If your buddy asks for advice buying a winter car, what do you answer? Maybe a Jeep Wrangler? Or, for something smaller, a Subaru Impreza? Nissan has another, better solution that’s sure to turn heads the next time a blizzard whites out your town: the 370Zki, a name pronounced 370-Ski. It exists at the unlikely intersection of snowmobiles and convertible sports cars.
The 370Zki stated life as a bone-stock 370Z Roadster. It now sits on snow tracks out back and steerable skis up front. Nissan points out the conversion was more challenging than it sounds. The builders started by removing the engine and the transmission. They then added a three-inch lift kit to make space for the winter-beating hardware. Nissan also modified the suspension and the rear wheel arches for packaging reasons before installing the tracks and the skis.
Finally, the engine and the transmission went back in. It’s still the familiar 3.7-liter V6, a unit that sends 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. The steering and brake systems are stock, surprisingly, but Nissan re-routed the brake lines to clear the tracks. The automaker modified the exhaust for the same reason.
“We put the 370Zki through its paces in Wyoming, where its performance heritage really came though,” said Michael Bunch, Nissan North America’s vice president of product planning. Nissan has shown similar off-roaders in recent years, including one based on the hot-selling Rogue, but they’ve all been SUVs or crossovers. This marks the first time the Japanese brand throws a set of snow tracks on one of its sports cars. We’re secretly hoping the next step is GT-R on tracks.
Nissan will present the 370Zki to the public this week at the Chicago Auto Show. Don’t send the automaker a blank check if you think you’ve found your next winter ride, though. The 370Z on track is merely a one-off concept car built to turn heads on the auto show circuit. It’s not a preview of an upcoming production model, though you can build a replica if you have enough time, money, and dedication.
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