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Old 02-27-2010, 03:03 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default 2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster First Drive




Quote:
BEFORE THE CURRENT 370Z Coupe's great-grandfather, the 240Z, rocked the sportscar establishment, there existed another sporty Nissan.

Called the Fairlady 2000 in its homeland of Japan and sold elsewhere as the Datsun Sports 2000, the pint-sized sportscar was available only as a roadster and was released with the aim of beating the established European marques in the budget sports segment.

Its low price, excellent performance and outstanding reliability saw it gain popularity in the USA and Australia, and it laid the groundwork for the affordable sportscar revolution that would be launched with the 240Z in 1969.




It was also the direct predecessor of the Z-car line, but since the Z arrived on the scene in the late 1960s there hasn't been a convertible Z that appeals on all fronts - beauty, performance and driving experience.

The all-new 370Z Roadster aims to change all that. New levels of comfort and refinement elevate it over the outgoing 350Z Roadster, and improved performance from its 3.7 litre V6, capable RWD drivetrain and stiffened chassis means it's definitely no hairdresser's car.

Like its Datsun-badged ancestor, the new Roadster once again has the Europeans squarely in its sights. However rather than MGs and Triumphs, this time it's the Audi TT, BMW 135i convertible and BMW Z4 sDrive35i that Nissan is targeting.


Styling
The 370Z Roadster adopts the look and feel of the 370Z Coupe, maintaining the long nose and short cockpit proportions of the 350Z, right back to the original 240Z.
From the front bumper to the trailingg edge of the doors, the 370Z roadster's sheetmetal is identical to the Coupe. The new rear panels have a sharper and sportier edge than the 'heavy' rear proportions of the previous 350Z Roadster, Nissan's designers managing to retain much of the 370Z Coupe's flowing lines.





The 370Z Roadster features a shorter windscreen than the Coupe (a styling and aerodynamic element common to most convertibles).

While the long and flat rear deck changes the Roadster's silhouette, the cleverly-designed rump ensures that the muscular, purposeful design remains true to the 370Z's mission.





Interior


Inside, the 370Z Roadster is almost identical to its hardtop sibling.

Seats are trimmed in black leather, the driver’s seat getting four-way power/four-way manual adjustment while the passenger seat has four-way power adjustment.





The knee pads on either side of the centre stack are trimmed in suede rather than the coupe's leather and a button for the roof mechanism has been added to the centre console, but all else remains largely unchanged. Even the small shelves and cubby holes behind the seats are still there, with no intrusion by the roof mechanism into cabin space..

For a more detailed rundown of the 370Z's interior, check out our review of the 2009 Nissan 370Z.


Equipment and Features

The main feature of the 370Z Roadster, of course, is its roof. Lowering or raising the roof is completed in just 20 seconds, controlled inside by a centre console-mounted switch, and from the outside by a button on the door handles. The inside trim of the roof - which now gets a fabric lining - features a seal that conceals the roof spars from view, while also providing greater noise insulation.

Behind the occupants, the canvas roof features an enlarged glass rear window with an integrated electric rear window heater.





The shape and position of the glass wind deflector, located between the fixed headrest bars, has been optimised to prevent turbulence reaching the cabin.

Designed side-by-side with the Coupe, Nissan says the loss of the hardtop roof has barely affected 370Z Roadster's dynamics. There is additional structural reinforcement in the A-pillars and side sills, along with reinforced doors and boot openings. The rear chassis cross-member has also been strengthened.

As with the Coupe, safety features include Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is standard, but can be partially disabled via a dash-mounted button.





Nissan dual-stage supplemental front air-bags figure among the standard safety features, including front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air-bags, new door-mounted curtain air-bags, and seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters.

Mechanical Package

The 370Z Roadster's mechanical package is, according to Nissan, identical to the hardtop's setup.

Power is provided by Nissan's VQ37VHR 3.7 litre V6 petrol engine developing a healthy 245kW and 363Nm of torque. Equipped with Nissan's VVEL variable valve lift system, Nissan has been able to improve throttle response and power output, while also improving fuel economy.




