Okay, full disclosure, there’s very little actual data involved in this [cough] ‘news’ piece. I mean, yes, Nissan might well be thinking outside an ever-narrowing automotive box with both its Brain-to-Vehicle technology and its recent showing at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, but it’s projects like the 370Zki Roadster that demonstrate the world’s sixth largest car manufacturer still has a balls ludicrous sense of humour.
Look no further than the 370Zki Roadster, which will make its global debut at this week’s Chicago Motor Show. Pronounced 370-‘Ski’ – because of course it is – the project fuses Nissan’s 332hp rear-wheel drive sports car with a set of front skis and some rear snow tracks to continue the company’s recent tradition of showcasing ‘imaginative winter vehicle concepts’ at America’s oldest motor show (first inaugurated in 1901 for all the completionists among you).
The cynic in me suggests this is a helpful platform for Nissan to remind customers its ‘Z car’, especially when rumours persist that the company is about to drop its longest running name plate – I know, shame on me – but this is far from a half-arsed bodge job.
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For starters, to make room for the in-no-way-overly-masculine DOMINATOR snow tracks at the back, the entire 3.7-litre V6 and seven-speed automatic transmission had to be pulled out, and shortly after that, a custom lift kit – specifically designed and engineered for this model – was installed to raise the entire vehicle by 3in to fit the 15in x 48in x 30in snow tracks. No surprise that the wheel wells have been heavily modified, custom spacers have been fitted to mount the snow tracks to the wheel hubs, while at the front, the suspension has been raised to allow the correct travel and movement for the 56in-long, 12in-wide skis. Odd fact, the brakes remain untouched.
With the drivetrain (sort of) back in place, all that was left was a new skid plate at the front, a custom body wrap, some yellow tinted headlights to resemble ski goggles, and, presumably, a quick chat with Universal Pictures to see how the Nissan 370Zki Roadster could be squeezed into the Fast and Furious franchise.
Right, any other questions? Shall we resume normal business? Excellent.