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font class="NavigationPath"> TopsandSeats.com :: Automotive News

Automotive News

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nissan 370z Convertible

Nissan has enjoyed a great deal of success with its 350z sports car, which was recently discontinued to make way for the new and improved version, the 370z.

The 370z is likely to be even more popular than the 350z, thanks to the introduction and expansion of the range, which will now include a soft top.

The 370z Convertible Roadster will hit the USA first this summer and is likely to be released in the UK just a few months after.

370z enthusiasts need not worry that the 370z Convertible will not be on par with the 370z Coupe, as Nissan has confirmed that the mechanics of the two vehicles are almost identical.

This means that drivers will be able to experience the power and driving experience of the 370z Coupe, with the added advantage of being able to convert it to topless within 20 seconds, via the press of a button.

The range is likely to replicate the Coupe line up, which of course includes two different trim levels, GT and Ultimate, which are available as optional packages on top of the standard model.

While prices have not yet been confirmed by Nissan, it is likely that the added engineering fitted to the Convertible to enable a drop top is going to set back the consumer somewhere in the region of £2,000 extra.

SOURCE : http://www.motordaily.co.uk/20090420-nissan-370z-convertible/

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Nissan Roadster makes debut

The 2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster made its global debut at the New York Auto Show, revealing its striking styling and classic open-air sports car driving excitement.

The dramatic new stablemate to the 2009 Nissan 370Z Coupe, the Z Roadster offers everything the hardtop Z Coupe does, performance, style and value, with the added exhilaration of being at one with the open air.

The Z Roadster shares its engine, transmissions, suspension, platform and most major components with the popular and exceptionally well-reviewed Z Coupe.

The cutting-edge technology includes the standard 332 hp 3.7-litre DOHC V6 engine and choice of seven-speed automatic transmission or close-ratio six-speed manual with available SynchroRev Match (the world's first synchronized downshift rev matching manual transmission).

"The 370Z Roadster delivers the same exceptional performance offered in the Coupe and more refinement than any other Z convertible that has come before," said Jeff Parent, vice-president of sales and marketing, Nissan Canada Inc.

"Features such as its one-touch, auto-locking convertible top and beautifully crafted interior might be unexpected in a car this sporty."

The soft-top roof design provides a sleek silhouette matching the new Z's stunning styling, top up or down and the ease of a single-action open-close operation.

Its design ensures an enjoyable top-down experience with reduced wind turbulence and all-climate driver and passenger comfort.

The Z Roadster is expected in Canadian Nissan dealerships in late summer.

SOURCE : http://www.bclocalnews.com/bc_thompson_nicola/kamloopsthisweek/lifestyles/42993092.html

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Monday, April 20, 2009

New 2010 BMW Z4 Convertible Hardtop

Several years ago over dinner, I had the opportunity to quiz Chris Bangle, the controversial American chief designer at BMW. The fact that a German automobile company would have an American Chief Designer is a rarity to begin with. I asked him pointed questions and he always was able to succinctly explain the rationale for why the company does what it does. This is a German company full of engineers so ultimately it all has to make some sort of logical sense. Though not always readily apparent on the surface, I've come to respect the thought and design that goes into BMW automobiles.

The new Z4 is a large evolutionary step forward for this model. At the initial press launch years ago we were able to see beneath the paint and skin of the vehicle and examine what the car was really all about. It was very impressive. While the manufacturers of some two seat roadsters haven't designed safety into their cars, have no roll bars at all or have cosmetic one that are not attached to any structural part of the car, on the Z4, the safety cage is the core of the vehicle. The car is designed to do very well and to protect the occupants in the case of a collision. The materials used in the Z4 are top quality. The fit and finish is superb. The solidity of the body structure is impressive. The way the car drives and handles is exemplary. Regardless of which engine/transmission combination that you might choose, it's a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

The 2010 model uses the same foundation and delivers an exciting new car. The styling on the Z4 has evolved and the 2010 model has styling cues resembling the 6 Series. Whereas the previous model had distinctive styling that was polarizing, the new design is more mainstream and gets high marks from everyone I talk to. The vehicle has more presence and appears more elegant and pricey…which is good because it is.

