Nissan 370Z makes tracks into Chicago
Z-roadster continues recent Nissan tradition of winter-rec modificationsJoe Duarte
Published: February 5, 2018, 10:30 PM
Updated: April 30, 2018, 6:47 PM
On the eve of the XXIII Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Nissan is again making tracks into snow-sports with its latest conversion, the 370Zki — a one-of-a-kind Z-roadster fitted with snowmobile tracks, in the tradition of the Winter Warrior SUVs (Murano, Pathfinder and Rogue).
Pronounced 370-ski, the roadster is more like a snowmobile than the previous Nissan concepts, which had tracks where wheels would normally be mounted. The 332-hp 370Zki has skis on the steerable front axle and tracks on the rear driven axle.
“The Nissan 370Zki continues our recent tradition of bringing imaginative winter vehicle concepts to the Chicago Auto Show. With the Nissan Z’s long heritage of motorsports competition, the 370Zki seemed like a natural combination,” said Michael Bunce, Nissan North America’s vice president of product planning. “Prior to its debut here in Chicago, we put the 370Zki through its paces on the slopes in Wyoming where its performance heritage really came through.”
The customization wasn’t a plug-and-play endeavour, though. In order to be mounted on the 370Z wheel hubs, the Dominator tracks required the body be lifted (by 76 mm), which meant the drivetrain had to be taken out. The rear wheel wells also had to be modified for clearance (because the tracks aren’t circular, like a wheel), the exhaust system had to be modified, and the brake lines had to be rerouted.
The front suspension also had to be lifted, to keep the body level, and adaptors used to take into account the travel and swivel of the skis (supplied by American Track Truck, the maker of the rear tracks). The powertrain had to be remounted, and a front skid plate installed to prevent underbody damage.
And it’s all wrapped up in an Icon Image Graphics body wrap, complete with yellow-tinted headlamps to mimic ski goggles.