So, what makes a convertible sports car hot?

Yep, definitely the look or styling. For any new ride that’s typically the first thing you notice and even more so with a convertible sports car. That’s a given, right? Talk of a convertible without any street appeal is like living on the beach, but never getting in the water. Doable, but why bother paying the extra cash for just the view?

An OK looking convertible doesn’t do much for stirring the senses, especially when the top’s up. Not that you can actually say that about the new convertible Z. Nissan went to great lengths to make sure its roadster didn’t lose any of its appeal when it’s time to put the top up. That’s good news if you’re stuck in a region like the Midwest or East Coast where sunny days are limited. After all, Californians shouldn’t get to have all the fun when it comes driving cool cars right?

Still, the true defining element of a sports car convertible is how well it performs and handles because typically you have to give up something for “going topless.”

Nissan engineers went to great lengths to make sure that the give and take ratio on the new Z Roadster vs. the coupe model was minimum at best and that the new roadster lived up to all of the “Zness” that’s come to define the sports car.

In fact, whether or not you’re giving up anything at all if considering the roadster really boils down to a matter of personal taste.


You still get most of those performance attributes when behind the wheel of the roadster that you get with the coupe. The roadster’s body stiffness or the feeling you get in telling how solid a car is on the road has been improved 40 percent for front body torsion, 10 percent for front body lateral bending, 45 percent for rear body torsion, and 60 percent for rear body lateral bending.

The roadster also has a lighter and more rigid aluminum front suspension and is available with 14” front/13.8” rear sport brakes and improved steering response. The standard wheel and tire package are 18-inch alloys with Bridgestone Potenza tires.

My model tested featured the 19-inch RAYS lightweight forged alloys with Bridgestone Potenza tires.

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