The big news is the two piece folding hardtop. The two previous models, the roadster and the coupe are now effectively combined into one car. With the push of a button, the two piece metal top folds into the trunk are in a mere 20 seconds. This elegant solution is stunning with the top down in roadster mode and also very stylish with the top up. The coupe top of the new model is more elegant compared with the hatchback design of the previous generation. Because of the shape of the top, the windows are larger allowing a more open feel and better visibility. The trunk has a tray that must be in place to retract the top. In roaster mode the folded top consumes about half of the vehicle's trunk space. The beauty of the car is that it is now an all-weather vehicle. It increases the geography of potential buyers. The Z4 with top up can now easily handle winter weather and exploit snippets of summer sunshine when the opportunity presents itself.

The current power train options of the Z4 are exciting. There are two models available each built about the engine selection. The sDrive30i is a 3 liter straight 6 with 258 horsepower and 228 ft lbs of torque. This powerful engine will motor the car from 0 to 60 mph in only 5.5 seconds. The sDrive35i model has a twin turbo 3 liter inline 6 that produces 306 horsepower and 295 ft lbs of torque and will sprint to 60 in 5.0 seconds or less! This time there are 3 transmission choices. The traditional 6 speed manual is there plus a 6 speed automatic and a double clutch shift-assisted 7 speed transmission. This is a modernized replacement for the SMG.

BMW's iDrive is available in the car in a modernized and simplified form along with navigation and a larger 8.8 inch display screen. The 80 gigabyte hard drive will store about 5,000 mp3 songs onboard! The 650 watt audio system is a suitable device to play all those songs.

The past Z4 was good but the new 2010 model is a significant step forward. It offers more style, more utility, more versatility and definitely more fun.

SOURCE : http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/2009/apr/20/new-2010-bmw-z4-convertible-hardtop/

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Boston Car Shoppers Invited to Launch of MINI Cooper Convertible

MINI of Peabody in Massachusetts is the first to premier the 2009 MINI Cooper convertible at their Patriot's Day BBQ event.

MINI of Peabody invites Massachusetts residents to celebrate the launch of the MINI Cooper convertible with a Patriot's Day BBQ event at their official MINI Cooper dealership.

The launch of the MINI Cooper convertible will take place Sunday, April 19th from 11am-2pm at MINI of Peabody' BBQ event. The event is open to the public and will feature music provided by 93.7 Mike FM, a full grill of good, and door prizes. Of course, the main attraction of the event will be the unveiling of the new 2009 MINI Cooper convertible.

The new convertible, described by the NYTimes.com as a 'four-seat funmobile', is powered by a1.6 liter in-line 4-cylinder (118 horsepower) in the Cooper or a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4 (172 horsepower) in the Cooper S.

Additionally, the 2009 convertible maintains is eco-friendly status with an economy rating of 28 city/36 highway for the Cooper, 26/34 for the Cooper S (manual transmission).

In a recent review, the NYTimes.com had this to say about the new Cooper convertible,

"At a time when automakers seem to be trying to out-mileage, out-incentive and out-downsize one-another, BM' Mini subsidiary has taken a different tack. Its updated 2009 convertibles are equipped with an Open-o-meter gauge on the left side of the dashboard. This keeps track of how many hours of motoring you do with the top down. A fun meter, if you will."

SOURCE : http://pr-usa.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=198819&Itemid=35

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nissan 370Z drops top

The Nissan 370Z Roadster offers everything the hardtop Z Coupe does — and more. As in more classic open-air sports car driving excitement. More sun, moon and stars. And more refinement than any Z convertible that has come before — including a standard automatic latching power top.

Yes, the 370Z Roadster's most obvious departure from the 370Z Coupe is its convertible top. With the top in the closed position, the design provides a sloped-back appearance, the perfect balance between the soft top and the Z body design. The shortened windshield and aerodynamically rounded rear deck enhance the Z's character lines.

