Awesome idea, for sure. But why, oh why?
There’s no hiding that the Nissan 370Z is in sore need of a real refresh - better yet, an all-new replacement. Enthusiasts today do tend to gravitate toward some newer alternatives, but would ironically lament the car’s demise should it be axed from the line-up, leaving the automaker (and model) in an odd position of indecision and limbo.
The car’s square footprint, big V6, and rear wheel drive make for an entertaining drive, for sure, but the world now expects a more refined experience in 2018, not to mention a car that can better serve multiple purposes.
With this in mind, the Japanese automaker needed something to give latent 370Z fans something to crowd around at the upcoming Chicago Motor Show later in February. Enter this snowmobile treatment, officially called the 370ZKI, which we assume is meant to be pronounced “370 Zed-Ski”.
They’ve even chose to build it using a Roadster instead of the Coupe, to better match the red-faced, wind-slicing-face sensation of high speed winter skiing.
The post-conversion 370Z looks like barrels of cold weather hoonage, and to achieve it Nissan have made the necessary for all-terrain use. ‘Ride height’ has been increased to accommodate the tank treads and the front axle now attaches to a pair of oversized skis to steer - it’s thoroughly baffling why they bothered to keep the brake discs, though.
Other medications are relatively minor by comparison, and relegated to being necessary for the car to not fall apart from the unusual stresses: the drivetrain mounts have been strengthened, and there’s some recalibration on the springs and dampers to better cope with the snow instead of hard roads. Yes, and its’ been given a bright orange pattern vinyl wraps.
Outside of this, the 370Z remains fairly standard, with all the standard equipment still fitted and an unchanged engine or transmission, and output measuring 245kW and 363Nm, with power reaching the rear caterpillars via 7-speed automatic.