When it comes to understanding the success of the popular Nissan 370Z Roadster, the story is simple: seductive styling, legendary Z performance, the most refinement of any Z convertible ever offered and one other thing – an exhilarating connection to the air, wind and environment.
Its list of cutting edge technology includes the standard 332-horsepower 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL), choice of 7-speed automatic transmission or close-ratio 6-speed manual with available SynchroRev Match™ (the world’s first synchronized downshift rev matching manual transmission), refined 4-wheel independent suspension, 4-wheel vented disc brakes (with available Nissan Sport Brakes) and lightweight yet rigid body structure.
The changes to the Z Roadster for the 2011 model year are limited to the addition of RearView Monitor to the optional Navigation Package and one new exterior color, Gun Metallic.
A Truly Authentic Roadster
The 370Z Roadster’s most obvious departure from the 370Z Coupe, which serves as the foundation platform, is its convertible top. The soft-top roof was designed with an emphasis on three key areas: to provide a sleek silhouette matching the new Z’s stunning 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/passenger comfort.
With convertible top in the closed position, the design provides a sophisticated sloped-back appearance, the perfect balance between the soft top and the Z body design.
The shortened windshield and aerodynamically rounded rear deck enhance the Z®’s kinetic and dynamic character lines. When in the down position, the convertible top is concealed beneath a full body-color hard tonneau cover, which extends forward to help create the Z® Roadster’s classic “double cockpit” style interior.
The standard black (a Bordeaux color top is available with the Wine colored interior) cloth convertible top features a fabric inner liner, which provides a quality appearance and helps reduce noise intrusion into the cabin, along with a large glass rear window with an integrated electric rear window defroster. The top operation takes approximately 20 seconds and is controlled by either a center console-mounted switch or by a button located on the doors (top lowering only). The automatic latch system secures the top to – or releases it from – the windshield header without driver intervention. The shape and position of the glass wind deflector, located between the fixed headrest bars, has been optimized to reduce turbulence into the cabin.
Like the 370Z Coupe, the Z® Roadster’s exterior is more aggressive in appearance and lighter and tighter in structure than the previous generation. The Z® Roadster features an aluminum hood, door panels and trunk for reduced weight. It includes additional structural reinforcement (over the 370Z Coupe), including in the A-pillars and side sills.
The Z Roadster’s exterior design incorporates the look and feel of the Z Coupe, including its signature long nose/short cockpit proportions, vertical door handles and distinctive headlight/taillight treatment, which features a fierce “boomerang” shape. High Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-functional xenon headlights with auto on/off feature are standard.
The 2011 370Z Roadster is offered in seven exterior colors: Solid Red, Magnetic Black, Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic, Pearl White, Monterey Blue and Black Cherry.
Inside the stunning exterior, true to its sports car heritage, the Z Roadster’s interior is completely driver-centric, with its three-layer design grouping items by how a driver sees information, operates the controls and is held in place – so drivers feel completely connected and engaged whenever and wherever they drive, top up or down.
The Z Roadster features high back black woven “Carbon” cloth seats with 8-way manual driver’s/4-way manual passenger’s seat adjustments. Touring models include unique leather-appointed seats with 4-way power/4-way manual operation on the driver’s seat (4-way power on the passenger’s seat). These seats are exclusive to the Z? Roadster and have integrated heating and cooling functions – ideal for open air driving no matter what the outside temperature. Adjustable front seat Active Head Restraints are also standard.
The Z Roadster’s 2-seat layout includes a deeply scooped instrument panel with a full-length center console separating the driver and passenger’s seat. The instrument panel retains the traditional Z 3-pod cluster with oil temperature, voltmeter and clock, while the speedometer and tachometer now include an “initial sweep” function, coming alive when the car is first started.
The sporty steering wheel is a new “oval” 3-spoke design, which offers baseball-style stitching, improved thumb grips and palm rest areas for improved feel on long drives. The surface of the leather-wrapped wheel is “shaved” to provide a more kidney-like shape to better fit in the hand. The manual transmission shifter is specially padded to improve the accuracy of diagonal shifts and to feel softer in the hand for forward and backward motions.
Standard interior comfort and convenience features include Nissan Intelligent Key™ with Push Button Ignition, power windows with one-touch auto up/down feature, power door locks with auto-lock feature and a center console box with a non-intrusive cover design.
Other features include automatic climate control, two 12-volt power outlets, three cupholders (two in door panels, one in center console) and an AM/FM/CD/AUX 4-speaker audio system with illuminated steering wheel-mounted controls.
The Touring model adds a 6CD Bose audio system with eight speakers (includes dual subwoofer) and MP3/WMA playback, XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately), Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver and aluminum-trimmed pedals.
