Nissan celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 240Z’s victory at the Sarafi Rally with a brand new concept based on the new Juke.
The story we are going to tell you about is probably not the most well-known to motorsport fans. And for good reason, it took place in 1971, just fifty years ago, in a discipline relatively unknown compared to F1, for example. This is indeed the Safari Rally, also dubbed the toughest rally in the world. Created in honor of the coronation of Queen Elisabeth 2 in 1953, this event was also an integral part of the World Rally Championship between 1973 and 2002. But we are talking to you about all this, it is mainly because in 1971, therefore, Nissan won this edition, with a 240Z driven by Edgar Herrman, assisted by his co-driver Hans Schüller. A victory also accompanied by a 2nd and 7th place during this same event, which the Japanese brand wishes to celebrate today, in a way that is to say the least unusual.
Indeed, on the occasion of the fifty years of this first place on the podium, Nissan has decided to unveil a unique concert-car, first shown in the form of 3D illustrations. Based on the new generation of the Juke, it then pays tribute to the legendary Datsun 240Z and is positioned as a modern reinterpretation of the sports car of the 1970s. If it would have seemed more consistent to use the new Nissan 400Z, the firm surprisingly chose the SUV, saying in a statement that it is ” a reflection of the positioning of Nissan, the world leader in crossovers, with its daring design and its electrification strategy ”. It is then dressed in a livery inspired by that worn by the victorious sportswoman, combining red and black, while the whole is completed by long-range lights installed on the hood. For their part, the wheel arches have been widened to fit off-road tires made to measure for this concept.
A hybrid engine
Of course, the vehicle we are telling you about today is just a style study, which should never see the light of day. However, the teams in charge of this project wanted to communicate about the engine hidden under its hood, without however wanting to say too much. Indeed, the firm emphasizes that “ in line with the brand’s electrification strategy, the tribute concept Nissan Juke Rally is equipped with a hybrid engine “. For now, no electrified version is offered on the production version, and everything therefore suggests that this concept actually announces such a variation, which will then arrive a little later. Nissan would also like to recall that the legendary 240Z inspired the Gripz concept, unveiled in 2014 and having influenced the design of the 2nd Juke federation, launched in 2019.
As a reminder, the Datsun 240Z was offered by a block six in line 2.4 liters, developing no less than 210 horsepower, sent directly to the rear wheels. The car that won the Safari Rally has been restored and is now kept in Zama, next to the brand’s headquarters, located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.
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