Although Nissan said it would retire the Altima Hybrid by the end of 2011, we can assume the model will be back as early as 2013, with a new and very promising powertrain.
The automaker will reportedly drop the Toyota system currently used in the Altima Hybrid and develop its own FWD technology based on the Infiniti M Hybrid.
Instead of the M’s V6, the Altima will keep its 2.5-litre 4-pot and hitch it up to a supercharger and an electric engine powered by lithium-ion batteries.
According to Nissan, the supercharger offers a better balance between fuel efficiency and performance than a turbocharger. The decision is surprising, as most automakers are currently turning towards turbo solutions.
The perfect choice
Given the models vying for supremacy in the mid-size hybrid sedan class, including the Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima and Ford Fusion, it seems likely that Nissan will choose the Altima to conquer this highly promising market.