When in the down position, the convertible top is concealed beneath a full body-colour hard tonneau cover, which extends forward to help create the Z Roadster's classic "double cockpit" style interior.

The standard black cloth convertible top features a fabric inner liner, which helps reduce noise intrusion into the cabin, along with an enlarged glass rear window with an integrated electric rear window defroster.

The top operation takes approximately 20 seconds start-to-finish and is controlled by either a centre console-mounted switch or by a button located on the doors.

Like the new 370Z Coupe, the Z Roadster's new exterior is more aggressive in appearance and lighter and tighter in structure than the previous generation. The wheelbase is nearly 101.6mm shorter (2550mm versus 2649mm) and overall length is reduced by 66mm (4247mm versus 4313mm). The new Z Roadster features an aluminium bonnet, door panels and boot for reduced weight At the same time, the body structure was extensively revised, improving rigidity and stability. The 370Z Roadster includes additional structural reinforcement (over the 370Z Coupe), in both the A-pillars and side sills.

Like its Coupe cousin, the two-seater Z Roadster is powered by a 247kW 3.7-litre DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL). It's coupled to either a seven-speed automatic transmission or close-ratio six-speed manual available with "SynchroRev Match" (the world's first synchronised downshift rev matching manual transmission).

Now bring on the sun and the open roads…

SOURCE : http://motoring.iafrica.com/newsbriefs/1613680.htm

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible: First Drive

Fat people in shorts, missile testing, horse farms and fake tans. That pretty much sums up the 2009 Infiniti G37 Convertible, the latest hard top convertible from Japan.

Rounding a corner quickly somewhere in the part of Malibu that looks like Kentucky, there's suddenly a fat chick in a sweaty halter-top waddling down the middle of the road. A screeching halt and, out of nowhere, there's cops. Waving at us. They seem to want us to pass tubby. Not wanting to interrupt this interesting flow of events we do what they want and proceed down the road, considerably slower than before.

"The Biggest Loser: Marathon" mile markers we'd been passing fairly regularly for the last few miles should have been a clue, but pushing the Infiniti's communicative front into, then working the rear tires with the revvy 325 HP V6 out of the 90 degree, perfectly flat corners, passing horses standing behind white board fences and getting a sunburn was proving too much of a distraction.

Only after encountering Cayenne-mounted camera crews did it dawn on us we'd entered some kind of bizarre reality show in which fat people embarrass themselves with the hope of regaining some sort of dignity.

Slowing down, the G37 transforms from an out-and-out sports car into a mild mannered cruiser, just two guys slowly easing past overly-tanned presenters in our light shade of we're-confident-in-our-sexuality blue, top down, not a care in the world except for avoiding the darker blue-veined jiggling mounds of cellulite creeping out underneath the cuffs of jogging shorts.

On to a missile-testing facility on the coast and suddenly the landscape is all landslides and fog, the risk of skin cancer replaced by clammy salt air. Up with the top and on into traffic hell as we snarl our way to eat English food next to an old-timey pier complete with a vintage Ferris wheel.

Through a quirk of culture, geography and prevailing winds, this tiny little corner of Southern California packs the ups and downs of an entire world into an afternoon's drive. It's got the worst traffic on the continent, but some of the best driving roads. Some of the ugliest industry but breathtaking views. There's risk of forest fires, floods, earthquakes and landslides, yet here lie the nicest houses in the country. It's through variety like this that the G37 Convertible was designed to excel.

Over the Coupe, the Convertible gains a folding roof, loses all but 2.5 cubic feet of storage space in the trunk when that roof is folded, adds a wider track, unique rear suspension and a bunch of chassis bracing to retain rigidity. Retained is the Coupe's 3.7-liter, 325 HP, 267 Lb-Ft engine and all of the Coupe's driving ability.

It also gains a new Bose stereo with speakers mounted in the headrests. Top up or down it delivers crisp, powerful sound. That lack of compromise - aside from the lack of trunk space - is what defines the G37 Convertible. Top down, it doesn't allow the wind to muss my pretty hair, top up it's vault-quiet. Drive fast and the chassis is responsive and feelfull. Drive slow and revel in the cushy ride. The seven-speed autobox is good too, shifting gears with aggression when your right foot is planted and fading into the background when its not. The optional six-speed manual shifts slickly too.

