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2008 Nissan Altima launch at Autodrome

2008 Nissan Altima launch at Autodrome

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We were invited to the Middle East launch today of the 2008 Nissan Altima sedan and coupe at the Dubai Autodrome, and got to do three hot laps around the track.

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The 2008 Altima sedan comes with a 175 hp 2.5-litre inline-4 and a 270 hp 3.5-litre V6, both available with either a six-speed manual or a gearless CVT transmission. Standard features include a strong a/c with rear vents, dual exhaust tips, front airbags with available side-curtain bags, keyless entry and start and a nine-speaker Bose stereo with iPod adapter. Optional features, some standard on the V6, include Bluetooth, HID headlights, 17-inch alloys, sunroof, leather and more. Navigation will be offered later. Prices start at Dhs 69,500 in Dubai, available after September 19th.

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The 2008 Altima coupe will be available only with the 3.5-litre V6 when it comes to the GCC a little later. It offers options similar to the sedan, with unique styling front and rear, with “normal” tail-lights instead of the “tuner” ones on the sedan.

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We drove a CVT-equipped V6 coupe at the Autodrome track, and its quiet interior did exude a touch of luxury, cabin being partly clad in beige leather and all. All upper materials are soft-touch, and the a/c is excellent, even though our car was a US-spec model, given it had a speedo in mph.

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At low speeds, we noticed overly soft power steering and pedals, although we forgot about all that once we were negotiating corners at the track. Interestingly, the pace car did push the limits somewhat, so we got to wringe our car a bit while keeping up. Safe understeer crept in on most corners, but we managed a mild braking slide of the tail at the final corner of the dusty track before we were done. Front-wheel-drive cars can be fun too. But we don’t remember much details, so you’ll have to wait for our future test drive, probably in a few months time after all the magazines have had their go of the press cars.

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Nissan, in conjunction with our favourite auto website AutoMiddleEast, announced that they drove the car around the track for 24 hours under FIA supervision. Without turning off the engine – but stopping for driver changes, fuel and tyres – two cars were driven for more than 2000 km each to show off their endurance. Needless to say, the cars lived on as pace cars at our track drive.

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Finally, at the press conference, Mohammed Bin Sulayem was on hand to say good things about the Altima. His attempted description of how CVT transmissions work was hilarious. Good man.

What do you think?

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Comments

  1. do you think this would go faster around the circuit compared to a g35 coupe or a 350z?

  2. altima doin its best to impress middleeast

  3. Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

    Obviously it will be outhandled by its siblings, cb. But speed isn’t everything if you’re having fun at the limit.

  4. no way will it go around a track faster than a g35 or 350z which are both morer powerful and have RWD.
    hope this altima can give the honda accord a run for its money. previous altimas lacked in the interior styling.

  5. when its available in markets..???
    i love this car… nice looking fast and hot. 😳

  6. hehe well thats coz the limit is much lower than that of its siblings, mash. 😉

  7. cb, i dont know what you ment by that ques. 🙄
    just tell me how the nisan agency is going to lunch an altima and its faster and stronger than the g35 and the z350 (if course they wont) man, this is called business. and how do you compare the altima with the other two cars. if you want to compare it. comoare it with the accord and the camry. and for sure it is going to be better than both of them
    they lunched this car for those who cant afford to by the G or the Z (less than 100k except for the 6V)so people can have more choices.
    but for sure this car is going to eat the cars in its class (espicially the camry)because they lunch it in the prev. year.
    this car is owsome (we have 2005 Altima and we will have the new one in the summer inshallah :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  8. hehe i know the answer is trivial. but that was just a question to make a few people realise that the altima was never meant to compete wid the g35 or the 350z. like i said previously, its an average man’s g35 or a 350z. I remember in a related news item some user wondering why any1 wud buy a g35 or a 350z over the altima so you just answered him. 🙂

  9. New Altima was launched in USA last year 2006, earlier than the competitors. In UAE it is expected to be launched officially on 19 Sep 2007. Altima Coupe is likely to be launched some time in Feb’08 much before the Accord Coupe which seems to have hit some snags in its launch. Even the Accord coupe has not been launched in USA. Well one does not compare the Altima to G35 or to 350Z, however the new Altima is the average mans G35 and the Altima coupe is the average mans 350Z.

  10. its an absolute BEAUTY!!
    sheer power, amazing smoothness

  11. I think that the nissan altima 2008 has really maintained its mark on the road it seems to be doing very well and its distinctive looks could even catch a blind man’s eye I plan to buy one myself by the end of this mont.Sav

  12. I can say Altima is an awesom cars cus I’ve driven one nd its very driver friendly nd fast!!!
    specialy 4 a person findin 4 a fast nd affordable car!!!!
    Altima’s 4 u!!!!
    :mrgreen: 😛 😉 😆 😀 😎 🙂

  13. supurb 2008 Nissan Altima ,,, i love this car,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and iam very poor boy

  14. can any one tell me speed for this nissan coupe.. i am looking for sports car.. but difficult in deciding..

    can any one help me.
    350z, above pic altima or charger ??
    am looking for good speed, easy maintain, resale value, good price and good looks.

    thanks in advance

  15. Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

    If maintenance and resale are issues, then Altima.

  16. Altima ftw!! better than the cheap camry and dull accord..

  17. I’m considering getting the Coupe version….can anyone tell me why it’s so unpopular in UAE and has a bad resale value?

  18. Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

    ^It’s the same for any coupe.

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