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2005 Nissan Altima SE-R

2005 Nissan Altima SE-R

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As part of a facelift of its popular Altima mid-size sedan for the 2005 model year, Nissan will add a performance version wearing the SE-R designation, which has until now been solely a variation of the smaller, less-expensive Sentra line.

It will arrive in Canada and the U.S. this fall and will come with more cosmetic components than technical ones. Nissan does promise more juice from the 3.5-litre DOHC, 24-valve V6 that already powers the Altima line, but details are to be announced later.

What's more important in the supporting media material is a long line of eye-candy engineering, including forged 18-inch wheels, a three-gauge center instrument cluster, an "aggressive" front fascia, a rear spoiler, painted brake calipers, high-flow mufflers, large-diameter chrome dual-exhaust finishers, and black leather-appointed sport seats.

According to Mark McNabb, vice president and general manager of the Nissan Division of Nissan North America, "the Altima SE-R is targeted at the performance buyer who wants it all," but for less than he or she would pay at other car dealers.

It'll be under US$30,000 in the U.S., McNabb promises, but Nissan Canada was not able to provide any specifics on what price position it would have here.

McNabb points out that the SE-R "builds on the substantial refinements introduced for the 2005 model year, including styling enhancements and greatly revamped interior." That would include new smoked headlamps and taillights, a restyled smooth front fascia with a raised hood and new Nissan family grille.

To that, the Altima SE-R adds a new front fascia, headlight bezel coloring, compact fog lights, dark window molding coloring, a new rear fascia and spoiler, smoked taillights, large dual exhaust finishers, new side sill spoilers, silver painted front and rear disc brake calipers, with the SE-R logo on the front calipers.

Inside, the most prominent difference between the SE-R and other 2005 Altima models is the three-pod center-mounted gauge package, similar to that found on the Nissan Z-car, with volt meter, oil pressure and fuel consumption gauges.

Other changes include sport-shaped front seats and headrests with perforated red or silver leather inserts and matching stitching on the seats, steering wheel and shift knob, dark chrome trim treatment and aluminum pedals.