Continuing the theme of launching key products in New York, Nissan has just showcased their all-new Altima sedan.
The Nissan Altima is the company’s best-selling sedan in North America, spanning five generations and over 5.6 million units sold.
The Altima nameplate brings so much to Nissan North America that the company basically designed and funded their own facelift program of the fifth generation, while the ASEAN region still soldier on with the 2013 Nissan Teana sibling until today. In 2017, Nissan North America sold 255,000 units of the Altima, representing 18% of their total 2017 sales in the continent.
The sixth generation Altima is a major shift in product concept. Denis Le Vot, Chairman of Nissan North America said, “We decided to shake up the midsize segment in terms of design, driving enjoyment, and technologies that are advanced and affordable.”
The new Nissan Altima exterior design does not disappoint, as it faithfully replicates many of the key design elements from the Nissan V-Motion 2.0 Concept, including the large V-motion front grille and wrap-around rear windscreen on the “floating” C-pillar. The new Altima is also lower (-28 mm), longer (+25mm), and wider (+23mm) than the previous generation.
Two new engines are introduced on the new Altima, with the turbocharged engine a real highlight. Replacing the previous 3.5-litre V6 engine is Nissan’s production-ready variable compression turbo – a world’s first.
Depending on driving conditions, the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine self-adjusts anywhere between a minimum compression ratio of 8:1 for added performance (e.g. the Mercedes-AMG 45-series engine) or a maximum of 14:1 for better fuel efficiency (e.g. the Toyota Prius engine).
The 2.0-litre VC-Turbo engine first debuted in Nissan’s premium brand, Infiniti with the QX50 SUV.
No 'E-Power' hybrid powertrain is offered, unlike its key Japanese competitors in the segment such as the Toyota Camry Hybrid and the Honda Accord Hybrid. The other engine choice is a naturally aspirated 2.5-litre 4-cylinder that Nissan has heavily revised for better efficiency and refinement.
The highly complex VC-Turbo engine delivers 248 hp and 370 Nm of torque, more than the Volkswagen Golf GTI engine with 220 hp and 350 Nm that is found in the similarly positioned rival Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TSI.
Key interior comfort and convenience features range from seats with added bolstering for improved holding and support, to standard NissanConnect featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an 8-inch touch screen infotainment system.
The new Altima will also feature ProPILOT Assist, Nissan’s single-lane driving assistance technology that eases driver workload by reducing the amount of driver acceleration, steering and braking inputs.
Nissan North America plans for customer deliveries by Q3 this year, so we do not expect it the reach ASEAN by at least late 2019.