The most powerful Sentra in Nissan’s line-up enters the 2011 model year with minimal changes compared to the previous model year. It is still offered in two versions: SE-R priced at $19,580 and SE-R Spec V priced at $20,080.
Both models are powered by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 177 HP and 172 lb-ft of torque for the SE-R model and at 200 HP and and 180 lb-ft of torque for the Spec V model. The engine can be mated to either a Xtronic CVT transmission or a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission.
Compared to a standard Sentra, the SE-R model is distinguished by an aggressive front and rear fascias, side sill extensions, rear spoiler and SE-R badging. Inside Sentra SE-R’s cabin are a number of unique SE-R features, including an exclusive black interior color, sport bucket front seats with SE-R stitching, unique seat fabrics, aluminum foot pedal pads, leather-appointed steering wheel (with silver stitching on Spec V) and shift knob, and an additional two-gauge meter pack.
Press release after the jump.
Following Nissan’s longstanding formula of delivering serious performance in affordably priced sedans, the Sentra SE-R offers one of the best power-to-price ratios in class – not to mention exceptional versatility for those days when the roads have more stoplights than decreasing radius curves.
"The Sentra SE-R and Sentra SE-R Spec V are ideal for performance buyers who want aftermarket-style appearance and performance features straight from the factory,” said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. “Yet they are also vehicles with the other ‘P’ word – practical. Built on a foundation of the roomy, comfortable and versatile Sentra sedan, the SE-R and SE-R Spec V are easy to live with day-in and day-out.”
Following a number of exterior, interior and mechanical refinements for the 2010 model year, the changes for 2011 are limited to the addition of the Nissan Navigation System to the SE-R Upgrade Package and Spec V Upgrade Package. The Secure Digital (SD) Card-based navigation system includes a 5-inch color touch screen display and XM NavTraffic® Real-Time Traffic Information capability (XM® subscription required, sold separately).
Both the SE-R and SE-R Spec V are powered by Nissan’s advanced 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (QR25DE). The SE-R is rated at 177 horsepower and the Sentra SE-R Spec V at 200 horsepower. The SE-R and SE-R Spec V are built on Nissan’s global C-platform and offer a long list of standard safety features, including Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and six supplemental air bags.
Both models are again equipped with a range of unique (versus non-SE-R Sentra models) performance-oriented equipment and features, including 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and specially tuned suspension (SE-R Spec V), as well as unique exterior and interior appearance modifications.
Unique SE-R Exterior and Sporty Interior
Unique SE-R exterior treatments include aggressive front and rear fascias, side sill extensions, rear spoiler and SE-R badging. Inside Sentra SE-R’s cabin are a number of unique SE-R features, including an exclusive black interior color, sport bucket front seats with SE-R stitching, unique seat fabrics, aluminum foot pedal pads, leather-appointed steering wheel (with silver stitching on Spec V) and shift knob, and an additional two-gauge meter pack. These two additional gauges, canted towards the driver, provide information on oil pressure and acceleration/deceleration g-force.
The Sentra SE-R and SE-R Spec V also offer an array of comfort and convenience features, including standard power windows and door locks, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD 6-speaker audio with 4.3-inch color display with USB interface, an auxiliary input, MP3 playback capability and standard Interface System for iPod?. Also available is an 8-speaker 340-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system. XM Satellite Radio is also offered, along with a Nissan Navigation System with XM NavTraffic? Real-Time Traffic Information (XM subscription required, sold separately) and 5.0-inch color screen.
Standard safety features include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors; front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags; roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection; and front seat Active Head Restraints. Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS) are also standard on both SE-R and SE-R Spec V.
Only two options are available for 2011: the SE-R Upgrade Package with power sliding glass moonroof with tilt feature, dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors, XM Satellite Radio (XM subscription required, sold separately), RearView Monitor, Nissan Intelligent Key™, 8-speaker 340-watt Rockford Fosgate-powered audio system and Nissan Navigation System; and the Spec V Upgrade Package, which includes the SE-R Upgrade Package content (except intelligent key), along with Helical Limited Slip Differential.
2.5 Liters, Tuned Two Ways
The heart and soul of the Sentra SE-R and SE-R Spec V are their advanced high-output QR25DE 2.5-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engines. Along with the larger displacement versus the standard Sentra’s 2.0-liter powerplant, the engine features extensive modification – helping achieve 177 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 172 lb-ft of torque at 2,800 rpm on regular unleaded fuel in the SE-R and 200 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 180 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm (when using premium unleaded fuel) in the SE-R Spec V.
Among the Spec V engine features are use of a unique resin intake manifold and dual branch exhaust manifold; revised piston crown shape to support its 10.5:1 compression; iridium tipped spark plugs for improved combustion characteristics; and a revised cam shaft profile, reinforced connecting rods and 8-counterweight crankshaft to achieve a higher redline limit of 7,000 rpm (versus 6,200 rpm in the SE-R).
The Sentra SE-R is equipped with Nissan’s Xtronic CVT™ (Continuously Variable Transmission) with available paddle shifters, providing a unique offering in the sport compact market, while the SE-R Spec V is available exclusively with a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission. Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS) are standard, while an optional Helical Limited-Slip Differential is available with SE-R Spec V only.
Both vehicles utilize an independent strut/coil spring front and torsion beam rear suspension design with stabilizer bars front and rear, along with 4-wheel disc brakes, Anti-lock Braking System and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), power-assisted electric steering and 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. The SE-R utilizes 11.7-inch front and 11.5-inch rear rotors, while contact with the road is handled through 225/45VR17 all-season performance tires.
The SE-R Spec V features unique suspension tuning, brakes, tires and body structure changes versus the base SE-R. The SE-R Spec V is equipped with higher rate springs, shocks and bushings and larger (25mm) front stabilizer bar, 225/45WR17 uni-directional high performance tires, high-performance front disc brakes with 12.6-inch rotors, and a revised cowl top structure and a unique trunk mounted “V” brace, both utilized for increased body rigidity.
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