Unlike traditional folding hard top convertibles, the G37 doesn't sacrifice its looks. Top up, it's hard to tell its not a coupe, with panel seams carefully integrated into the design. Top down and you have something even prettier; Infiniti's design has finally come of age with last year's G37 Coupe and now this Convertible.

Drive the G37 Convertible in traffic and you have a mild-mannered luxury car, isolating you from the creeping rage of a city without a unified identity. Drive the G37 fast on a country road and you have a responsive, open-air sports car. Cruise down the PCH and you have a good-looking poseur's car that won't whip the gel out of your carefully coiffed publicist's do.

But these are also reasons why we'd never buy a G37 Convertible. Pasty, malnourished, under-exercised East Coasters, we prefer to suffer for our art instead of having the easy life delivered to us on a golden platter. We're not happy with a sportscar unless it's hard to drive, uncomfortable in any car that makes it look like we can afford to pay rent and can't own a convertible because we don't want to be more in touch with the things around us; we don't like the things around us.

Those fat people were waddling a marathon so that thin people in LA can remind themselves what wonderful people they are. The G37 needs to define itself in a similar way; it's better than its competitors in every easily definable way — better looking than a 335i, better handling than an A4, faster than an IS250, less boring than a CLK — but seeks to achieve nothing greater on its own. Attempting merely to be better than others, rather than fulfilling the promise of its own potential in some unique way. If it pushed the limits in one specific direction at the expense of another, we'd probably love it. But, as it is, its smile is just a little too white, its tan just a little too bronze.

SOURCE : http://jalopnik.com/5186259/2009-infiniti-g37-convertible-first-drive

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Nissan 370Z drops top

The Nissan 370Z Roadster offers everything the hardtop Z Coupe does — and more. As in more classic open-air sports car driving excitement. More sun, moon and stars. And more refinement than any Z convertible that has come before — including a standard automatic latching power top.

Yes, the 370Z Roadster's most obvious departure from the 370Z Coupe is its convertible top. With the top in the closed position, the design provides a sloped-back appearance, the perfect balance between the soft top and the Z body design. The shortened windshield and aerodynamically rounded rear deck enhance the Z's character lines.

When in the down position, the convertible top is concealed beneath a full body-colour hard tonneau cover, which extends forward to help create the Z Roadster's classic "double cockpit" style interior.

The standard black cloth convertible top features a fabric inner liner, which helps reduce noise intrusion into the cabin, along with an enlarged glass rear window with an integrated electric rear window defroster.

The top operation takes approximately 20 seconds start-to-finish and is controlled by either a centre console-mounted switch or by a button located on the doors.

Like the new 370Z Coupe, the Z Roadster’s new exterior is more aggressive in appearance and lighter and tighter in structure than the previous generation. The wheelbase is nearly 101.6mm shorter (2550mm versus 2649mm) and overall length is reduced by 66mm (4247mm versus 4313mm). The new Z Roadster features an aluminium bonnet, door panels and boot for reduced weight At the same time, the body structure was extensively revised, improving rigidity and stability. The 370Z Roadster includes additional structural reinforcement (over the 370Z Coupe), in both the A-pillars and side sills.

Like its Coupe cousin, the two-seater Z Roadster is powered by a 247kW 3.7-litre DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL). It's coupled to either a seven-speed automatic transmission or close-ratio six-speed manual available with "SynchroRev Match" (the world's first synchronised downshift rev matching manual transmission).

Now bring on the sun and the open roads…


SOURCE : http://motoring.iafrica.com/newsbriefs/1613680.htm

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Infiniti G37 convertible cruises in style

Barely had we pulled out of the parking lot of the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills when another driver rolled down his window to ask: "Hey, is that the new Infiniti G37 convertible?"

Even in the heart of Lotus land (or Ferrari land, your choice), Infiniti's first convertible since 1992 gets your attention.

