"Images of Nissan's front wheel drive Le Mans prototype have been bouncing round the web since it aired at the Superbowl commercial break. And everyone knows how expensive that piece of advertising real estate is. Testament, that, to the importance "
Nissan 370Z Roadster: A Beauty From the Orient
With the ongoing debate here on the merits and aesthetics of Nissan’s Skyline , we couldn’t ignore the company’s latest release. Whatever you think generally of the look, feel and performance of cars from Japan, if you’ve got a sense of beauty in your body, we think you’ll have to agree that the new 370Z drop top is a stunning creation.
Due to hit Nissan showrooms in the UK in late summer this year, the car looks like a truly authentic roadster designed from the ground up rather than a chopped coupé. We loved the coupé, but thought it was a little hunkered down and possessed an overly aggressive, very macho kind of attractiveness. According to Nissan the soft-top roof was designed with an emphasis on three key areas: to provide a sleek silhouette matching the new Z’s styling with the top up or down, to offer easy single-action open-close operation, and to provide an enjoyable top-down experience with reduced wind turbulence and all-climate driver and passenger comfort.
We haven’t seen pictures with the rag top in the closed position, so we’re unable to comment. And you can read what you will into the fact that Nissan haven’t released top-up pictures at time of writing. Topless however, the shortened windshield and aerodynamically rounded rear deck enhance the car’s kinetic lines. When in the down position, the convertible top is concealed beneath a full body-colour hard cover, which extends forward to help create the Roadster’s classic “double cockpit” style interior.
Compared to the previous generation 350Z Roadster, the new Z convertible picks up 26 horsepower and 2 lb-ft of torque (332 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm and 270 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm, compared with the previous 3.5-litre V6’s 306 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm and 268 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm.
Along with its larger displacement, the 3.7-litre engine gives better power delivery all the way to the 7,500 rpm redline, improved low-end power and more high-end torque. Key to the enhanced performance is the VVEL system, which is able to optimise intake valve open/close movements, allowing the needed air to be sent promptly to the combustion chamber at the precisely optimised time. Since the VVEL system can adjust to open the valves slightly, it improves fuel efficiency by reducing camshaft friction and fuel waste. It also provides cleaner emissions by allowing for quicker warm-up of the catalyst and by stabilising combustion when the engine is cool.
The release of a roadster in the wake of a sports coupé is traditionally thought of as appealing to a feminine consumer. But retaining the burly presence of the coupé, we think the drop-top Z Car will have aficionados of the most steroid-wracked Skyline dreaming of having the wind in their hair.
Tell us what you think.
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