Khodrocar - A few days ago Nissan dropped a teaser showing a snowy mountain with the unmistakable sound of a 370Z two-seat sports car in the background. In addition, we were given a very curious name – 370Zki. Well, for those who ever wondered what a Nissan snowmobile might be like, here it is in all its crazy-mental, mad-scientist glory. And before you get any wild ideas about ordering one from Nissan, the answer is no way.
That’s not to say you couldn’t build one if you really wanted to, but be warned – creating the 370Zki involved far more than just bolting up some snowmobile bits. How far you ask? Nissan ordered tracks and skis from American Track Truck, which advertises simple installation provided that, you know, you’re not trying to put these things on a tiny sports car. That’s why the next step of the project called for removing the entire driveline.
A custom lift kit was fabricated to raise the car three inches all around, but that still didn’t provide the necessary clearance for the tracks, which measure four feet on the ground. Custom mounts for the rear springs were added, and three-inch wheel spacers were bolted to the hubs to get the tracks out away from the car. Brake lines were rerouted as was the exhaust, but that still wasn’t quite enough so the Z’s wheel wells were modified to keep the tracks from chewing up the body.
And that was just for the back.
Up front the suspension work was a bit less involved but still required modifications to the wheel wells. The stock hubs were retained, but adapters were used to get the necessary suspension travel and rotation for the skies, not to mention more wheel spacers to get the skis further apart. This work also required custom mounts for the engine and transmission, and to keep ice chunks or other debris from damaging important under-car components, a custom skid plate was installed.
The engine and transmission remain completely stock, which for a new 370Z means 332 horsepower (248 kW) sent rearward through a seven-speed automatic. We don’t know how much weight the conversion added, but all things considered we suspect top speed and corner-carving capabilities aren’t of concern in this case. Carving snow-covered slopes and trails, however, could be positively epic – at least until the wheel bearings give out. Up to that point, we'd be grinning fools.
Nissan will have this winter-ready 370Zki on display at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, along with the slightly more civilized Nissan Armada Snow Patrol SUV.