Nissan Motorsports and MA Motorsports create a one-off Project Clubsport 23 rolling parts development platform; combines the latest technology with Z® heritage aesthetics
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – At first look, the Nissan Motorsports Project Clubsport 23 project car would not seem out of place in the parking lot of any weekend gathering of Datsun and Nissan Z® car enthusiasts. However, take a closer look at the Project Clubsport 23, and you'll discover an amazing amalgamation of OEM, aftermarket and bespoke fabricated parts that may appear someday alone or packaged together at Nissan dealership parts departments.
Nissan Project Clubsport 23
In the search for an ideal, dedicated track only vehicle, the Project Clubsport 23 borrows generously from many of the most respected suppliers of performance parts that are tested and developed in Motorsports. What is shown at the 2018 SEMA Show might be significantly different months from now as parts for the vehicle are continuously developed.
The ultimate goal was to create a vehicle that owners could duplicate themselves using Nissan Motorsports or aftermarket parts. First and foremost, the Project Clubsport 23 is an ongoing parts development platform.
Not available for purchase. Yet.
In building Project Clubsport 23 project, the Nissan Motorsports and MA Motorsports team started just like any Z® enthusiast would – finding a donor body and engine. In this case, the project started with a 2012 Nissan 370Z NISMO. The original 350-horsepower 3.7-liter VQ37VHR engine was replaced by a factory 3.0-liter VR30DDTT twin-turbo V6 rated at 400hp.
To fully engage sports car enthusiasts, it was decided to keep the 370Z NISMO's 6-speed manual transmission. This was a challenge due to the fact a VR30DDTT has never been coupled to a manual transmission. MA Motorsports managed to develop a clutch disc, cover and flywheel assembly to complete the transition all the way back to the NISMO GT LSD Pro-Carbon 2-way differential, which is cooled by an MA Motorsports Differential Cooler. Much time was spent to ensure the VR30DDTT engine properly communicated with the manual transmission.
The refinements continued, starting with an AMS Performance Cold Air Intake kit and Z1 Motorsports blow-off valves. MA Motorsports fabricated a bespoke dual exhaust system measuring 76 mm in diameter to ensure there was no disruption in airflow from the VR30DDTT engine. The exhaust exits through the rear license plate body panel, which gives the Project Clubsport 23 a unique, motorsports look and feel. To help keep the VR30DDTT powerplant running cool, the factory cooling and steering systems were upgraded with an AMS Performance heat exchanger, MA Motorsports power steering cooler and Z1 Motorsports radiator and intercooler silicone coolant hoses.
The braking system was upgraded using soon-to-be released NISMO HC Street/Track brake pads, Z1Motorsports 2-piece slotted rotors and NISMO stainless steel brake lines. The suspension modifications included a combination of newly released NISMO front and rear suspension components, NISMO 3-piece body brace set, KW Variant 3 coil-over shock kit and Eibach rear springs.
Topping off the project's go-fast parts are NISMO-branded RAYS cast aluminum-alloy 18x10.5-inch wheels and Hankook RS4 285/35R18 high performance tires. The wheels utilize the latest in RAYS "flow-forming" technology for high quality, strength, durability and affordability. They are expected to be available through Nissan dealerships at a future date.
Depending on interest levels, Nissan Motorsports may offer a "builder's kit" that consists of hard parts and electrical components to assist customers with building their own ultimate track Z® car.
The inside and outside story
Like the drivetrain, the Project Clubsport 23 body and interior reflect combinations of parts from trusted parts sources and custom fabrication. Dominating the interior are the new-for-2018 Sparco QRT-R competition seats, Sparco 6-point competition harnesses and Sparco R383 steering wheel with Bell Works Rapfix hub. Also featured is a Cabin and Engine Bay fire suppression system, along with a custom welded-in roll cage. The custom upholstery was stitched in a diamond pattern by MA Motorsports, offering a contemporary throwback to the diamond pattern vinyl used in the original 240Z
Finally, the once-stock 370Z NISMO body features a pairing of factory NISMO panels with an APR honeycomb carbon fiber splitter/MA Motorsports air dam, a modified rear bumper to allow better air flow/cooling, JDM rear fog light, Selbon TS-style carbon fiber hood with Aerocatch hood pins and NISMO carbon fiber mirror covers and pillar garnishes.
Finishing off the project is a custom Gloss Burnt Orange body wrap by Speedesign Custom Graphics – giving the Project Clubsport 23 a final glow for its SEMA Show debut.
**many thanks to Nissan for the text and images**