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In Depth: 2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid

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In Depth: 2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid

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The all-new 2007 Nissan Altima, which goes on sale in November 2006, is designed simply to be one of the best performing large front-wheel drive sedans in the world. This next-generation Altima offers all-new, distinctive styling, a roomy, comfortable, full-feature high-quality interior and an all-new "D" platform. Beginning early in the 2007 calendar year, Altima adds one other dynamic feature – a hybrid gas-electric model, the Altima Hybrid.

The 2007 Altima Hybrid is part of Nissan’s ongoing efforts in the area of environmental protection and vehicle efficiency. The company’s aim is to provide the right technology to the right market at the right time and right value to the customer. In addition to introducing the new Altima Hybrid in 2007, Nissan offers its advanced Xtronic CVT? (Continuously Variable Transmission) in five 2007 vehicles and Flexible Fuel Technology (FFV) in the 2007 Titan pickup and Armada SUV.

Very low emissions were a requirement of the Altima Hybrid from its inception. The Altima Hybrid has been certified to meet California emissions requirements and will be sold in states that have adopted California emissions regulations: California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. These eight states are among the strongest markets for hybrid vehicles.

"When you enter an important new technology segment such as hybrid electric vehicles, you want to lead with your best – and this next-generation 2007 Altima is clearly one of the best all-around vehicles Nissan has ever created,” said Bill Bosley, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. "The Altima Hybrid is an environmentally friendly vehicle that is completely driver-friendly as well."

The Altima Hybrid powertrain mates a refined version of Nissan’s QR25 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and standard electronically controlled CVT with an advanced electric drive motor/generator that increases fuel economy while maintaining low tailpipe emissions. The Altima Hybrid is rated as an Advanced Technology-Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) and emits almost no evaporative emissions.

The advanced energy drive system shares duties between the gasoline-powered 4-cylinder and the emissions-free electric motor – allowing the Altima Hybrid to run solely on electric power if appropriate, especially during stop-and-go driving. If extra performance is needed, the gasoline engine starts instantly and smoothly adds power as required.

The Altima Hybrid is estimated to have a hybrid system net power rating of 198 horsepower (148 kW). EPA fuel economy is estimated at 41 mpg City and 36 mpg Highway. Combined with Altima’s standard 20-gallon fuel tank, the Altima Hybrid has a projected driving range of up to 700 miles between fill-ups.

Cutting-Edge Hybrid Technology

The Altima Hybrid utilizes regenerative braking technology to recharge the hybrid system’s batteries, meaning Altima Hybrid doesn’t have to "plug in" to anything to sustain a sufficient store of electric energy.

In order to power the electric motor, a generator places resistance on the driveshaft during braking. The system converts this friction to usable energy that is stored in the system’s 244.8V Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery for eventual use by the electric motor.

The Regenerative Cooperative Brake System calculates braking force generated by brake pedal operation and controls the regenerative brake force to convert kinetic energy into electric energy, optimizing energy regeneration.

The Altima Hybrid utilizes proven technology and components from Toyota Motor Corporation that are mated to Nissan’s refined 2.5-liter engine.

For use in the 2007 Altima, Nissan’s proven QR25 4-cylinder has been refined with a larger intake manifold, increased compression ratio and reduced friction characteristics. It also features continuously variable valve timing, modular engine design, microfinished crank journals and cam lobes, molybdenum-coated lightweight pistons and electronically controlled throttle.

Helping provide smooth acceleration and maximize powertrain efficiency is the Altima Hybrid’s hybrid system-specific eCVT, which works in conjunction with the Hybrid Vehicle-Electric Control Unit (HV-ECU) to determine which power source or combination of power sources will turn the wheels.

The Altima Hybrid’s electric motor produces high torque at low rpm, allowing it to utilize its Electric Vehicle (EV) mode to power the car from a standing idle and through initial acceleration without the assistance of the gasoline engine. While this stage of acceleration is a typical gasoline-only powered vehicle’s least fuel-efficient stage, the Altima Hybrid offers much of its fuel-efficiency benefits here.

The Altima Hybrid’s all-electric mode, called Electric Vehicle (EV) mode, occurs in the initial acceleration phase.

After the electric motor provides initial acceleration, the gasoline engine quietly starts and assumes the load of powering the vehicle. The gasoline engine works independently through cruising speeds until the vehicle reaches speeds at which fuel efficiency declines.

When loads require, the electric motor starts again and aids the gasoline engine in powering the Altima Hybrid. This allows the gasoline engine to remain in its ideal rpm range while the axle rpm simultaneously increases due to the extra power being contributed by the electric motor.

A digital display on the speedometer indicates when the Altima Hybrid is running solely on electric power. The Altima Hybrid’s available DVD navigation system also features a real-time display showing how the hybrid system directs the flow of energy.

"The Altima Hybrid feels remarkably smooth – most drivers will never be aware of the transitions between the electric and gasoline power sources unless they are watching the display panel," said Bosley. "Mostly what they will feel is highly responsive acceleration and the seamless delivery of power under almost all driving conditions."

