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Wacky Nissan 370Zki makes world debut in Chicago

Nissan has unveiled a specially built, one-off Roadster 'snowmobile' – the 370Zki – at the Chicago Auto Show.

Pronounced “370-Ski” – the 332-horsepower 370Z Roadster is ready to tackle ski slopes and off-road trails alike with front skis and rear snow tracks replacing the sports car’s usual wheels and tyres.

“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, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. “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.”

Transforming the standard 370Z Roadster into the snow track-carving 370Zki presented a few challenges. Making room for the rear tracks meant removing the entire drivetrain. A custom lift kit was designed and engineered to lift the car three inches from its normal ride height. Next came the fabrication of custom mountings for the rear suspension springs and three-inch custom spacers to mount the snow tracks to the wheel hubs. The factory brakes were retained but the brake lines had to be rerouted and the exhaust system was modified to fit beneath the vehicle. The rear wheel wells were also modified to allow clearance for the four-foot-long snow tracks.

In front, the suspension was modified to accommodate the new ride height, and adaptors were made to allow the appropriate travel and rotation for the front skis – which, like the snow tracks, were also supplied by American Track Truck Inc. – and mounted with spacers to the standard wheel hubs. The engine and transmission also had to be custom-mounted and a front skid plate fabricated to prevent damage during snow excursions.

By comparison, the cosmetic part of the conversion was relatively straightforward, with a custom body wrap created and applied by Icon Image Graphics and the headlights tinted yellow to resemble ski goggles.

The Nissan 370Zki is on public display at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, which runs from 10-19.February.