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2012 Nissan 370Z Go Topless or Not>

HerHighway Editor, Christina Selter took out the 2012 Nissan 370Z, also referred to as “THE Z CAR” for a week-long, topless test drive along the scenic, Southern California coastline. To be clear, it was the 370Z Roadster that was topless, not our Editor.

“The weather was warm and sunny and perfect for cruising Orange County’s coast highway in a sexy and powerful roadster,” Christina recalled of her time spent with Mr. Zee. “And what woman wouldn’t enjoy the trio of sexiness, speed and sunshine?”

Trust me, ladies, when you put yourself out on the highway in the sleek 2012 370Z, you’re going to get plenty of attention, whether you’re wearing a sweater or a bathing suit top. The question becomes… can the boys keep up with you? The new 370Z comes standard with Nissan’s 3.7-liter V6 that likes to be stepped on. Mash your leather sandal into the pedal and the Z-Car presses you back against the sporty bucket seats. Thanks to the 332 horses under the hood, you can lunge from zero to 60 in a hair over five seconds.

The standard transmission is a 6-speed manual, but we drove the optional 7-speed automatic. It shifted smoothly and seamlessly as it channeled that horsepower to the rear-wheel drive system. It didn’t take long to realize why the 370Z was creating a buzz as a top performing sports car for the price: The MSRP starts at about $31,900, but with upgrades and accessories, you could spend up to about $45k.

In addition to the open-air roadster, the 370Z is available as a 2-door hardtop coupe. Regardless of which model or trim level you choose, the 370Z is not what we would call a lean, mean shopping machine. Trunk space is rather limited and there is no back seat for you to toss your shopping bags and shoe boxes! Sorry about that…but this car is all about speed, handling and pure driving fun. The 370Z’s short wheelbase and rigid chassis translates into precise steering and confident, flat cornering — the way a true sport car should perform.

The base model 370Z doesn’t include Bluetooth, Navigation system or a USB port. You have to step up to the Touring model if those tech items are on your must-have list. While some automotive reviewers had mixed feelings about the new Z-car’s interior, I found it to be well designed and comfortable. The driver’s seat provided great lumbar support and kept me in the ideal driving position. Classic black fabric comes standard but I would recommend upgrading to the optional perforated leather. It adds that extra touch of class to a beautifully built ride. I liked how the instrument panel — with its robust gauges — moves in unison with the adjustable steering column.

As I mentioned, when you’re driving the 2012 Nissan 370Z, there’s a good chance that you’ll be followed by some secret admirers! Keep one in your rearview mirror to make sure they don’t have a row of flashing lights on top. To learn more about the legendary new Z-Car, including the top of the line NISMO high-performance model, click here.

Written by: HerHighway Staff Contributor and Editor Christina Selter