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By the Numbers: 2019 Nissan Altima on Everyman Driver (VIDEO)

Set for fall 2018 U.S. launch, Altima sets new standard for Nissan sedan design, offering ProPILOT Assist technology and two new engines. It’s also the first Nissan sedan in the U.S. available with Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. Nissan is bringing excitement back to the mid-size sedan segment with the global launch of the 2019 Nissan Altima.


Nissan is bringing excitement back to the mid-size sedan segment with the global launch of the 2019 Nissan Altima. The all-new, sixth-generation Altima features:

  • Advanced Nissan Intelligent Mobility safety and driving aid technologies, including ProPILOT Assist and introducing Safety Shield 360 with Rear Automatic Braking
  • Enhanced driving performance, including available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive
  • Two new engines, including the company’s world’s first production-ready Variable Compression Turbo
  • Expressive design with lower, wider and more athletic proportions
  • New open, airy premium uplifting interior design

“The new Altima follows the new Nissan LEAF in embodying the vision of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, making our cars more desirable by re-defining how they’re driven, powered and integrated into society,” said José Muñoz, chief performance officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

The 2019 Altima will be available in five grade levels, along with a limited-production launch edition, when it goes on sale at Nissan dealers in the United States in fall 2018. The all-new Altima will also be available in an expanded number of global markets in the coming years.

“Our goal with the all-new Altima is to re-energize the sedan segment – in terms of design, driving feel and in making advanced technologies available and affordable for everyone,” added Muñoz. “We want to energize drivers, helping make their lives safer, less stressful and more exciting.”

Nissan Intelligent Mobility: ProPILOT Assist leads the way

When it comes to enhancing driving enjoyment, the 2019 Altima stands alone with Nissan’s advanced ProPILOT Assist1. Unique in the class, ProPILOT Assist eases driver workload by reducing the amount of driver acceleration, steering and braking input under certain driving conditions, such as single-lane highway driving.

ProPILOT Assist is the foundation for the autonomous vehicles of the future, helping drivers stay centered in the lane, navigate stop-and-go traffic, maintain a set vehicle speed and maintain a set distance to the vehicle ahead. And, it’s all done with a simple two-button operation. To activate the system, the driver simply pushes the blue ProPILOT Assist ON button, then sets the Intelligent Cruise Control when the desired speed is reached, as with a normal advanced cruise control system.

ProPILOT Assist is designed to be more intuitive and user-friendly compared with other driver-assist technologies. It can potentially help lessen driver fatigue and create a more confident driving experience – especially for drivers who experience heavy highway traffic on a daily basis.

It utilizes a forward-facing camera, forward-facing radar, sensors and an electronic control module to help the driver stay in the center of the driving lane and to maintain vehicle speed (set by the driver) or help maintain a gap to the preceding vehicle if the vehicle speed drops below the driver-set speed. It also can slow the vehicle to a complete stop and hold the vehicle during traffic jam conditions.

ProPILOT Assist is standard on the 2019 Altima SV, SL and Platinum grades.

“Adding ProPILOT Assist to the 2019 Altima continues our approach of making the most advanced technologies available to the widest number of potential buyers, rather than saving the best for the most exclusive models,” added Muñoz. “This ‘democratization’ of advanced features also applies to Altima’s many other available safety and driving assistance technologies.”

Along with ProPILOT Assist, also new for 2019 is Rear Automatic Braking (RR-AB)2, which helps the driver detect stationary objects when backing up, and if necessary applies the brakes to help avoid a collision. When an object is detected while driving the vehicle in reverse at low speed, the system warns the driver with visual and audible warnings. If the driver’s braking is not sufficient and there is still a risk of a collision, the system issues second visual and audible warnings and applies harder braking immediately before the potential collision. The new Rear Automatic Braking system is standard on Altima SV, SL and Platinum grades.

The range of safety and convenience features includes standard Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (I-FCW) and Intelligent Driver Alertness (I-DA)3 on all grades. Intelligent Around View Monitor (I-AVM) is standard on the Altima Platinum.

The addition of Rear Automatic Braking to Nissan Safety Shield creates Safety Shield 360, which provides front, side and rear safety monitoring and intervention technologies, under the umbrella of the Nissan Intelligent Mobility strategy. Safety Shield 360 includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), radar-based Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and High Beam Assist (HBA).

A new Traffic Sign Recognition system provides Altima drivers with the most recent speed limit information detected by a camera unit located on the windshield in front of the inside rearview mirror. The information from detected signs is displayed in the Advanced Drive Assist Display. In vehicles equipped with navigation, the speed limit display is based on a combination of navigation system data and camera recognition.

First-ever Altima AWD

In response to the desires of buyers in key northern U.S. market regions, Intelligent All-Wheel Drive will be offered for the first time ever on the Altima. The new AWD models are projected to account for a significant share of Altima U.S. sales in these regions.

