Nissan Bringing One-Off Vehicles to SEMA

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

This year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas is coming up fast, so you know there will be a rush of breathless PR about the rigs being hauled to the desert by manufacturers for this soirée. Nissan is getting into the game with a couple of concepts – one of which is inspired by cars used in a spec-racing series north of the border.

But we’ll start with the Project Rugged Rogue, a machine that said ‘yes’ to an entire catalog of accessories and add-ons including a 3-inch suspension lift and Yokohama Geolandar mud-terrain tires. The roof rack and front bumper guard are described as prototypes, meaning they could be closer to something resembling an eventual item in the parts department than the custom fender flares and rear spoiler. Our own Chris Teague wisely pondered the suitability of a CVT for real off-road duty, while this author will muse that a dual-exit center exhaust rudely scuppers the chance of towing anything. Still, if this is a prelude to some sort of Rogue Rock Creek trim, we’re sure they’ll sell an adequate number worth mentioning.

Oddly titled the Sentra DET Concept (translating to “dual-overhead cam, electronic fuel injection, turbo”), the compact sedan gets an injection of speed inspired by the Sentra Cup spec-racing series in Canada. A turbocharged 2.0-liter engine is under the hood, mated to a six-speed manual and breathing through a prototype stainless-steel Nismo exhaust. Its coilover suspension featuring twin-tube shocks is described as a prototype, not custom. Whilst we feel the more recent SE-R or SE-R Spec V moniker would have been appropriate, the company points out DET once appeared on historic rigs like the 180SX and Pulsar GTI-R.

Also showing up at the Nissan stand at SEMA this year will be the Frontier off-road race truck once piloted by Chris Forsberg, developed by Forsberg Racing and blasted through rigors found in the NORRA 500 marathon. If you’re keeping track at home, Chris Forsberg and Yokohama teammate, Leticia Bufoni, entered this year’s race in the stock production class and took home the first-place win in the category.

This year’s SEMA Show will be held from October 31 – November 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

[Images: Nissan]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

More by Matthew Guy

Join the conversation
  • Redapple2 Redapple2 on Oct 27, 2023

    Rogue and Pathfinder are very good looking CUVs. Sexy, flowing as opposed to HK > good looking but jarring, jagged, odd?

  • AZFelix AZFelix on Oct 27, 2023

    For a company that builds so many "off" vehicles, why bring just this one?

    • See 1 previous
    • AZFelix AZFelix on Oct 29, 2023

      "It was lobbed gently toward him and he did everything in his power to duck and make sure it didn't even brush his shoulder." 

      -author unknown

  • VoGhost Fantastic work by Honda design. When I first saw the pictures, I thought "Is that a second gen Acura NSX?"
  • V16 2025 VW GLI...or 2025 Honda Civic SI? Same target audience, similar price points. Both are rays of sun in the gray world of SUV'S.
  • FreedMike Said this before and I'll say it again: I'm not that exercised about this whole "pay for a subscription" thing, as long as the deal's reasonable. And here's how you make it reasonable: offer it a monthly charge. Let's say that adaptive headlights are a $500 option on this vehicle, and the subscription is $15 a month, or $540 over a three year lease. So you try the feature for a month, and if you like it, you keep it; if you don't, then you discontinue it, like a Netflix subscription. In any case, you didn't get charged $500 up front the feature. That's not a bad deal.In my case, let's say VW offers an over the air chip reflash that gives me another 25 hp. The total price of the upgrade is $1,000 (which is what a reflash would cost you in the aftermarket). If they offered me a one time monthly subscription for $50 to try it out, I'd take it. In other words, maybe the news isn't all bad.
  • 2ACL A good car, but - at least in this configuration -not one that should command a premium. Its qualities just aren't as enduring as those of Honda's contemporary sports cars. For better or worse, this is a formula they remain able to replicate.
  • Jalop1991 I just read that Tesla's profits are WAY down "as the electric vehicle company has faced both more EV competition from established automakers and a slowing of overall EV sales growth." This Cadillac wouldn't help Tesla at all, but the slowing market of EV sales overall means this should be a halo/boutique car. Regardless, yes, they should make it.