By on May 1, 2019

Image: Nissan

Almost exactly a decade after the 370Z went on sale in North America, Nissan has confirmed that the convertible version of the aging sports coupe will disappear from the company’s lineup after the 2019 model year.

News of the discontinuation comes as anticipation builds (it’s had a long time to build) for a next-generation Z car — a yet-unseen vehicle at the center of years of rumors.

A rear-drive-only coupe with plenty of power up front and a profile that apes classic zeds of yore, the 370Z’s advanced age was apparent when we tested one late last year. Slumping sales — a trait not specific to the Nissan — sparked murmurs that the automaker might scrap a new iteration altogether, but Nissan nipped that assertion in the bud. Drop-top fans, however, can say goodbye to the topless Z variant. At least for now.

In an email to Motor Authority, Nissan spokesman Kyle Torrens said the brand “will not offer the Roadster variant for the current-generation Z beginning with model year 2020.”

The 370Z appeared in early 2009 and followed the same script as its 350Z predecessor. The only engine available is a 3.7-liter V6 generating 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet (18 hp more in Nismo guise), while transmission choices amount to a six-speed manual and seven-speed automatic for the coupe, and automatic-only for the convertible. In the years following its launch, time took a toll on the interior. The 370Z’s dash and controls remain recession-era in appearance, though the coupe’s entry price of $30,090 before destination makes it a compelling buy. Nissan’s cheapest 2019 370Z Roadster is the Touring, stickering for $46,670 before destination.

Still, Nissan hasn’t completely ignored the model, adding a lighter clutch in 2018. A 50th anniversary edition appeared at last month’s New York Auto Show.

Last fall, Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vice president for global design, let slip to Australian outlet WhichCar that he was busy working on a next-generation Z. Earlier in 2018, Autocar reported that Nissan had given the next-gen Z the green light, claiming it could appear in coupe form (in the UK, anyway) before the end of the coming year.

This October brings the 50th anniversary of the original 240Z’s launch, which seems like a good time to reveal a new model — though Nissan’s statement to Motor Authority is somewhat murky. Certainly, the roadster variant goes away for 2020, but does the current generation live beyond that date?

Again, it’s a matter of staying tuned. Nissan’s focusing most of its effort on getting new and restyled vehicles to market, the last such model being the 2019 Altima. Next up is the 2020 Versa sedan lookalike, with other higher-volume vehicles to follow. Like the even more ancient Frontier pickup, the Z must wait its turn.

All of this languishing hasn’t helped sales. The model’s 2018 U.S. volume (3,468 vehicles) was just a third of what Nissan enjoyed in 2010, and this year’s sales reveal further decline. The first three months of 2019 saw the model drop 34.4 percent.

[Images: Nissan]

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