Arriving in showrooms this spring, the G37 Convertible is a stylish image-maker expected to command prices from the mid-$40,000 to upper $50,000 range. With its 325-horsepower V6 and a trove of standard features, today's G is nothing like the original G20 compact that once served as Infiniti's entry-level car.

This G37 also demonstrates how far convertible hard-tops have come from their experimental days when you sometimes wondered if you might have to drive with the roof suspended in mid-air. The G37's clamshell top splits into three sections, lifts and folds into a neat stack in the trunk in 30 seconds.

The top is designed to look as good with the roof closed as open. Buyers don't have to decide whether they want a coupe or convertible. They can have both.

To demonstrate a car's capability, there's no better drive than through the Santa Monica Mountains down to the Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu and back down Santa Monica Boulevard into L.A.'s rush-hour traffic.

On this springtime drive, however, an uncharacteristic fog enshrouded the mountains and the coastline, adding a mystical element as we intermittently rode through the clouds in Topanga Canyon, emerging in bright sunshine on the Mulholland Highway.

All along the route, we were able to enjoy startlingly clear audio from a 13-speaker, Bose Open Air Sound System designed specifically for the G37. Even the headrests have speakers, which allows the music to surround you, even with the top down. A wind screen that pops up behind the back seat diverts the air over the tops of the passengers' heads, leaving them feeling surprisingly unruffled.

Hitting the scales at just over 2 tons, the rear-drive G37 feels substantial, with excellent feedback in the steering wheel, brake pedal and accelerator. On hairpin turns, the convertible feels well centered and confident. It helps to know that the G37 is loaded with the electronic devices that prevent understeer or oversteer, avoid braking errors or wheel slippage.

The G37 convertible's FM (Front Mid-ship) platform is designed for optimal balance between front and rear and a rigid, stable structure for the independent suspension.

The speed-sensing power steering system is standard, with a sport-tuned component in the Sport package. The convertible will be offered with a six-speed manual transmission or the seven-speed automatic version.

All versions of the G37 Convertible come with the V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL), rated at 325 horsepower and 267 foot-pounds of torque. VVEL combines hydraulic-controlled variable valve timing and electronically controlled variable valve lift on the intake side, boosting fuel economy as well as performance.

The convertible is rated at 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 on the highway. Unfortunately, it requires premium unleaded fuel.

As a fashion statement, the G37 Convertible should succeed in even the most elite neighborhoods. The car's curvy front fender, wave-style aluminum hood and sophisticated front fascia look poised and confident. An appropriate amount of jewelry comes from the xenon headlamps and fog lights. Taillights were designed to distinguish the convertible from the coupe and sedan.

One of Infiniti's best features is its "self-healing" ScratchShield paint that literally erases minor scratches by closing up gaps in sunlight or heat. The palette includes Vibrant Red, Athens Blue, Liquid Platinum, Platinum Graphite, Black Obsidian, Moonlight White, Midnight Garnet and Pacific Sky.

Theoretically designed for four passengers, the convertible allows precious little legroom for back-seat passengers. Of course, with the top down, headroom is unlimited. Otherwise, the interior is as stylish as you would expect from a top luxury brand. Buyers can have a rich wood or a silver metallic trim. Heated leather seats are standard and extremely comfortable.

With its first convertible since the M30 in 1992, Infiniti faces some stiff competition in the luxury market, not least of which is the Lexus IS 350C. The Lexus comes with a less powerful V6 but a convertible hardtop that opens or closes in 21 seconds, a 9-second advantage over the G37. It seems rather hard to believe that that could make much of a difference in a buyer's decision, but who knows?


SOURCE : http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/42254

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Copyright © 2007-2008 TopsandSeats.com
r car's replacement soft tops, auto interior seat covers, and other related car accessories. With nearly 30 years of experience we have become the premier online source when searching for automotive tops and interior products. Our success and longevity is directly the result of satisfying the needs of our customers through a wide range of products with unbeatable quality, attentive service and highly competitive prices.

Copyright © 2007-2008 TopsandSeats.com