The optional Navigation Package includes the touch-screen Nissan Hard Drive Navigation System with XM NavTraffic® Real-Time Traffic Information and NavWeather® (XM® subscription required, sold separately), 9.3GB Music Box® hard drive for digital music storage and playback and USB connectivity that is iPod® compatible. The navigation system offers a number of enhancements (versus previous Nissan Navigation System designs), including four times higher screen resolution, Bluetooth® Streaming Audio, on-board Zagat Survey® restaurant ratings database, an in-dash DVD player and XM NavWeather® weather information display (XM® subscription required, sold separately).
The 370Z Roadster interior is available in Black cloth or for 370Z Touring Roadster models, a choice of Gray, Black or Wine leather-appointed A/C and heated ventilated seats.
Open Air, Open Roads – An Unbeatable Combination
Again in 2011, the 370Z Roadster features one of the most advanced drivetrains available for affordable sports cars today. The long list of cutting edge performance-focused technologies includes a standard 332-horsepower 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL), choice of 7-speed automatic transmission or close-ratio 6-speed manual with available “SynchroRev Match” (the world’s first synchronized downshift rev matching manual transmission), refined 4-wheel independent suspension and 4-wheel vented disc brakes (with available Nissan Sport Brakes).
The VVEL system is able to optimize intake valve open/close movements, allowing the needed air to be sent promptly to the combustion chamber at the precisely optimized 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 stabilizing combustion when the engine is cool.
The 2011 Z Roadster is offered with a choice of two advanced transmissions – a close-ratio 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic. The 6-speed manual is available with SynchroRev Match™ (included in the optional Sport Package), which allows drivers of any skill level to experience professional-like gear shift performance. The SynchroRev Match™ function automatically controls and adjusts engine speed when shifting to the speed of the next gear position, essentially “blipping” the throttle to smooth out up/down shifts. This not only allows the driver to focus more on braking and steering, it improves the smoothness of gear shifts by reducing the typical “shock” when the clutch is engaged. The system can be deactivated with a button next to the shifter for drivers who prefer to shift on their own.
The available 7-speed automatic includes Downshift Rev Matching (DRM) and Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) and is designed to offer quick, manual-like shifting when operated in manual mode. Drivers can use the standard paddle shifters or the shift lever. The 7-speed’s wide gear ratios offer improved fuel efficiency (versus a 5-speed automatic), while the Adaptive Shift Control is designed to adjust to the driver’s driving style.
Estimated fuel economy for the 2011 370Z Roadster is 18 mpg City/25 mpg Highway for both the 7-speed automatic and 6-speed manual transmissions.
The Z® Roadster also utilizes the Z Coupe’s advanced 4-wheel independent suspension. The double-wishbone front suspension uses lightweight forged aluminum arms and a lightweight rigid aluminum-alloy cradle, along with a hollow construction stabilizer bar. The 4-link rear suspension integrates the rear cradle into a single part. “High response” shock absorbers are utilized on each corner for enhanced ride comfort.
The standard 370Z Roadster wheel and tire package features 18×8.0-inch front/18×9.0-inch lightweight aluminum-alloy wheels with P225/50R18 front/P245/45R18 rear Bridgestone Potenza RE050A summer tires.
Available as part of the optional Sport Package are 19-inch RAYS forged lightweight aluminum-alloy wheels with Bridgestone Potenza RE050A P245/40R19 front/P275/35R19 tires.
The Z®’s standard 4-wheel vented disc brake system includes Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). The optional Sport Package includes Nissan Sport Brakes with large diameter 14.0-inch front and 13.8-inch rear rotors (versus 12.6-inch front/rear standard rotors) with 4-piston front and 2-piston rear aluminum calipers.
Steering is provided by a vehicle-speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion design. Unwanted steering kickback and vibrations are reduced with the addition of a solenoid valve that acts like a damper when there is a harsh impact load. A Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system is standard.
The Nissan 370Z Roadster’s list of standard safety features includes the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt sensors and occupant classification sensor; front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags; door-mounted curtain air bags; and seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters.
Other standard equipment includes Active Head Restraints, Zone Body Construction with front and rear crumple zones, Nissan Vehicle Immobilizer System, Vehicle Security System and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
Two Well-Equipped Models
The 2011 Z® Roadster is offered in two well-equipped models – 370Z Roadster and the 370Z Touring Roadster. The Touring model includes the heated and cooling leather-appointed power seats, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, 8-speaker Bose® audio system, XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately) and aluminum-trimmed pedals.
Two option packages are offered with the Touring model: the Sport Package, with 19-inch RAYS forged wheels and Bridgestone Potenza tires, Nissan Sport Brakes, SynchroRev Match (6-speed manual transmission only) and Viscous Limited Slip Differential; and the Navigation Package, with Hard Drive-based Nissan Navigation System, 9.3GB Music Box Hard Drive, new RearView Monitor and USB connectivity. A spare tire is optionally available with both models.