“When we look at how Altima is going to shake up the segment, all-wheel drive is a key element. Altima will be the only one to offer it of the top three best-selling midsize sedans,” said Muñoz. “The lack of available all-wheel drive has also been a factor in buyers who prefer sedans switching to compact SUVs.”

The AWD system is available in all trim levels equipped with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. The system uses an advanced torque split control strategy that automatically redistributes torque to the wheels (0:100 front up to 50:50 front-to-rear) according to road and driving conditions. In addition, cooperative control between the AWD torque distribution, brake limited slip differential and Hill Start Assist optimizes performance on hills starts and rough roads – adding to the sense of confidence and driving pleasure under a range of driving scenarios.

World’s first production Variable Compression Turbo engine

Replacing the previous-generation Altima’s 3.5-liter V6 engine is the world’s first production-ready variable compression turbo inline 4-cylinder – which generates the performance of some V6 gasoline engines but with 4-cylinder level fuel economy.

Designated as the VC-Turbo, the new technology continuously transforms the engine characteristics, providing both dynamic and efficient performance. The VC-Turbo recently launched as a world’s first technology in the all-new INFINITI QX50 crossover.

The VC-Turbo has been in development for 20 years. It seamlessly changes its compression ratio between 8:1 (for high performance) and 14:1 (for high efficiency) – with an advanced multi-link system continuously raising or lowering the pistons’ reach to transform the compression ratio. A high compression ratio gives greater efficiency, but in certain applications poses the risk of premature combustion (knocking). A low compression ratio allows for greater power and torque, and avoids knocking.

The multi-link components are manufactured in high-carbon steel alloy. Compared with the previous 3.5-liter V6 engine, the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo requires less space in the engine bay. The engine delivers 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque (premium fuel).

The VC-Turbo engine utilizes both multi-point injection and direct injection to balance efficiency and power in all conditions. The Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) system improves combustion efficiency and performance, and enables the engine to avoid knocking at higher compression ratios, while the multi-point injection mixes fuel and air earlier, enabling complete combustion in the chamber for greater efficiency at low engine loads. The engine also contributes to lower NVH and improved emissions (versus the previous 3.5-liter V6). The VC-Turbo engine is assembled in Japan.

Altimas equipped with the VC-Turbo (SR VC-Turbo and Platinum VC-Turbo grades) include a meter in the standard 7.0-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display so the driver can see, as well as feel, the control state of this world-first technology while driving.

In terms of fuel economy4, the new 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine is projected to have a double-digit percentage increase in highway mpg for the front-wheel drive models.

“With the VC-Turbo, the driver balances the engine character through acceleration pedal operation alone. This ‘two engines in one’ is another way Altima stands far apart from all other vehicles in the segment,” said Muñoz.

New standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine

Reflecting the Altima’s importance to the Nissan brand, the company is also making its biggest investment ever in a new model powertrain development – introducing for the first time two completely new engines for one model change.

Standard on all grade levels is the new 2.5-liter DOHC inline 4-cylinder direct injection engine, which is rated at 188 horsepower (versus the previous 2.5-liter’s 179 hp) and 180 lb-ft of torque (versus the previous 177 lb-ft) and features 80% new or redesigned parts.

More than just the gains in horsepower and torque, the new engine offers improvements in noise, vibration and harshness, along with enhanced fuel economy and cleaner emissions. It also has a lower profile through adoption of a “reverse” cylinder head with integrated exhaust manifold and low engine mounting into the new platform’s engine bay for quieter operation.

Key changes to the engine’s design include a thermal-insulated resin intake port, Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) system, variable tumble control valve, mirror bore cylinder coating, variable displacement oil pump, intake e-VTC and cooled external EGR. The new 2.5-liter engine is assembled in Decherd, Tennessee.

“The development of the new 2.5-liter engine started with reviewing the basic specifications one by one, such as the combustion chamber design. The result is an enhanced combination of high output and low fuel consumption versus the previous engine – with the bonus of improved NVH and front-end styling flexibility,” said Muñoz.

All 2019 Altima models, including both engine configurations, come equipped with a standard Xtronic transmission. For 2019, the Xtronic transmission receives an expanded lock-up area for improved efficiency. Paddle shifters are available with the Altima SR grade.

Enhanced dynamic performance and chassis control

Along with the all-weather traction offered by the new all-wheel-drive system, all 2019 Altimas benefit from a range of enhanced suspension, steering and chassis control systems. Key suspension changes include the first Altima application of monotube rear shocks, added suspension reinforcements to improve vehicle response without impacting harshness, and suspension geometry adjustments to improve steering feedback.

