With the midsize sedan market heating up, Nissan is putting the finishing touches on an all-new Altima, which will likely launch as either a 2012 or a 2013 model. Lucky for us, our spy shooter caught this pre-production car testing with minimal camouflage.
The 2013 Altima spotted has shed some of its disguise, giving us a fairly clear look at the greenhouse, along with both the front and rear clips. It will draw heavily from the Ellure concept that made its debut at 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. Similar to the concept – and the 2012 Versa – the Altima now boasts a pinched-in grille and more triangular headlamps. Around back, it has a new set of boomerang-shaped taillights similar to those on the 370Z, with L-shaped reverse and turn lights.
Nissan will be joining the fray of number manufacturers who are elongating their greenhouses in an attempt to give sedans a swoopier, more coupe-like look. The car also looks to have grown by a few inches in length, making the Altima more prepared to do battle with jumbo-sized midsize sedans like the 2012 Volkswagen Passat.
Expect the continuously variable and six-speed manual transmissions to carry over from the current car, as well as a tweaked version of the 3.5-liter V-6. However, Nissan may drop the 2.5-liter I-4 in favor of a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder.
Production of the 2013 Altima should start sometime in the fourth quarter of next year, so we’re betting that it will make its full debut sometime is the next six months with the coupe following a year later.