The Best of Both Worlds

The new Altima Hybrid is the sixth model in the 2007 Altima lineup, joining the Altima 2.5, 2.5 S, 2.5 S with SL Package and two 3.5-liter V6-powered models, the Altima 3.5 SE and 3.5 SL (each available beginning in November 2006). These new 2007 Altimas deliver on customers’ desires for a rewarding, engaging driving and ownership experience.

"Altima has always been a leader in class when it comes to driving excitement and the new platform, suspension and powerful engines enhance the experience even more," said Bosley. "The Altima Hybrid makes no compromises when it comes to all the great Altima attributes – especially performance."

Serving as the foundation for the fourth generation 2007 Altima is Nissan’s all-new "D" platform with improved body rigidity and a redesigned suspension. The new platform includes a subframe-mounted front suspension with new geometry and shock absorbers with rebound springs. The half-shafts now have equal angles and are more parallel to the ground – virtually eliminating traditional front-wheel drive torque steer.

Altima’s new body design is a continuation of its distinctive, iconic, sporty design. The exterior features an aggressive stance, a strong wedge character line and signature Altima-style taillights. Inside, the new Altima utilizes refined workmanship, high-quality materials and a long list of available amenities. The Altima Hybrid shares exterior and interior designs with the other 2007 Altima models – with the exception of unique Hybrid badging and hybrid power/charge display in the driver information display.

The Hybrid model also shares Altima’s extensive list of standard safety features, including dual-stage front air bags, front seat side-impact supplemental air bags for chest protection, roof-mounted curtain side-impact air bags for front and rear outboard occupant head protection and front seat Active Head Restraints.

One Well-Equipped Model

The new Altima Hybrid is offered in one model, the Altima Hybrid, and with several optional equipment packages.

Standard equipment includes the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and hybrid electric components, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS), eCVT transmission, 4-wheel power-assisted disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), electric power rack-and-pinion steering, 4-wheel independent suspension and 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Comfort and convenience features include standard Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition and a dual-zone automatic temperature control that includes an Altima Hybrid-specific electrically powered A/C that continues to provide cooling when the gasoline engine is stopped.

The Altima Hybrid also joins other Altima models with an impressive list of available convenience features, including leather-appointed seating, Bluetooth Hands-Free Phone System, RearView Monitor, satellite radio and Nissan’s Advanced Navigation System with real-time Energy Flow Display.

The new Altima will be assembled at the Nissan North America Manufacturing Smyrna, Tennessee plant.

"The Altima Hybrid is another example of Nissan’s ongoing philosophy that passion for driving and passion for the environment are not mutually exclusive," said Bosley. "Whether it involves our wide application of efficient CVTs, our expanded availability of flexible fuel vehicles, or our ongoing research and development of fuel cell vehicles, Nissan believes that the more transparent "green technology" is, the more drivers will embrace it.

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At A Glance

The all-new 2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid offers all the style, convenience, comfort, quality feel and performance technology features and highlights of the next-generation 2007 Altima ¬ while offering the added benefits of improved fuel economy and reduced emissions.

The Altima Hybrid, Nissan’s first production gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle, blends an advanced electric motor/generator, Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery and hybrid management system with Nissan’s powerful 2.5-liter 4-cylinder QR25DE engine. The mating of the two produces a hybrid system net power of 198 horsepower (148 kW) and results in low emissions and enhanced fuel economy of 41 mpg City/36 mpg Highway (estimated) – without compromising Altima’s responsive acceleration and performance.

Rated as an Advanced Technology-Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV), it meets California emissions requirements and will be sold in states that have adopted California emissions regulations: California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Like all 2007 Altima models, the Altima Hybrid is build on the all-new Nissan “D” platform, which is designed to help make Altima one of the best performing large front-wheel drive sedans in the world. The Altima Hybrid also offers all-new distinctive styling and a roomy, comfortable, full-feature, high-quality interior.

Altima Hybrid will reach dealerships in early 2007, following the November 2006 introduction of the 2007 Altima 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and 3.5-liter V6 gasoline-powered models.

Highlights of the 2007 Nissan Altima Hybrid include:

Engine, Motor and Driveline

*The same 2.5-liter 4-cylinder QR25DE engine found on Altima, producing 158 horsepower @ 5,200-6,000 rpm and 162 lb-ft of torque @ 2,800-4,800 rpm

*Standard dual exhaust

*Permanent magnet AC synchronous motor (650V maximum) rated at 40 horsepower (assisted power) and 199 lb-ft of torque @ 0-1,500 rpm

*Sealed Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery rated at 244.8V and producing 40 horsepower (prelim. figure)

*Hybrid-specific electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (eCVT) designed to maximize fuel efficiency

Body

*All-new design featuring a continuation of Altima’s distinctive, sporty design

*Aggressive stance, Nissan “T-shaped” grille, forward A-pillar, iconic Altima-style taillights, reduced wheel opening gaps

