Nissan is bringing a concept car inspired by the defunct Sentra SE-R, and featuring racing-inspired performance modifications form the automaker’s Nismo division, to the 2023 SEMA show, scheduled for Oct. 31-Nov. 3 in Las Vegas.

Called the Sentra DET, the concept is inspired by the Sentra Cup spec-racing series run in Canada (it also adds a U.S. round in 2024). By giving the Sentra a performance boost, it carries on the spirit of the SE-R model that was part of the compact car’s lineup in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The DET name is itself a retro callback. It stands for “Dual overhead cam, Electronic fuel injection, Turbo,” a moniker applied to engines used in past sporty Nissans such as the Silvia/180SX, Pulsar GTI-R, Skyline, and Stagea.

Nissan Sentra DET conceptNissan Sentra DET concept

Living up to its name, the Sentra DET has a turbocharged version of the MR20DD 2.0-liter inline-4 used in the stock Sentra. Nissan didn’t quote output, but noted a number of upgrades including new rods and pistons, a lower compression ratio of 10.5:1 (compared to the stock 11.5:1), Sentra Cup car firmware, and a prototype Nismo cat-back exhaust system.

Power is routed to the front wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential. Brake calipers and rotors are from the Nissan Z, and the suspension is firmed up with prototype a Nismo sway bar kit and coilovers, with tuning input from race driver Bryan Heitkotter. The concept rolls on 18-inch wheels with Yokohama Advan Neova AD09 tires.

The exterior remains essentially stock except for new graphics and carbon-fiber mirror caps, while the interior gets Recaro Sportster CS front seats and a Nismo urethane shift knob.

Nissan Sentra DET conceptNissan Sentra DET concept

Nissan is bringing a trio of concepts to SEMA, but the other two are focused on off-road performance. The Project Rugged Rogue adds a 3.0-inch lift kit and mud-terrain tires to Nissan’s compact crossover, which gets a refresh for the 2024 model year that marks Nissan’s adoption of Google built-in features.

Nissan will also show a Frontier off-road concept that’s slated to race in the NORRA 500 in Mexico before its appearance in Vegas. The truck was built in partnership with Forsberg Racing, which has worked with Nissan on previous SEMA builds, including an Altima drift car.

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