More Serious Than You Might Expect… | We Get the Dirty Details on This Unbelievable Lifted Z34! [Phantom Tokyo Auto Salon 2021]
Published : 2021/02/22 15:46 Modified : 2021/02/24 09:34
Serious dirt race ready spec
Plans to register for road-use and enter events across Japan!
This is the “Z-Adventure” Z34 Fairlady Z (370Z), and one look will tell you that it’s no ordinary car.
This unusual tuned car is the work of rally driver-cum-racing car builder Ikuo Hanawa of Yokohama Rubber. The concept was to build an “Off-road machine on an FR Sports car base that is competitive with 4WD on unpaved roads and exudes charm.”
The trend for lifted sports cars began on the U.S. West Coast, and is showing signs of taking off in Japan too. This project draws on the Paris Dakar Porsche 959 for inspiration, taking notes from cutting edge custom trends along the way.
At the foundation of the Z Adventure is the existence of the Geolandar M/T G003 tire. With this tire and its impressive durability, participation in full-blown off-road races becomes a possibility. The suspension and fenders have been reworked so that monstrous 255/75 R17 front and 33×12.50 R17 rear tires can be crammed into the arches.
The wheels are Advan Racing RCIIIs, developed and constructed with competitive rally and dirt racing in mind. The front wheels measure 17×7.0J +45, with 17×8.0J +38 in the rear.
These Advan Racing RCIII wheels are an over-flange ten spoke forged model, able to withstand the punishment received during competitive racing thanks to their high strength and durability, all whilst reducing weight. That they also allow plenty of room to fit huge Wilwood brake calipers is just another advantage.
The centerpiece of the suspension system is a set of King Springs dampers – a brand that has seen success at Pikes Peak Hillclimb in the U.S. amongst other events. Hanawa took direct charge of the suspension work, putting together a set-up that not only looks that part, but is up to the task of competing in serious racing.
The distinctive wide fenders are one-offs made specifically for this car. They perfectly tread a delicate line, managing at once to keep intact the sharp lines of the Z34 whilst giving off a hint of SUV style.
Clinging to the rear hatch is a pair of resin slopes for getting out of sticky situations. The spoiler-like method of attachment is a novel idea!
The exhaust is an HKS Super Sound Muffler system, with its dual tailpipes and complex piping. To improve visibility on bad roads, there are two LED fog lights at both front and rear.
“Without making it into some snarling race car, we just wanted to make something impactful that still looked like a normal car,” say the development team. As such, the engine remains stock, and links up with a 6-speed automatic gearbox. It seems the next step in the plan is to register the car for road use and take it to a range of events up and down Japan. We’re looking forward to seeing more.
Text: Hiroaki Miki
Photos: Nobutoshi Kaneko/Hiroaki Miki
Thanks to: The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd (Tel; 0120-667-520)
The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd