Nissan has unveiled a convertible version of its 370Z Nismo sports car at the Chicago motor show.
Though it looks production ready – being essentially a hotter version of the standard 370Z Roadster – Nissan is billing the model as a concept for now, and is using it to gauge market interest for what would be the most powerful convertible in the Japanese marque's model range.
Nismo, Nissan's performance and racing division, has something of a cult following in its native Japan – and amongst fans of the Gran Turismo video game series – as it has been responsible for much of Nissan's GT racing campaigns. In recent years the brand has sought to captilise on this by introducing range-topping performance versions of the 370Z, GT-R and even the Juke crossover.
Now, though, it is aiming to appeal to open-air sports car fans. Under the bonnet of the Roadster Concept is the same naturally aspirated 339bhp 3.7-litre V6 as the tin-top 370Z Nismo. Performance figures haven't been announced, though expect them to remain relatively faithful to the 5.2-second 0-62mph time and 155mph top speed of the coupe.
The new concept also shares the same aggressive restyling as its sibling. Sitting on 19-inch 'RAYS' alloy wheels, the concept gets black and red trim detailing and aerodynamic body addenda inspired by Nissan's flagship GT-R supercar.
Inside, there's an upgraded stereo system, some additional leather trim and a pair of Recaro sports seats.
The upgrades aren't entirely cosmetic, however, and the concept gets plenty of go-faster hardware to justify its Nismo badging. Amongst the additions are larger brakes, a limited-slip differential, revised suspension and a strut brace underneath the bonnet.
"While it is only a design study at this point, we think the 370Z Nismo Roadster Concept would be a tremendous addition to the long and distinguished history of Z sports cars," said Pierre Loing, vice president of product planning for Nissan USA. "There's still nothing better than an open top and an open road ahead of you, especially when there's a Nismo badge on the bumper."
There is currently no confirmation that the 370Z Nismo Roadster will come to the UK, or indeed that it will make production. Fingers crossed, eh?