“Nissan has defied the notion that concepts are merely eye candy in recent years by bringing to life those flashy show vehicles.”

With the addition of the new SR model to the 2016 Altima line-up, Nissan is taking dead aim at one of the fastest growing areas of the mid-size sedan segment – sport variants. Among some competitors, the so-called “sport” grades account for nearly 40 percent of total sales. Altima already is one of the sportiest designs in the segment, however the company is taking a more Nissan-like approach, adding a level of true enhanced performance to go with the requisite larger wheels and spoiler.

With the addition of the new SR model to the 2016 Altima line-up, Nissan is taking dead aim at one of the fastest growing areas of the mid-size sedan segment – sport variants. Among some competitors, the so-called “sport” grades account for nearly 40 percent of total sales. Altima already is one of the sportiest designs in the segment, however the company is taking a more Nissan-like approach, adding a level of true enhanced performance to go with the requisite larger wheels and spoiler.

When car manufacturers roll out futuristic designs at big shows, most observers dismiss them as fanciful art projects that will never see the light of a dealership showroom.

Nissan has defied the notion that concepts are merely eye candy in recent years by bringing to life those flashy show vehicles.

First, there was the Resonance Concept, a wild mid-size crossover concept that evolved into the 2015 Murano. Then the Sport Sedan Concept strongly influenced the radical new 2016 Nissan Maxima. And, the new design language is making its way into still more cars, the latest being its best-selling Altima.

For the new 2016 Altima the design team adopted key aspects of both the exterior and interior styling themes to give the popular mid-size sedan a fresh new appearance, including the “Energetic Flow” exterior styling theme and “Gliding Wing” interior layout.

The front end of the 2016 version offers the most dramatic change, since all panels and pieces forward of the A-pillars are new – fascia, bumper, fenders, hood and lights. Two key elements are the redesigned V-Motion grille and boomerang-shape headlights, similar to those found on the Murano and Maxima. The look is dramatically different from the 2015 Altima design, with a wide, deeply sculpted lower bumper, integrated fog lights (SR, SV and SL models) and prominent chrome-trimmed grille.

The rear of the new Altima is marked by a new sculpted bumper with a dark lower accent, a new trunk lid – with integrated rear spoiler on Altima SR models – and lower, wider boomerang-shaped combination lights.

Along with the revised appearance, the new Altima also offers a 10 percent improvement in coefficient of drag thanks to the inclusion of a grille shutter (three percent gain), underfloor aero cover additions (three percent) and the new front and rear fascia and windshield designs (four percent).

The interior design follows the new “Gliding Wing” design language, shared with Murano and also the new Rogue. Central to the new look is the revised C-stack with available 5.0-inch and 7.0-inch displays for the NissanConnectSM with Mobile Apps and available NissanConnect Navigation with Mobile Apps. In addition, the standard Zero Gravity front seats have been reshaped and the woven cloth seating and door panel materials feature a more open weave pattern.

The new Altima SR grade includes blue sport interior accents on the steering wheel, door panels and seats – to contrast the Charcoal interior color. The SR also features a leather-wrapped steering wheel, paddle shifters, and leather-wrapped gear shifter.

With the addition of the new SR model to the 2016 Altima line-up, Nissan is taking dead aim at one of the fastest growing areas of the mid-size sedan segment – sport variants. Among some competitors, the so-called “sport” grades account for nearly 40 percent of total sales.

The 2.5-litre engine will remain the standard power plant but a 3.5-litre engine will be available.

Prices and engine/transmission options will be available closer to launch in November.

Contact the writer at keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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