Suspension, Steering and Braking

*All-new "D" platform featuring much improved body rigidity, reduced NVH

*New front suspension design with new geometry, half shafts now equal angle and more parallel to the ground – virtually eliminating torque steer

*Improved rear suspension design, inspired by the Nissan 350Z, with an emphasis on nimbleness and good ride comfort

*Secure feel, flatter cornering and enhanced comfort now easier to appreciate performance in everyday driving

*Shock absorbers with rebound springs for secure cornering feel

*New power-assisted vehicle-speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering system provides light effort at low speeds, secure feeling at high speeds

*Power-assisted front vented disc/solid rear disc with available Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD)

*Standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS)

16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P215/60R16 tires

*Regenerative Cooperative braking that allows Altima Hybrid to produce its own electric energy for storage in its battery, so that it never needs external recharging or "plugging in"

Interior Features

*Enhanced interior feel with refined workmanship, expanded use of soft materials (such as padded armrests) and chrome accents

*Roomy yet sporty interior space with innovative amenities, including new Fine Vision Gauge display instrument panel, standard Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, convenient covered storage compartments and seven cup or bottle holders

*Available Bose®-developed audio system with 9 speakers, Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System, Nissan Navigation System, satellite radio, RearView™ Monitor

*Standard dual-zone automatic temperature control

*Comfortable, highly bolstered seats with available 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat

Safety

*Standard Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage air bags and seat belt sensors, standard front-seat side-impact supplemental air bags and standard side-impact curtain supplemental air bags

*Zone Body construction

*Front seat Active Head Restraints

*Front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters

*LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat anchors and tether system

Models and Manufacturing

*Available in one well-equipped model: Altima Hybrid

*Three available equipment packages: Convenience, Connection and Technology

*Assembled by Nissan North America Manufacturing Smyrna, Tennessee Plant

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Looks good. Except for those horrible tail lights. The spoiler is a nice addition. I wonder how well the hybrid will perform compared to the Camry. Any information links on how it works? Is it essentially the same as the Toyota (is it the same?)?

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cutting edge technology... that's been around for a little while now, and they didn't even use their own components, but got them from Toyota...

It looks like a pretty good package, though. around 200 hp should move along fine, and the mpgs are respectable, though not high enough to get prius-lovers to sign up. Price point is going to be critical to the car.

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Someone needs to put out a memo that acknowledges hybrid cars are not required to be painted in disgusting mucus-lining colors.

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Sounds promising... except for:

201261[/snapback]

Uh, are those numbers right that they listed? The 2006 Altima 2.5L had 175hp, they list the hybrid's 2.5L will have 158hp sans electric motor. Why did they lose almost 20hp? Emissions? Something else?

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Uh, are those numbers right that they listed?  The 2006 Altima 2.5L had 175hp, they list the hybrid's 2.5L will have 158hp sans electric motor.  Why did they lose almost 20hp?  Emissions?  Something else?

201271[/snapback]

Maybe so they can squeeze some more MPG out of the gas engine.

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Wow, thats almost a 4x4ish as any 90's GM sedan. Seriously, the gap between the wheel and fender doesn't need to be that big.

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Someone needs to put out a memo that acknowledges hybrid cars are not required to be painted in disgusting mucus-lining colors.

201269[/snapback]

:lol:

First thing I noticed.

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I'm confused. When did the Altima become a "large front-wheel drive [sedan]"? What's the Maxima then? A supersized front-wheel drive sedan?

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Someone needs to put out a memo that acknowledges hybrid cars are not required to be painted in disgusting mucus-lining colors.

201269[/snapback]

see my comment is that unlike Camry, Altima looks good in this color.

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Wow, thats almost a 4x4ish as any 90's GM sedan.  Seriously, the gap between the wheel and fender doesn't need to be that big.

201278[/snapback]

Huh? Doesn't look odd to me at all--and I notice these things--and is no different than cars like the Cobalt, or any other new GM FWD'er.

Someone needs to put out a memo that acknowledges hybrid cars are not required to be painted in disgusting mucus-lining colors.

201269[/snapback]

Agreeably odd, but the thing is, they only ever really seem to have this color choice on the ones they photograph or give to the media (probably just to make them stand out that much more)--and only a select few ever seem to be made and bought by real people. Like the Camry model, you'll probably never see anything other than red, white, blue, etc.

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Okay, people will probably hate me for this... but I like it.

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2007 Altima Hybrid

198 combined horsepower

41/36 MPG

2007 Camry Hybrid

192 combined horsepower

40/38 MPG

I hope the Fusion Hybrid is coming soon. How hard can it be to stuff the Escape Hybrid's drivetrain into one?

Edited by empowah

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I've been seeing lots of new Camry Hybrids. This will provide a good-looking, and undoubtedly better driving, alternative.

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it's like the ugly, backwater cousin to the G35. the one you hide from at family reunions.

Edited by jbartley

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Okay, people will probably hate me for this... but I like it.

201348[/snapback]

And I as well. It looks like Nissan's Infinity cars. Blows away the Canry and Honda in the styling department.

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