What Is It?
Although the new Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster is technically a concept car, we don’t see it that way. Instead, we think it’s a thinly veiled preview of the upcoming NISMO 370Z Roadster production car, which will fall neatly into the 370Z lineup next to the already-available 370Z NISMO Coupe.
Compared to the standard 370Z Roadster, exterior changes to the 370Z NISMO Roadster are thorough. They aren’t exactly surprising, though, since we’ve seen this look before on the coupe. In other words, it offers larger wheels, a carbon-fiber rear wing, altered front and rear fascias, and a sporty bodykit that gives the whole car a lower visual appearance.
The NISMO 370Z Roadster also adds several crucial upgrades inside the cabin, including red accent stitching, an Alcantara steering wheel, suede seat inserts and a bright-red NISMO tachometer. Like the NISMO 370Z Coupe, power comes from a 350-horsepower 3.7-liter V6, which offers 18 more horses than the standard 370Z. Other mechanical upgrades include improved suspension and a limited-slip differential for enhanced cornering. And while the concept car has an automatic transmission, we suspect that the production model will let drivers choose between a manual or an automatic.
Although Nissan has not yet announced pricing, the 370Z Roadster typically carries a substantial premium over the coupe. In this case, that could mean as much as $5,000 more, which suggests a base price of around $48,000 with shipping.
When Can You Get It?
Right now, Nissan is calling the 370Z NISMO Roadster a concept car, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see it offered by dealers later this year or in early 2016.
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
Consider this the ultimate iteration of the Nissan 370Z. Not only does the NISMO 370Z offer sport suspension, improved engine power and a series of cosmetic changes over the standard model, but now you can get all of that with a removable roof. It’s the best of all worlds, and that’ll make it an alluring choice for die-hard Z-car fans as the 370Z nears the end of its life cycle.
Other Cars to Consider
2015 Infiniti Q60 — Consider the Q60 to be a grown-up, luxury version of the 370Z with four seats. While there’s no NISMO version of the Q60 (formerly called the G37 Coupe), it does offer a handsome convertible with a neat retractable roof.
2015 Nissan 370Z NISMO Coupe — If you don’t want to wait for the high-performance NISMO 370Z Roadster, or if you don’t want to pay the premium for its convertible top, consider a NISMO Coupe. It’s already on sale, and prices start from around $43,000 with shipping.
Used Chevrolet Corvette — If you’re looking for a convertible with a lot of power, few models offer those traits quite like the Chevy Corvette. Featuring rear-wheel drive and a standard V8, the ‘Vette is more expensive than the 370Z NISMO, so you may want to look for a used model.
Used Nissan GT-R — Drivers interested in the ultimate high-performance Nissan should look no further than the GT-R. Although it’s not offered as a convertible and prices are steep, used models are beginning to lose value, and that might make them a good buy for performance-obsessed car enthusiasts.