Fuel economy for the 370Z Roadster is 10.9L/100km on highway for the seven-speed automatic and 11.2L/100km for the six-speed manual transmission. By comparison, the hardtop uses 10.4 l/100km with the automatic, and 10.5 l/km with the manual.

The manual transmission comes standard with Nissan's SynchroRev Match system, which automatically matches engine RPM to whichever gear the driver is about to select. Whether it be an upshift or a downshift, engine revs are matched perfectly with the car's road speed, and the system eliminates the need to heel-toe on downshifts. Of course, the system can be disabled for drivers who prefer to blip their own throttle.

The seven-speed automatic also rev-matches on downchanges, and is equipped with a pair of steering column-mounted shift paddles. A plus-minus plane on the shifter itself also enables manual selection of ratios, however the pull-to-downshift, push-to-upshift layout is not our preference for a performance car.

Power is taken to the rear wheels via a carbon-fibre driveshaft and a viscous limited-slip differential.



Transmissions, brakes and suspension are identical to the 370Z coupe. That means the Roadster rides on a double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension, and big Akebono brake calipers (four piston front, two piston rear) clamp down on 355mm ventilated rotors at the front and 350mm ventilated rotors at the rear.

To Nissan's credit, weight distribution is also identical across the two models - 53/47 front to rear. The new 370Z Roadster is 25kg lighter than the 350Z Roadster it replaces and only 55kg heavier than the 370Z Coupe automatic (manual 60kg heavier).

The 370Z Roadster does have one advantage over the current Coupe. While buyers might have been disappointed that the 19-inch Rays aluminium-alloy wheels were not available with the 370Z Coupe when it launched last year, the Roadster is fitted with them as standard. An increase in wheel width (fronts are 9 inches wide, the rear wheels are 10 inches wide) enables wider rubber to be mounted onto the rims too, with Bridgestone Potenza RE050A 245/40/R19 tyres on the front and 275/35R19 tyres on the rear.




The Drive


The location for the 370Z Roadster's launch was New Zealand's picturesque South island, home to some of the most dramatic scenery and outstanding driving roads on the planet. Our route took us from the lakeside village of Queenstown to Wanaka, via a circuitous path that wound its way through valleys, up hills and across plains.

Road surfaces varied wildly in quality, and a pleasing mix of high-speed straights and tight, sinuous mountain roads enabled the breadth of the 370Z Roadster's athletic talents to be tested. We were deeply impressed with the 370Z Coupe's performance when we sampled it last year, and it was interesting to note that despite the removal of its roof the Roadster is every bit as fun as the Coupe - perhaps even more so.

Sitting still with the roof raised, the Roadster's cockpit feels very familiar. A low roofline and poor rearward visibility are attributes shared with its hard-topped brother, and the high beltline and short windows give the sensation that you're peering out from a postbox.



http://www.themotorreport.com.au/498...ad-test-review
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:04 AM   #2
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Default

Quote:
The seats are grippy and deeply bolstered, but the fat-rimmed steering wheel still doesn't adjust for reach. The automatic gearshift surround looks cheap, but at least the nicely-finished metal paddle shifters are located at an ideal distance from your fingertips.


Drop the roof (a noisy affair with much whirring and clunking), and the Roadster takes on a new persona. With the fabric hood no longer above you, rearward vision improves immensely (over-the shoulder vision was never the Coupe's forte) and the cabin no longer feels quite so claustrophobic.


It also makes it easier to hear that wonderful VQ37VHR engine. With the roof up, the engine note is muted and drowned out by tyre and wind noise, however with the roof down and at speeds up to 90km/h, the VQ's note is more clearly heard.


Wind noise takes over from 90km/h onward, but hearing the noise of the Roadster's sonorous V6 bouncing off canyon walls is an experience in itself. The engine sounds beautifully throaty under load, and the throttle blips executed by either auto or manual transmissions more than compensate for the engine note's metallic thrashiness at high-rpm.






With the roof down, wind starts to find its way into the cabin around 70km/h. Conversation can still be carried out at speeds up to 100km/h, but from 120km/h onwards you'll need to shout to be heard.


