AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
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]
Nissan‘s sales have been solid over the past year, managing a 16.9 percent increase in 2010, a somewhat surprising feat considering the age of many of its products. The vast majority of volume sellers in Nissan’s lineup have been on the market for almost their entire product cycle and are in danger of becoming stale.
Before that happens, Nissan has big plans to revamp its showroom collection and will introduce eight new models in the next 24 months. More importantly, those eight models represent 85 percent of Nissan’s total sales.
The plan was revealed to AutoGuide by Ian Forsyth, Director of Corporate and Product Planning at Nissan Canada. No further comment was made on the new product push and so it’s not clear if those numbers are Canadian specific or for all of North America. While in comparison to the U.S., compact cars like the Sentra do represent a larger portion of sales in the Canadian market than, say the full-size Maxima, that 85 percent number shouldn’t change much on either side of the border.
As mentioned, when pushed for details Nissan responded with the boiler plate, “Nissan does not comment on future product” shpeel. Still, it’s not exactly guessing to surmise than over the course of the next 24 months we’ll see a new versions of all of Nissan’s passenger cars, including the Versa, Sentra, Altima and Maxima. We’ve already been given a look at the next-gen Altima with the Ellure concept, and look for a new Versa to debut at the New York Auto Show this month.
If you’ve been wondering what the replacement for the Nissan Altima is going to look like, we think we might have something that will interest you. At the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show today, Nissan unveiled its Ellure Concept, a front-wheel drive sedan that hints at future models. It’s probably safe to assume that Nissan wouldn’t have built the Ellure unless they were going to get some kind of production vehicle out of it and the Ellure fits the Altima mold.
Powering the Ellure is a supercharged version of Nissan’s 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to a hybrid drive system using a lithium-ion battery. And as the design of the Ellure hints at the next Altima, this powertrain is another clue that Nissan is planning a hybrid variant of it’s next mid-size sedan.
We’re excited to see Nissan stepping up its game with the Ellure. Back when the current Altima debuted it was as big of a shock to the industry as the new Hyundai Sonata is now and Nissan looks to continue to deliver models that are high on performance and style – even in the mid-size sedan segment.
GALLERY: Nissan Ellure Concept Debut in LA
GALLERY: Nissan Ellure Concept
Official press release and video of the Ellure from its LA Auto Show debut after the jump:
The press release for Nissan‘s Ellure concept invokes the name of the sacred Datsun 510, but while the 510 was a diminutive, boxy sports sedan, the Ellure is swoopy and muscular, like a futuristic Maxima.
With a front end supposedly inspired by the formal coat worn by Samurai, Nissan asserts that the Ellure makes no attempt to hide its “sedan-ness”, mentioning that they expect this body style to be the core of their future product lineup.
“When all is said and done, the sedan will always be core to the Nissan product portfolio. Our goal is to rejuvenate the sedan’s attractiveness to buyers who might have migrated to other segments, or who are coming reluctantly into the category,” said Nissan Senior VP Shiro Nakamura. “By respecting its strengths, while recognizing that emotion is as critical as function, Ellure could well be the wave, or more correctly the ‘shock wave,’ of future sedans.”
Naturally, the Ellure is a hybrid that uses a supercharged 2.5L four-cylinder, a CVT transmission and a 25kw electric motor.
GALLERY: Nissan Ellure Concept
See video of the Ellure’s debut at the LA Auto Show after the jump:
First up are the production cars, with the new 2012 Nissan Quest minivan set to add plenty of style (and in a good way this time) to the minivan segment. In addition, Nissan will also showcase the strange Murano CrossCabriolet, which the automaker says will be the first and only all-wheel drive crossover convertible in the market. (We wonder why…)
In addition, Nissan will unveil the Ellure concept, which is designed to give a look at a more exciting four-door sedan. We’re not sure if this vehicle is intended to inspire future sedans like the Altima, or if Nissan is planning on expanding its sedan range with a coupe-style sedan.
And in addition to these models, we’ll also get out first glimpse at a production version of the Nissan Leaf electric car.
As always, AutoGuide will be on hand in LA with extensive coverage of the show starting November 17th. Until then, see our LA Auto Show Preview here.