Nissan Altima-te AWD Concept
Continuing a Nissan tradition, the “Altima-te AWD” equipped with heavy-duty track system makes its global debut at the 2019 Montreal International Auto Show.
It’s a sedan unlike anything Nissan has presented before – a project vehicle representing a new era of All-Wheel Drive (AWD) capability and an additional AWD choice for the Canadian customer. Named the “Altima-te AWD,” this one-off project vehicle is based on the all-new 2019 Nissan Altima AWD, and continues Nissan’s custom of creating aggressive, one-off models fitted with a heavy-duty track system.
The production version 2019 Nissan Altima is also a sedan unlike Nissan has presented before, as the first sedan in North America to offer All-Wheel Drive. In Canada, AWD is fitted as standard on the 2019 Altima.
“This is not the Altima of old; for the 2019 model year, we are redefining what this historic nameplate stands for. With the scarcity in the market of all-wheel drive configurations available on sedans, we wanted to make a statement to customers. The average person does not assume a sedan offers AWD,” says Joni Paiva, president of Nissan Canada Inc.
“The Altima-te AWD joins the other, one-off, track-equipped crossover vehicles like the Rogue Warrior and sends a clear message to the market – this Altima has the ability to conquer the harshest weather environments with the added confidence provided by standard Nissan Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, which adapts to road conditions in the blink of an eye,” concludes Paiva.
Transforming the Ultimate Altima
Like the Rogue Warrior which debuted at the 2016 Montreal International Auto Show (MIAS), the Nissan Altima-te AWD was modified entirely by Quebec-based Motorsports in Action (MIA), using the DOMINATOR® track system from American Track Truck.
The tracks measure 1,220 millimetres/48 inches long, 750 millimetres/30 inches tall and 380 millimetres/15 inches wide. The Nissan Altima-te AWD required more extreme body and chassis modifications compared to the changes that were made on the Rogue Warrior project vehicle. The most prominent exterior modification to Altima’s exterior is seen in the front and rear fenders that were flared out by 180 millimetres/7 inches on each side, to accommodate the DOMINATOR, track system, expanding the total body width by 360 millimetres/14 inches. This results in a noticeably assertive stance, while maintaining Altima’s sedan design essence and flowing lines.
To modify the fenders, the MIA team applied a complex process involving the design and fabrication of a bespoke wide body kit, and building the fender part using high-density foam and epoxy resin typically used in nautical structures. This process alone amounted to over 150 hours of work. The total project took 250 hours to complete. The extreme fender flares allow a reduction in snow projections, which could impede the driver’s visibility.
In order to make the Nissan Altimate-AWD fully functional, the vehicle’s ride height required an increase. MIA designed and built the necessary components to raise the car by 80 millimetres/3 inches. To achieve this, the front and rear load-bearing chassis were dropped by 30 millimetres/1.18 inches and the suspension components were raised by 50 millimetres/1.96 inches. The suspension geometry was corrected to offset the deviation caused by the ride height change, and restore the proper kinematics.
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