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Nissan is reportedly developing a new front-wheel hybrid drive system for the next generation Altima Hybrid that may be released as early as next year.
The system will be based on the 2012 Infiniti M Hybrid which utilized a rear-wheel drive hybrid drivetrain. The Altima will use lithium ion batteries, one motor, a two-clutch system with a four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission.
According to a Nissan insider, the front-wheel hybrid drive system was chosen as the most effective way to increase mileage in larger D-segment vehicles and above. As Nissan discontinues the existing Altima Hybrid at the end of the 2011 model year, the company is looking to significantly improve the hybrid system as the competition becomes more fierce in the hybrid segment.
[Source: Automotive News]
Nissan has released full details on its 2012 Altima lineup with the Altima Hybrid notably absent. The Altima Hybrid officially launched in 2007 and featured Nissan’s first gas-electric engine, thanks to technology licensed from Toyota. It was able to achieve 33 mpg (7.1 L/100 km), which is still a respectable number. However, the Altima was only sold in a handful of states during its tenure and never quite caught on.
Nissan has planned to continue selling the Altima Hybrid inventory while they are still being produced. However, if you were thinking of buying one, you may want to hit the dealership sooner than later!
An all-new Altima is expected for 2013, and if the Ellure Concept is any indication, a hybrid version will return.
[Source: Kicking Tires]