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Nissan 350Z Roadster

Broadcast dates : 5th June 2005
11th June 2005


The cabriolet, or roadster version of the Nissan 350Z serves to enhance the purity of line inherent in this sporting Nissan. Itís a very masculine sportster, with hard edges, bold detailing and no hint of boulevard-cruiser daintiness. This remains a no-compromise machine.

Nissan opted for a classic fabric hood for the convertible, with electric operation. It takes just 20 seconds to open or close, and there are no levers or hooks to deal with Ė everything is automatic.

Performance is strong. The 206 kilowatt V6 engine wails wonderfully at high revs, and is coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox with rear wheel drive.

Suspension is on the firm side, and thereís continuous dialogue between car and driver.

Nissan officially call this cabriolet the Roadster, which is yet another term for convertible. Perhaps "Road-burner" would have been more appropriate.
The six-speed Ďbox also enables relaxed motorway cruising at reasonably low revs.

A wind deflector behind the seats reduces vortex buffeting with the top down, and built-in roll-over bars in the seat backs add a measure of security.

And the 350Z Roadster is capable of REAL speed. 0-100 is claimed at 6,2 seconds, just a tad slower than the coupe, as the cabriolet is 110 kilograms heavier. Top speed is limited to 250.

The interior is no-nonsense sporty, but some of the switchgear looks a little plasticky compared to German offerings in this pricey market.

The standard Roadster costs R425 000, while for an extra three grand you can order ventilated seats.

The beauty of the cabriolet version is that itís lost none of the sports-car essence thatís made the closed-top 350Z South Africaís favourite sports car.

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