Nissan has announced an open-topped version of its 370Z coupé, which is due to go on sale in the UK in March. The company is keen to emphasise that chopping the roof off hasn't affected the 370Z's well-regarded performance and handling.

Model for model, the Roadster is only £1,900 more expensive than the fixed-roof coupé; prices range from £29,900 to £36,150, making it good value against its rivals, such as the Porsche Boxster, BMW Z4 and Mercedes SLK, although a lot of buyers are still bound to favour the prestige of the German brands against a humdrum Nissan badge. Nissan's sporty line of Z cars does have a distinguished history, but this has much greater resonance in the US market than in Europe.

The first Z car, the 1969 240Z, set new standards for Japanese cars at the time but its bigger and heavier successors fared less well and the Z range fizzled out with the 300ZX in the Nineties. Nissan revived the Z line in 2002 with the all-new 350Z, a sharper, sportier machine that rediscovered something of the magic of the original 240Z, preparing the way for the 370Z, which was introduced in fixed-roof form last year.

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