The steering system has been upgraded to a new dual-pinion electric power steering design (DP-EPS), which enhances steering feel performance and reduces steering system noise. Steering effort is reduced at low speeds for ease of driving, and effort is increased at higher speeds for improved feedback and control.

The 2019 Altima includes a new, advanced Integrated Dynamics Module (IDM). It includes three unique systems – Intelligent Ride Control, Intelligent Trace Control and Vehicle Dynamics Control – similar to those found on the flagship Nissan Maxima sedan.

Three wheel and tire size combinations are available – 16-inch, 17-inch and, for the first time, 19-inch. The Altima SR grade, as in the previous generation Altima, features unique suspension and chassis tuning for a sportier ride and handling.

“The goal in the chassis development is to provide a more comfortable, controlled and confident driving experience – not just for the higher grades but for every 2019 Altima,” said Muñoz. “Between the engine improvements, isolation of noise and vibrations, tighter suspension and increased seat support, Altima absolutely feels like a class above.”

Sporty exterior, premium interior

The all-new Altima takes its inspiration from the award-winning Nissan Vmotion 2.0 concept, which debuted at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Like the show car, the production Altima attracts immediate attention with its athletic stance and proportions – lower, wider and more dynamic than previous generations, thanks in part to new platform packaging and the use of two new low-profile engine designs.

“Altima has been the face of Nissan in the United States, its largest market, for many years. We knew we had to elevate the appearance of the new-generation Altima, so the Vmotion 2.0 gave us the blueprint moving forward with the production model,” said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president, global design, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Compared with the previous generation, the new Altima is 1.1 inches lower in height, 1.0 inches longer in length and 0.9 inches wider – while also featuring a smaller front overhang thanks a 1.9-inch longer wheelbase and the rear wheels being pushed farther to the corners. The result is a dramatically sleeker yet more sophisticated look. The coefficient of drag is just 0.26.

“Through clever packaging, we were able to push the hood and cowl downward, while also adding larger available 19-inch wheels and tires that really help the vehicle’s stance,” said Albaisa. “This allowed us to give it a more linear, tailored feel that’s emphasized by the sharp horizontal lines and signature Nissan design cues such as the V-motion grille and streamlined boomerang lights.”

Available exterior elements include the expressive V-motion grille with dark chrome finish, LED projector headlights with signature Daytime Running Lights, LED fog lights, floating roof with slim pillars and single panel moonroof. A range of available exterior colors –including a deep-tinted Scarlet Ember red that changes hue with the light, and a new vibrant Sunset Drift orange with unique reflective pigment – help bring out the exterior’s sculptural details and highlights.

Inside, the 2019 Altima interior offers a near-luxury feel in both design and materials – marked by the lightweight, layered and more horizontal “gliding wing” instrument panel and high-contrast colors and trim.

“The new Altima interior has a real ‘wow’ factor when you open the doors – sending the message that this is not your typical sedan,” added Albaisa. “The idea is to engage the driver and passengers both visually and tactilely.” A range of premium interior colors and trim accents are available depending on grade level.”

The uplifting interior design also offers a high level of comfort and convenience amenities and connectivity features are offered – including standard 7.0-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display, enhanced NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seat design with dual-density foam and added bolstering for improved holding and support, available perforated leather-appointed seat inserts, available remote engine start with Intelligent Climate Control and new available 8-way driver’s seat with memory.

Every 2019 Altima also comes equipped with standard NissanConnectSM featuring Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™, with 8-inch multi-touch color display, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System and Streaming audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant and Siri Eyes Free/Google Assistant™ Voice Recognition. The system also offers available Apple Watch and Android Wear compatibility through the NissanConnect Services app – allowing remote engine start and stop, remote lock/unlock valet alert and more – along with Amazon Alexa Skill compatibility.

The available NissanConnect Navigation and Services include a number of new functions such as over-the-air updates, door-to-door navigation, real-time Premium Traffic updates and a Bluetooth® Device Manager with easy customization features.

“The all-new Altima features the next generation of Nissan connectivity, combining seamless connectivity between home, work and the vehicle, an intuitive interface and over-the-air updates with automatic update notifications,” said Muñoz. “And, of course, both Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ come standard – which not every sedan in the segment even makes available.”

The new Altima’s selection of audio and infotainment choices include a Bose® Premium Audio system with nine speakers, including a new digital amplifier with eight channels of custom equalization. Active Noise Cancellation is also available.

A range of advanced models

The 2019 Altima will be offered in a range of trim levels – S, SR, SV, SL and Platinum. All five come equipped with the standard 2.5-liter engine and are available with Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. In addition, Altima SR and Platinum grades are available with the advanced 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine (front-wheel drive only). And, an exclusive launch edition based on the Platinum VC-Turbo will be offered in limited quantities and open for reservations in early summer 2018.

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