Tip it into a corner, and the Roadster behaves almost exactly like the Coupe. Overall weight may be up 60kg, but with weight distribution remaining unchanged the Roadster's dynamics are almost equal with those of the tin-top. The larger 19-inch alloys don't seem to have an adverse affect on performance, either. Although the wheels are larger, their forged construction means the combined wheel-tyre assembly weighs about the same as the old 18-inch wheel package - and there's now a larger contact patch to exploit, too.






There's loads of grip at the driver's disposal, and it makes a big difference. Where the Coupes we tested last year were eager to rotate and somewhat twitchy at the limit, the bigger, staggered-size wheels and wider tyres of the Roadster means the Z is more controllable and able to be hustled through corners faster.


With smaller tyres now on the front wheels it's keener to understeer than before, but getting the tail out is still no hard task thanks to the Z's torquey V6.


You can still feel a little flex in the chassis when going over offset bumps, but for the most part the 370Z Roadster is a very solid convertible. There's little in the way of scuttle shake, and with the roof raised there's no creaking whatsoever.








With the roof up, though, road noise from the big tyres dominates with wind noise quickly taking over around 80km/h. The solution? Drop the roof whenever you can.
Pricing And Availability

The 370Z Roadster with six-speed manual gearbox and SynchroRev Match bears a Manufacturer’s List Price of $74,990, while the seven-speed automatic with Downshift Rev Matching is priced at $77,990 (plus dealer delivery and statutory charges)
111111
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:55 AM   #3
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The Z is still one of the sexiest cars around, but my god, when the top is up...Ack!

The best looking soft-top when the roof is up is the 911. This car is in desperate need of that, or a hard-top...

Thanks for the post.
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:48 AM   #4
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Wait... $75,000?!?! Am I missing something?
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:01 AM   #5
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pounds maybe?
everytghing else was in "standardized" format
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:17 AM   #6
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the report is from the Land Down Under (high MSRP)
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:43 AM   #7
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that does not look good at all in my opinion..especially for what it will probably cost
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:22 AM   #8
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Sweet jeebus, cars have become so heavy. The 370Z was the one that was supposed to shed pounds from its predecessor, the 350Z, no? Yet the 370Z roadster's curb weights are anywhere from 3426 to 3489 lbs depending on trim:

http://www.nissanusa.com/zroadster/specifications.html

/me would rather have a MX-5/Miata, go slower, but enjoy the drive more.
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:39 AM   #9
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Some bargains on this car at Ebay. Lists for about $38k nicely equipped.
here's one for $36,700
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...K%3AMEWAX%3AIT
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:41 AM   #10
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The Z roadster feels just like the coupe. Personally I don't want to hear all the road noise and wind when I drive.
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:33 PM   #11
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I can't put my finger on it but I find these cars ugly from the rear end. They remind me of a skinny waisted girl that bulges out to a huge ass.
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Old 02-27-2010, 05:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyD View Post
I can't put my finger on it but I find these cars ugly from the rear end. They remind me of a skinny waisted girl that bulges out to a huge ass.
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:17 PM   #13
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^I'd still do bad things to both woman and car, given the opportunity............
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSubaab View Post
^I'd still do bad things to both woman and car, given the opportunity............
x2
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Old 02-28-2010, 02:36 PM   #15
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Didnt like the last roadster and dont like this one
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Old 02-28-2010, 03:26 PM   #16
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i hated the 350 roadster, but this ones body looks a lot better in roadster form.
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Old 02-28-2010, 03:41 PM   #17
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i thought they would ruin it it looks pretty slick
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:05 PM   #18
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Meh. I'd take an '09+ MX-5 roadster instead...
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:58 AM   #19
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Is it the standard or the sport that is having the braking issues?
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:25 PM   #20
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I would say that the rear does look out of proportion. Where did they get this bubble design to be sportier than the "heavy" proportions look of the 350's rear? Maybe "gynormously heavy" look is much more sporty?.

Not bad looking but that rear is big.

Peace,

Greg

Last edited by b4wantab; 03-01-2010 at 12:25 PM. Reason: spell>me
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