The Skyline R34 GT-R, like this incredible VSpec II Nür, and the Toyota Supra trade punches for being the go-to tuner vehicles for American enthusiasts. Blame “2 Fast 2 Furious” or the vehicles’ rarity. But there’s another car that’s finally getting the credit it deserves for being a bona fide tuner car – the Datsun 240Z.
In the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, Jay Leno, who’s not wearing the denim-on-denim outfit that we’ve come to love, has a returning guest with a badass 240Z. Dominic Le, who’s the brilliant mind behind the insane Skyline-inspired Datsun Sunny truck, returns with another high-performance vehicle.
Besides having a complete makeover consisting of wider fenders, massive tires, bronze wheels, enough sponsoring to rival a proper race car, and a few JDM touches, the largest overhaul has taken place under the 240Z’s hood. Gone is the 2.4-liter six-cylinder engine, which has been replaced with a heavily-turbocharged SR20 four-cylinder motor. The engine has been moved back eight inches for better weight distribution, essentially giving the car a front-mid-engine layout, and now makes 430 horsepower.
In addition to being nearly three times more powerful than a stock 240Z, the heavily-modified one is nearly 300 pounds lighter, as well, thanks to carbon fiber and titanium components. Needless to say, the stripped out, lightweight machine is a riot to drive. It’s loud, it’s quick, and it looks good going down the road. It’s hard to believe that Le built this in his garage.
The Skyline and Supra are amazing, immortalized Japanese vehicles. But for enthusiasts out there that are tired of waiting for Skylines to become 25 years old or can’t afford a Supra, it’s time to entertain the option of modifying a 240Z.