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There's no denying that details make a huge difference: the shape of the wheels, the chrome accents, the perfect positioning the grille emblem.

But handsome cars are handsome cars because the silhouette is spot-on. That's what makes the Nissan 370Z unique - a stunning profile that's unmistakably Z, regardless of how the details are altered. 


For the all-new, fifth-generation, 2019 Nissan Altima, the midsize Nissan's profile is noticeably more eye-catching thanks to a major under-the-skin change. 

The engine is turned backward.


2019 Nissan Altima VC-Turbo


Don't be concerned - Drive still propels you forward; Reverse still moves you rearward. But the powerplant's directional shift greatly simplified a number of the Altima's underhood efficiency. Takeshi Yamaguchi, Nissan's chief engineer for the Altima, says, "The point was to make the car look better." The engine's reversal allowed Nissan to lower the hood, adding a level of drama to the overall design. 


Yet in doing so, Nissan also discovered that the exhaust would no longer need to loop out and under the engine toward the back of the car. That means there's now less exhaust piping, which saves on material cost, production time, and money. There's even less electrical wiring for the engine, which again saves time and money, savings that can be passed on to the consumer.


With no exhaust piping below the engine, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder and optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder sit lower in the engine bay, reducing hood height and centre of gravity. The lower centre of gravity aids handling and increases nimble responses. The lower hood height, meanwhile, improves aerodynamics. 


2019 nissan altima interior


"It's barely a change," Yamaguchi says, "but I think it makes quite an impact visually."

Turning the engine around is only one of the major changes under the hood of the 2019 Altima. The new 2.0-liter turbo replaces the V6 engine with significant real-world fuel economy benefits. The Altima is the first car sold in North America with a variable compression turbocharged engine. 

Essentially, that means the upgraded Altima produces 9-percent more torque with a double-digit percentage increase in fuel economy. Moreover, the new 2.5-liter engine that comes standard on the 2019 Altima can be selected with all-wheel drive.


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