By Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com / Photos Nissan US Media
For 2018, the Nissan 370Z Roadster once again offers an unmatched balance of dynamic performance, sculptured styling, innovative technology and exceptional value, matched with the exhilaration of pure open-air motoring.
For the new model year, the 370Z Roaster adds several significant enhancements starting with a revised exterior that includes dark headlight treatment, dark tinted rear combination lights, black-matte chrome-plated outside door handles and new blackout rear fascia.
Also new for 2018 is a revised 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheel that is designed to reduce vibration by improving wheel balance. A new cutting process improves the accuracy, allowing for a five-gram reduction in the wheel balance weight. The new split 5-spoke wheel design combines forged aluminum-alloy with black painted surfaces and bright finish accents.
The exterior design incorporates the signature Z long nose/short cockpit proportions. The distinctive headlight/taillight treatment features an aggressive boomerang shape. The headlights are a High Intensity Discharge bi-functional xenon design with auto on/off feature and integrated LED daytime running lights.
A Stylish, Easy-to-Operate Top
Core to the appeal of the 2018 370Z Roadster versus the 370Z Coupe, of course, is the exhilarating sensory experience of an advanced fully automatic convertible design. The Roadster’s power automatic latching top was designed with an emphasis on providing a sleek silhouette with the top up or down. With its easy single-action open-close operation, it provides an enjoyable top-down experience with reduced wind turbulence and all-climate driver/passenger comfort.
In the closed position, the top design imparts 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 Roadster’s classic double cockpit style interior.
The standard black 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. 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.
Inside the 370Z Roadster is an interior that 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 base 370Z Roadster features high back black woven Carbon cloth seats with 8-way manual driver’s/4-way manual passenger’s seat adjustments. The Touring and Touring Sport models include unique leather-appointed seats with 4-way power/4way manual operation on the driver’s seat. Touring and Touring Sport model seats also have integrated heating and cooling functions ideal for open air driving no matter the outside temperature.
The 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 include an initial sweep function, coming alive when the car is first started.
Standard interior comfort and convenience features include Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, 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 and an AM/FM/CD/AUX 6-speaker audio system with illuminated steering wheel-mounted controls.
The Touring and Touring Sport model features include a Bose audio system with eight speakers and MP3/WMA playback, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Streaming audio via Bluetooth, HomeLink Universal Transceiver, aluminum-trimmed pedals, synthetic suede door panel inserts, auto-dimming inside mirror and glove box damper.
For 2018, the 370Z Roadster continues to offer 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. The VVEL system can optimize intake valve open/close movements, allowing the needed air to be sent promptly to the combustion chamber at the precisely optimized time.
The 6-speed manual transmission-equipped Roadster models, driving response is further enhanced with the addition of a new EXEDY high-performance clutch. The new EXEDY L-PEC clutch was developed in part through EXEDY’s longstanding relationship with Nissan Motorsports. A new clutch is designed to feature better launching, acceleration and deceleration. By offering a large reduction in pedal force, and more control at half-clutch, drivers can concentrate more on steering and throttle operation, resulting in enhanced driving pleasure.
The standard 7-speed automatic includes Downshift Rev Matching and Adaptive Shift Control 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, while the Adaptive Shift Control is designed to adjust to the driver’s driving style.
Under the skin, the legendary 370Z driving experience has been enhanced through optimized acceleration and torque profile tuning. Without changing the engine’s internal structure or components, also the convertible top features an easy, single-action open-close operation. The 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.
Fuel economy is rated at 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway for the 2018 Nissan Roadster Touring Sport with the standard 7-speed Automatic Transmission. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price starts at $49,400.00, the one I drove included the passion red exterior premium paint ($695.00), carpeted floor mats ($130.00), cargo mat ($100.00), and it came in at $51,210.00 including destination charges (885.00).