At Detroit Auto Show, January 2007 Nissan will launch a new model for the ones that can not afford an Infinti G35 Coupe: a Coupe version for the Altima, that will go on sale as a 2008 model at a price between $20.000-$30.000 (est). The new Altima Coupe comes to compete with models like Toyota Camry Solara, Honda Accord coupe and Pontiac G6 coupe.
The Nissan Altima sedan, presented at New York Auto Show has been built Nissan D platform, with a new front and upgraded rear suspension. It is powered by a V6 engine with an output of 270 hp.
The new Coupe will be the first Altima Coupe ever build and it will folllow the lines of the Renault’s Nepta concept. Unlike many US-only models built by the Japanese firm, the Altima Sedan has a front-engined, front-wheel-drive configuration, rather than a rear-drive layout.
The car will be powered by the same 3.5-litre V6 as the Altima sedan with around 260 hp, so probably will be a rwd model ( a fwd will have a maximum output of only 230 hp because high power combined with fornt weel drive compromite handling). That should give a 0-60mph time of less than seven seconds and a top speed around 140mph. An automatic gearbox is expected to be the most popular choice in shifters.
The Coupe will have a close resemblance to the Nissan 350Z an the Infiniti G35 coupe. It will also be inspiration from the Nissan Azeal concept — especially in the shape of the C-pillar. The front fascia will be nearly identical to the 2007 Nissan Altima sedan.
Altima also has a hybrid version which went on sale this month. The Altima Hybrid has a hybrid system net power rating of 198 horsepower (148 kW). EPA fuel economy is estimated at 41 mpg City and 36 mpg Highway. Combined with Altima’s standard 20-gallon fuel tank, the Altima Hybrid has a projected driving range of up to 700 miles between fill-ups.
First generation (1993-1997)
The first Altima debuted in 1993 under the name of "Stanza Altima". Trim levels are XE, GXE, SE, and GLE. The sporty SE has stiffer suspension and rear spoiler. The car was powered by a 2.4L Inline 4 fwd engine and featured 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic gearboxes. Both manual and automatic transmissions were made available at the time. The flywheel featured on these cars was a 9.5 inch unit vs. the 8.5 inches on other models.
The original 1993 Altima was a rebadged Japanese-market Nissan Bluebird (U13 series). The 1993 Altima had a single airbag on the driver’s side, and used automatic shoulder belts for the front seats. It came with the KA24DE I4 DOHC engine capable of developing 150 hp.
Second generation (1998-2001)
The second generation Altima was an American market-only version. Nissan’s compact sedan got a major restyling for 1998, adopting a harder-edge appearance, in contrast to the rounded look of its predecessor. Slightly larger in size, though on the same wheelbase as before, Altima also got a mildly revised powertrain and suspension. Overall length grew by 2.6 inches, width and track by about 2 inches. Head and leg room also grew a bit. Four models were available: base XE, volume-selling GXE, sporty SE, and luxury GLE.
The second generation got a number of comfort, safety and performance-related upgrades, including revised front and rear styling, new optional side airbags, and a new Acceleration Sensitive Damping system that automatically adjusts suspension damping. All models used the same 2.4-liter dual-overhead-cam 4-cylinder engine, producing 150 horsepower and mated to a standard 5-speed manual or optional 4-speed automatic transmission. Internal engine changes aimed to improve low-speed power delivery, and the automatic transmission was reprogrammed for smoother operation. For 2000 an optional V6 engine has been offered.
Third generation (2002-2006)
The third generation Altima, first sold in 2002, has been well received by the press because of its design, power, and style. It crosses over to the mid-size class this time. It was the first mass-market product built on Nissan’s FF-L platform. It is unique to North America and has no equivalent model in Japan.
The redesigned 2002 Nissan Altima is considerably bigger than the previous Altima, and has the roomiest interior in its class. A new standard 175 horsepower 2.5 litre four cylinder engine replaces the 155 horsepower 2.4 litre engine, and a V6 engine is available for the first time: a class-leading 240 horsepower 3.5 litre V6. A fully independent suspension improves handling significantly.
Fourth generation (2007-present)
The fourth generation Altima was announced at the 2006 New York Auto Show on April 12, 2006. It is the first vehicle to use the smaller Nissan D platform with improved body rigidity and a redesigned suspension with the development objective of making Altima one of the best performing large front-wheel drive sedans available globaly.
The new Altima is available with Nissan’s advanced Xtronic CVT™ (Continuously Variable Transmission) or 6-speed manual transmissions and a choice of the award-winning VQ-series 3.5-liter V6 or powerful 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engines.
The wheelbase is 0.9-inch shorter (109.3 inches) than the previous model for enhanced maneuverability and the overall length is 2.5 inches shorter (189.8 inches), but the interior retains the same ample roominess. The width is 0.3-inch wider (70.7 inches) and overall height is the same (57.9 inches). Trunk space remains the same as the previous generation Altima.
For 2007 model year, the Camry Solara receives one of Toyota’s most extensive mid-year changes to date and raising the bar in the sporty coupe segment. The 2007 Solara offers several exterior and interior styling changes, additional standard safety equipment, and enhanced audio and convenience features.
The standard powertrain for the 2007 Solara is a 155 horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with VVT-i. A powerful 3.3-liter V6 delivering 210 horsepower is also available.
With the additional standard equipment and performance upgrade, the 2007 Solara will receive an average MSRP increase of only $382 or 1.5 percent. The Solara SE with a four-cylinder engine will carry a base MSRP of $19,930 for the five-speed manual and $20,760 for the automatic. The price for the SE grade with the V6 and automatic transmission will be $22,260. The base MSRP for the Sport grade will range from $22,200 for the four-cylinder with a five-speed manual transmission to $24,530 for the V6 and automatic transmission. The MSRP for the premium SLE with a four-cylinder and automatic transmission will be $23,905. The MSRP for the SLE V6 and automatic transmission will be $26,905.
The Honda Accord is available in various trim levels of 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder. All 4-cylinder models come standard with a 5-speed manual transmission and are available with a smooth shifting 5-speed automatic transmission. Accord V6 models are equipped with a standard 5-speed automatic transmission, while the Accord EX V6 Coupe is available with a sporty, short-throw 6-speed manual transmission.
Prices start from $22.000 to $29.000.
The top-of-the-line GTP performance sedan coupe is equipped with GM’s 3.6-liter V-6 with variable valve timing. It is rated at 252 horsepower (188 kW) at 6300 rpm and 251 lb.-ft. of torque (341 Nm) at 3200 rpm. The engine is a state-of-the-art, DOHC powerplant that uses full four-cam phasing, rapid date processing and torque-based engine management to optimize power, economy and emissions performance.
The GTP coupe feature large doors that allow easy and comfortable access to the rear seats. All G6 models have sporty driver-oriented interiors with refined controls and instrument layouts. Standard features include: highly bolstered body-hugging seats, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, racing-style gauges with true-red LED instrument backlighting, air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, AM/FM/CD player, variable intermittent wipers, tachometer and theft-deterrent system. Available items include power adjustable pedals, six-way power seats, heated seats, leather seating surfaces, in-dash six-CD changers and remote vehicle start.
Prices start from $28000.