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2006 New York Show, Part IV





2006 New York Auto Show Coverage by TCC Team (4/10/2006)



New Altima from Nissan


2007 Nissan Altima

2007 Nissan Altima

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In the past six years, Nissan nearly doubled the number of models offered in North America . Sales have doubled as well, surpassing one-million in total for the last two years, led by the Altima, the highest volume Nissan at 255,000 units during 2005. Now comes a fourth-generation Altima. The 2007 model, on sale this fall, has a more powerful 3.5-liter V-6 engine and optional continuously variable transaxle. There is also a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Both engines are said by Nissan to have significant performance enhancements. The Altima is based on all-new Nissan "D" platform with improved body rigidity and a redesigned suspension aimed at making Altima one of the best performing large front-wheel drive sedans in the world, according to Nissan. More significant is the ongoing marketing shift to CVTs. In North America in the near future, all Sentra, Altima, Maxima, and Murano models sold with automatic transmissions will come equipped with CVTs. A hybrid version of the Altima is also under development. — Ken Zino


See more '07 Nissan Altima pics




Maxima Gets Subtle Facelift


The new Altima sedan is the volume leader at Nissan, but the Maxima remains the flagship, the company says. So, early this summer the 2007 Maxima will appear with a minor exterior freshening — grille, hood lights, side sills, and bumpers — and a markedly upgraded interior with real aluminum trim, revised gauges and controls, new bucket seats, and “available” leather seating surfaces. The glass-paneled roof continues as standard equipment. Underneath remains a 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6 engine, now rated at 255 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque, down from last year’s 265 hp and 255 lb-ft due to a change in the SAE testing protocol. However, all automatic transmission models will now come with a continuously variable transaxle, that Nissan claims will provide the best performance, efficiency, and feel in the $30,000 sport sedan class. The CVT has a manual shifting mode and is a more aggressively tuned version of the CVT used in the Murano. While Toyota has clearly staked out the hybrid leader claim, Nissan remains the industry leader in CVTs, with three designs in production. All Sentra, Altima, Maxima, and Murano models sold with automatic transmissions will come equipped with CVTs in the U.S. in the near future. Traction control is also standard on all models. This is now the sixth-generation Maxima in the U.S. since its 1981 introduction, and Nissan says that its Maxima buyers are its most loyal customers. Ken Zino



Next GT-R Coming in ’08 — As A Nissan


2000 Lexus LX470

2000 Lexus LX470

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Nissan also confirmed in New York that the GT-R sportscar, shown as a GT-R Proto concept at recent shows, will be coming to the U.S. in 2008. To some surprise, the GT-R will be coming over as a Nissan vehicle, not as an upmarket Infiniti, suggesting that it will be the most expensive Nissan ever. The production version of the vehicle will be shown at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, and will be on sale in the U.S. and Canada in the spring of 2008.

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