2022 Datsun 240Z fullscreen Fullscreen

2022 Datsun 240Z "The Lion’s Rock Commission" By MZR Roadsports

MZR Roadsports does for the Datsun 240Z what Singer does for the Porsche 911. Meet the perfect Datsun 240Z

It’s always nice when there is a company, specializing in restoring and reimagining a certain model. In this case, it’s the team from MZR Roadsports, and their choice of car is the Datsun 240Z – a Japanese icon with a global fan base. What the U.K.-based outfit is doing can best be described as a classic car with a modern twist. It’s safe to say, MZR Roadsports is for Datsun 240Z, what Singer is for Porsche 911, and this is the company’s take on what the perfect 240Z should be.

Powertrain & Performance

2022 Datsun 240Z "The Lion's Rock Commission" By MZR Roadsports Interior
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MZR Roadsports owner, Rahail Tariq, explains how the 240Zs they make have a focus on drivability. The Datsun 240Z was already ahead of its time, in the 1970s, with an almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution, rear-wheel drive, manual gearbox, and an inline-six engine with 150 horsepower. With that said, the people at MZR have achieved the almost impossible task of reimagining the classic Japanese sports car without compromising its identity.

All Datsun 240Z, built by MZR feature rebuilt engines. The company still relies on the L-series inline-six family and offers a couple of variants, ranging from a 2.8 to 3.1-liters. MZR is also working on an Evolution package, which includes a custom, 3.2-liter unit with around 340 horsepower, and later a Nissan DOHC, inline-six will also be introduced, which could be an RB-based unit. All MZR engine builds are normally-aspirated and feature independent throttle bodies.

2022 Datsun 240Z "The Lion's Rock Commission" By MZR Roadsports Exterior
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Power still goes to the rear wheels, but now there’s an upgraded, five-speed manual and a limited-slip differential. The fuel system, fuel tank, exhausts, brakes, and other aspects of the car are all bespoke. There’s also a half-cage behind the seats, for improved rigidity and safety.

Exterior

2022 Datsun 240Z "The Lion's Rock Commission" By MZR Roadsports Exterior
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MZR Roadsports is all about the small details. Looking at a base car and an MZR build side by side, you’d have to take a closer look, in order to appreciate the fine details.\ and craftsmanship. As Tariq explains, “the whole process starts with sourcing the cars for the clients. We only use west-coast, California cars, because they are the most solid base of cars to use”.

While rust is one of the main issues with a 240Z, cars that have been residing in California are much more rust-free than examples from Japan or the U.K. “Once the car goes back to bare metal, that’s when you really know, you’ve made the right decision for using a California car”.

2022 Datsun 240Z "The Lion's Rock Commission" By MZR Roadsports Exterior
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Each car is, first, restored to a very high specification, which is why Rahail explains that “using a “virgin shell” (one that hasn’t been restored prior) is much more preferable. After a lot of fabrication and body-prep steps, all of which done the “old-fashioned way” and take many hours.

MZR Roadsports recreates every original body panel from carbon fiber in order to add lightness. This also extends to the interior of the car, including the dashboard and seats. The exterior is body-colored so much of the craftsmanship is unseen. The look is finished by custom wheels and subtle decals with “240Z” inscriptions. As Rahail Tariq explains that when glancing over the car “It’s a nice-looking 240Z, nothing too brash, nothing too in your face, but the differences are there for the client to choose”

Interior

2022 Datsun 240Z "The Lion's Rock Commission" By MZR Roadsports Interior
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The interior of the MZR Roadsports Datsun 240Z is as highly-finished as the exterior, without compromising the car’s identity. To call MZR’s work resto-modding will not do it any justice, as the attention to detail goes way beyond just modernizing the classic car. The interior is an upscale version of the original.

Japanese interiors are synonymous with being plasticky and dark, and MZR hasn’t detracted from that. What the U.K.-based outfit has done is add panache and luxury. This is, essentially, a Datsun 240Z interior 2.0. Like the exterior, the interior has been completely revised, without deviating much from the original. The seats have carbon-fiber shells and are finished in Nappa leather, similar to Ferrari and Porsche cars.

Conclusion

2022 Datsun 240Z "The Lion's Rock Commission" By MZR Roadsports Exterior
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The Datsun 240Z by MZR Roadsports is still, very much, a 1970s Japanese sports car. However, it has been rejuvenated by 50 years, by the subtle incorporation of modern technology and modern engineering. Rahail Tariq explains, “you got the nostalgic essence of the 1970s, it feels like a 70s sports car, you’re wrapped in luxury, you got the hint of modern technology, as you start the car, but it’s still a Nissan…”

Its inline-six engine is still carbureted and makes all the correct classic sounds, especially with the independent throttle bodies and central dual exhaust. It’s a reimagined classic, made to be driven at any speed while retaining the lightweight characteristics of a Japanese sports car.

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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