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Ahead of the New York International Auto Show, Nissan dropped the cover (and the top) on the roadster version of its new 370Z. Normally convertible versions of coupes aren’t all the different from their hard-top cousins, and while that is mostly true here we have to hand it to Nissan on the design of the new model – especially after the 350Z Roadster was, from a design point of view, an automotive hack job.
The new 370Z Roadster looks purposefully designed and is as elegant as the Coupe is sporty. To achieve this, Nissan designers used a shorter windshield and a new deck, which, by the way, completely covers the convertible roof when in the down position. This “tonneau” cover also incorporates the two-seater design with sculpting behind each of the seats.
The top itself is a material unit (in keeping with Nissan’s commitment to reduce the weight of the new Z cars), which raises or lowers in roughly 20 seconds. The operation is completely automated and can be done by the flick of a switch on the center console or by a button located on the door.
The soft-top also features a larger rear window (over the 350Z Roadster) for improved visibility.
“As expected, the 370Z Roadster delivers an exhilarating connetion to the air, wind and environment on top of the new Z Coupe’s exceptinal levels of performance,” said Nissan North America general manager Al Castignetti. “But perhaps unexpected for a car this sporty is its greatly enhanced refinement and quality – as seen in features such as its one-touch auto-locking convertible top and beautifully crafted interior.”
The interior comes standard with cloth seats, as well as the Nissan Intelligent Key with a push button ignition and power windows and locks, with Touring models getting power seats and “net” leather seating, with both heating and cooling functions. Touring models have three color choices for the leather seats: Gray, Black or Wine. Other Touring model features include HomeLink, Bluetooth compatability, an 8-speaker Bose audio system and aluminum pedals.
The Z Roadster comes with 18-inch factory wheels with an option to upgrade to a Sport Package that includes light weight 19-inch RAYS wheels with Bridgestone Potenza RE050A P245/40R19 front/P275/35R19 tires. This upgrade also includes the NISMO brakes with four-piston front calipers and 14-inch rotors and rear two-piston calipers with 13.8-inch rotors.
All models come with Nissan’s new 3.7-liter V6 engine with 332hp and 270 ft-lbs of torque, an increase of 26hp and 2 ft-lbs over the past Z Roadster.
“The new 370Z Roadster lives in the same sweet spot of performance, style and value that the Z Coupe does,” said Castignetti. “Open air diriving just begs for open riads and the new 370Z Convertible is the perfect companion.
The 2010 370Z Roadster will be available late this summer in six colors (Solid Red, Magnetic Black, Brilliant Silver, Platinum Graphite, Pearl White, Monterey Blue), as well as a special Black Cherry.
GALLERY: Nissan 370Z Roadster
GALLERY: 370Z Roadster additional photos
More on the 370Z Roadster after the jump: