up a new exhaust, the pipes exit on either side of the licence plate, giving the car rear a racing look.

The car rides on NISMO-branded RAYS cast aluminum-alloy 18x10.5-inch wheels (available through Nissan dealerships in the future), shod with Hankook RS4 285/35R18 high performance tires. Suspension modifications include NISMO 3-piece body brace set, KW Variant 3 coil-over shock kit, Eibach rear springs and just-released Nismo components front and rear.

Braking was upgraded with Z1Motorsports 2-piece slotted rotors, Nismo stainless steel brake lines and not-yet-available Nismo HC Street/Track brake pads.

Inside, there are new-for-2018 Sparco QRT-R competition seats, Sparco 6-point competition harnesses and Sparco R383 steering wheel with Bell Works Rapfix hub. The custom diamond-stitched upholstery was created by MA Motorsports, in homage to the diamond pattern vinyl used in the original 240Z.

And because the car would be expected to be used in a racetrack setting, it is fitted with a custom welded-in roll-cage and fire-suppression system for cabin and engine compartment.

And finally, the car is packaged up in a custom Gloss Burnt Orange body wrap by Speedesign Custom Graphics.

Nissan says the Project Clubsport 23 combination of parts may someday become available as standalone or packaged parts at its dealership parts counters.