Nissan has two interesting exhibits for EV fans at this year's SEMA Show. Created in collaboration with Tommy Pike Customs (TPC) of Greenville, South Carolina, the Nissan Ariya Surfwagon concept and Nissan Sunny LEAF project are said to provide "inspiration as to how car enthusiasm can thrive in a future of electric vehicles."
Starting off with the Ariya Surfwagon show car, it combines retro styling with modern technology by reimagining the 2023 Ariya electric crossover as a beach-style surf wagon.
Complete with a wood panel-style wrap and other accessories, the Nissan Ariya Surfwagon envisions a modern-day California-style surf "woodie" wagon designed to inspire EV owners to personalize their vehicles to fit their lifestyles, according to Nissan.
Highlights include the custom vinyl wrap featuring wood paneling, chrome trim as a throwback to beach cruisers of the past, and "smoothie" 20-inch wheels with polished stainless-steel center caps and white-wall tires. The vehicle also features a custom lowered suspension and custom roof rack holding two 7-foot (2.1-meter) surfboards. Nissan says the vehicle retains all the utility and functionality of a standard 2023 Ariya.
Gallery: Nissan Ariya Surfwagon and Nissan Sunny LEAF show cars for 2022 SEMA Show
Moving on to Nissan's second EV exhibit at the 2022 SEMA Show, it's a classic 1987 Sunny pickup truck that has had a 2023 Nissan Leaf powertrain swap.
Owned by TPC owner Tommy Pike, the pickup features the electric drive motor and 40-kWh lithium-ion battery pack from a base Leaf. With 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet (319 Newton-meters) of torque, the Nissan Leaf motor gives the Nissan Sunny around twice the power and more than three times the torque of the original gasoline four-cylinder engine. Interestingly, the motor is mated to the factory-original 56A manual gearbox.
"I bought the Sunny Truck because I thought it was such a cool piece of Nissan history and heritage – especially when I saw it was a right-hand-drive model. Taking the unexpected step of converting the Sunny to electric power while wrapping it with the Brock Racing Enterprises livery felt like the perfect way to pay homage to Nissan's heritage and modern innovation."
Tommy Pike Customs owner Tommy Pike
Besides the powertrain swap, other notable mechanical modifications made to the 1987 Nissan Sunny include a Nissan 240SX S13 front suspension conversion (front coilovers, disc brakes and lower control arms), heavy-duty rear leaf springs and suspension, custom driveshaft and aluminum battery box.
As for styling tweaks, the 1987 Nissan Sunny has received a "Hakosuka" Skyline widebody kit, 17-inch Rotiform wheels shod with 205/45 R17 Toyo Extensa tires, LED lighting conversion, custom-designed and handcrafted interior with Laedana material by Tesca, and a custom user interface display designed by Clemson University ICAR.