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 |  Apr 07 2009, 9:38 PM

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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.”

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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

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GALLERY: 370Z Roadster additional photos

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More on the 370Z Roadster after the jump:

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 |  Mar 17 2009, 1:10 PM

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It’s barely just 2009 and already Nissan is announcing some minor tweaks to the GT-R as a 2010 model. Most notably the twin-turbo V6 gets a slight bump from 480hp to 485hp. Most importantly, however, is that the dual-clutch transmission (the fragility of which has become a running joke in many online communities) will get new program for the Transmission Control Module to increase acceleration times while improving every day drivability when the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) is switched on.

Other highlights include upgraded brake lines and brake calipers that now feature the Brembo and Nissan logos. The suspension also gets some adjustments thanks new spring and shock rates as well as a completely redesigned Bilstein shock setup.

Outside, the standard vehicle gets a slightly darker set of 20-inch RAYS forged wheels while a new “near-black” finish comes standard on the Premium model. One new color, Pearl White, will also be offered.

Safety has also been improved for 2010 with standard front seat, side impact and curtain airbags.

As we already mentioned, the 2010 GT-R will also get a slight price hike, with the standard model coming in at just over $80,000 ($80,790 to be exact) and the Premium model priced at $83,040.

It seems every time the Nissan GT-R is in the news it’s getting more expensive, however, it’s hard to complain considering it’s still a bargain.

More on the 2010 GT-R after the jump:

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