400-Horsepower Datsun 240Z Has a Tesla Motor and Looks Like a Batmobile

Datsun Z with Tesla motor 11 photos
Photo: Larry Chen | YouTube
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CGIs usually have no chance whatsoever to become a reality. But once in a blue moon, or once in a Datsun, things change along the way. And here we are, face to face with the 400-horsepower Datsun Z powered by a Tesla motor.
How did it get there? Ask Ash Thorp, graphic designer and illustrator. He was the one who designed the Batmobile for The Batman blockbuster from 2022, starring Robert Pattinson.

After what might be the peak of his career, Thorp kept taking on challenging projects, working on them as if they were 'the one.' It is the case for this Datsun 240Z as well, for which he teamed up with Carlos Pecino, part of the automotive design company Make Haste Corp.

The two of them worked together for the very first time to get the car ready in time for this year’s SEMA. It took them six months to put their new project together. All the renders were ready after the first month of teamwork. They called it The Legacy. It is the first car that Thorp worked on and came to life after the Batmobile.

They started with the CGI, which worked like a charm, and continued with 3D printing the panels for the body and fitting them properly, keeping the right lines everywhere. Everything is made of carbon fiber.

It is, Ash Thorp says, "what a Z can be." He and Carlos kept many original design elements but with a new exaggerated approach, without entirely killing the design language of the original Datsun and keeping period-correct style cues.

A massive scoop showed up in the hood, which brings aggressiveness to the entire design, but it is pure aesthetics since no ICE breathes under there.

Gone are the stock headlights and mirrors, with the latter being replaced by cameras placed on the wings. There is a ducktail at the rear that is reminiscent of the Datsun heritage. "We were inspired by the Porsche a lot in our project," Ash admits. The model rides on BBS silver wheels with blue accents, but there are several design options for the wheels.

Gone is the stock engine as well, as the entire powertrain has been replaced by an electric one. A motor carried over from a Tesla Model S has been transplanted into the Datsun. Mounted on the rear axle, it generates 401 horsepower (406 metric horsepower). The car tips the scale at around 2,500 pounds (1,133 kilograms). So there really isn’t much of an effort for that e-motor.

If the name Ash Thorp rings a bell and it is not The Batman to blame, then you might remember him from Ken Block's HooniFox concept from the spring of 2020. Back then, when Block asked him to create the perfect livery for the Ford Mustang Hoonifox, Thorp asked: "How wild can I get?" "As wild as you want!" the stuntman replied. And wild it was.

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