Remember Canada, the more polite version of the United States of America? Most of the year, a lot of their great country has to deal with plenty of snow, which is why cars like the Nissan Altima (Teana as we know it) come with all-wheel drive as standard. But sometimes that isn't enough, which is why - for the express purpose of the Montreal International Auto Show - Nissan slapped a snow track system on each corner and turned the Altima into a very quick and comfortable snowmobile.
Yes, we know Nissan are trying to pull a Toyota by making their models look exciting and young again. There's nothing wrong with that, although this isn't exactly and easy project to execute. The widebody is pretty par for the course - nothing your friendly neighbourhood fibreglass guy can't pull off - but it's the geometry that gets a little tricky. To make everything fit under these massive arches, both front and rear subframes had to be spaced by 30 millimetres, while the suspension pickup points were raised by 50 millimetres.
Each track on its own is 1.2 metres long, 750 mm tall and 380 mm wide. Yes, 380 mm is more than double the width of your average passenger car tyre, so you can be assured that this beast of a large sedan can hold its own in the snow. The overall width of the car has been increased by 360 mm, making for a machine that looks as intimidating as it is practical. Nissan likes to call it the Altima-te (a bit of a cringe-y name), although we think if you've gone to the trouble to create something like this, you deserve to call it whatever you want.
There's no doubt that it'll be an interesting piece at the upcoming show, one that is truly reflective of the harsher elements that Canadians have to deal with, although perhaps Nissan needs to look at strengthening the image of the rest of their model lineup, especially in our corner of the world. The company seems to have fallen into a bit of a slump, and hopefully they'll pull out of it with cars that go head to head with the segment leaders.