With the first batch of 370Z Coupes rolling out of showrooms across the United States, Nissan has unveiled the new Roadster version of the car at this week’s New York Auto Show. While the last-generation 350Z drop-top was often criticized for its awkward proportions, the lines of the new Roadster – with the top up or down - are in much better proportion with the rest of the car.

The Roadster sticks with a conventional folding soft-top roof to keep weight down and set it apart from the more premium Infiniti G37 Convertible and its folding metal hard-top. The 370Z Roadster's most obvious departure from the 370Z Coupe is its convertible top.

The soft-top roof was designed with an emphasis on three key areas: to provide a sleek silhouette, to offer easy single-action open-close operation, and to provide a driving experience with low wind turbulence. Opening or closing it takes approximately 20 seconds start-to-finish and is controlled by either a center console-mounted switch or by a button located on the doors. The automatic latch system secures the top to – or releases it from – the windshield header without driver intervention. The shape and position of the glass wind deflector, located between the fixed headrest bars, has been optimized to reduce turbulence into the cabin.

Also offered are an array of technology and convenience features, including the first-ever Z Roadster-available heating and cooling ventilated net seats, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio and satnav. Bi-xenon headlights with auto on/off feature are standard, and seven colors are available: Solid Red, Magnetic Black, Brilliant Silver, Platinum Graphite, Pearl White, Monterey Blue and a special premium color, Black Cherry.

Under the hood will be the same 3.7L VQ37VHR V6 as the Coupe, rated at 332hp (247kW) and 270lb-ft (366Nm) of torque. Gearbox options will include a six-speed manual with the new "SynchroRev Match" function, as well as a seven-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

Sales of the car are scheduled to start around the middle of the year, and in keeping with the ‘affordable performance’ theme of its 350Z predecessor, Nissan will likely price the new Roadster only slightly above the Coupe, which starts at $29,930 (excluding destination charges). The new price represents a $1,420 increase over the 2008 350Z, so expect a similar hike for the Roadster.