Combining true driving pleasure, distinctive and sporty design and a driver-oriented interior with excellent fuel mileage, the 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid is a hybrid like no other. The Altima Hybrid, which joined the Nissan lineup in the 2007 model year, continues to offer the efficiency and fuel economy of a hybrid drivetrain with the performance and excitement typical of any Altima.
"Hybrids are top-of-mind for buyers seeking low emissions/high fuel-efficiency vehicles, but not all hybrids are created equal," said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. "When developing the Altima Hybrid, Nissan engineers had a requirement to make it a Nissan-style hybrid, not just a fuel efficient car. This is a key reason that the Altima Hybrid has done so well when stacked up against the competition, such as in the recent comparison by a leading automotive enthusiast magazine, which called the Altima Hybrid ‘the best' among the hybrids tested."
For the 2009 model year, the Altima Hybrid adds a standard auto door-lock function and four new exterior color choices (nine total): Red Brick, Navy Blue, Sonoran Sand and Mystic Jade.
Altima Hybrid has been certified to meet California emissions requirements and is sold in states that have adopted California emissions regulations: California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. These eight states are among the strongest markets for hybrid vehicles.
The Altima Hybrid is part of Nissan's ongoing efforts in the area of environmental protection and vehicle efficiency. The company's aim is to provide the right technology to the right market at the right time and right value to the customer.
In addition to Altima Hybrid, Nissan offers a wide application of its advanced Xtronic CVTä (Continuously Variable Transmission) in its 2009 passenger cars and crossovers and Flexible Fuel Technology (FFV) in the 2009 Titan pickup and Armada SUV. Nissan has also announced plans to develop electric vehicles as a strategic direction embedded in Nissan GT 2012, Nissan's new mid-term business plan, with the development of safe and low-cost lithium-ion batteries. A Nissan electric vehicle is scheduled for introduction in the U.S. and Japan in 2010. By 2012, Nissan has announced its plans to mass-market electric vehicles to consumers globally.
Cutting-Edge Hybrid Technology
The Altima Hybrid powertrain mates a refined version of Nissan's QR25 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and standard electronically controlled CVT with an advanced electric drive motor/generator that increases fuel economy while maintaining low tailpipe emissions. Altima Hybrid is rated as an Advanced Technology-Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) and emits almost no evaporative emissions.
"Altima Hybrid's drive system creates a synergy between its electric motor and its gasoline engine, offering efficiency and excitement in the same attractive package," said Castignetti.
The advanced energy drive system shares duties between the gasoline-powered 4-cylinder and the emissions-free electric motor – allowing Altima Hybrid to run solely on electric power if appropriate, especially during stop-and-go driving. If extra performance is needed, the gasoline engine starts instantly and smoothly adds power as required.
Altima Hybrid is estimated to have a hybrid system net power rating of 198 horsepower (148 kW). EPA fuel economy is estimated at 35 mpg City and 33 mpg Highway. Combined with Altima's standard 20-gallon fuel tank, the Altima Hybrid has a projected driving range of up to 700 miles between fill-ups.
The Altima Hybrid utilizes regenerative braking technology to recharge the hybrid system's batteries, meaning Altima Hybrid doesn't have to "plug in" to maintain a sufficient store of electric energy.
In order to recharge the battery, a generator places resistance on the driveshaft during braking. Altima Hybrid's Regenerative Brake System calculates braking force generated by brake pedal operation and controls the regenerative brake force to convert kinetic energy into electric energy, optimizing energy regeneration. The system converts the vehicle's kinetic energy to usable electric energy that is stored in the system's 244.8V Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery for eventual use by the electric motor.
The Altima Hybrid utilizes proven technology and components from Toyota Motor Corporation that are mated to Nissan's refined 2.5-liter engine.
Nissan's proven QR25 4-cylinder engine has been refined for use in the fourth generation Altima, with a larger intake manifold, increased compression ratio and reduced friction characteristics compared to the previous generation. The engine also features continuously variable valve timing, modular engine design, microfinished crank journals and cam lobes, molybdenum-coated lightweight pistons and electronically controlled throttle.
Helping provide smooth acceleration and maximize powertrain efficiency is Altima Hybrid's hybrid system-specific eCVT, which works in conjunction with the Hybrid Vehicle-Electric Control Unit (HV-ECU) to determine which power source or combination of power sources will turn the wheels.
Altima Hybrid's electric motor produces high torque at low rpm, allowing it to utilize its Electric Vehicle (EV) mode to power the car from a standing idle and through initial acceleration without the assistance of the gasoline engine. While this stage of acceleration is a typical gasoline-only powered vehicle's least fuel-efficient stage, Altima Hybrid offers much of its fuel-efficiency benefits here.
Altima Hybrid's all-electric mode, called Electric Vehicle (EV) mode, powers the vehicle in this initial acceleration phase. After the electric motor provides initial acceleration, the gasoline engine quietly starts and assumes the load of powering the vehicle. The gasoline engine works independently through cruising speeds until the vehicle reaches speeds at which fuel efficiency declines.
When loads require, the electric motor restarts again and aids the gasoline engine in powering the Altima Hybrid. This allows the gasoline engine to remain in its ideal rpm range while the axle torque simultaneously increases due to extra power contributed by the electric motor.
A digital display on the speedometer indicates when the Altima Hybrid is running solely on electric power. The Altima Hybrid's available DVD navigation system also features a real-time display showing how the hybrid system directs the flow of energy.
"Altima Hybrid feels remarkably smooth – most drivers will never be aware of the transitions between the electric and gasoline power sources," said Castignetti. "Mostly what they will feel is highly responsive acceleration and the seamless delivery of power under almost all driving conditions."
A Pure Altima Experience
The Altima Hybrid is one of three distinct choices for Altima buyers in 2009, along with the Altima Sedan and the Altima Coupe – each delivering a rewarding, engaging driving and ownership experience.
Serving as the foundation for all 2009 Altimas, including Altima Hybrid, is Nissan's advanced "D" platform. The platform includes a subframe-mounted front suspension, shock absorbers with rebound springs and equal-length half-shafts that are nearly parallel to the ground – virtually eliminating traditional front-wheel drive torque steer.
Altima's exterior features an aggressive stance, a strong wedge character line and signature Altima-style taillights. Inside, Altima utilizes refined workmanship, high-quality materials and a long list of available amenities. The Altima Hybrid shares exterior and interior designs with the 2009 Altima Sedan – with the exception of unique Hybrid badging and hybrid power/charge display in the driver information display.
The 2009 Altima Hybrid also comes equipped with a number of standard safety features, including Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors, front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags and roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection.
Other standard equipment includes front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, front seat Active Head Restraints, the LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren), Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
One Well-Equipped Model
The 2009 Altima Hybrid is offered in one model, the Altima Hybrid, and with several optional equipment packages. Standard equipment includes the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and hybrid electric components, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS), eCVT transmission, 4-wheel power-assisted disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), electric power rack-and-pinion steering, 4-wheel independent suspension and 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Comfort and convenience features include standard Nissan Intelligent KeyÔ with Push Button Ignition and a dual-zone automatic temperature control that includes an Altima Hybrid-specific electrically powered A/C that continues to provide cooling when the gasoline engine is stopped.
The Altima Hybrid also offers an impressive list of available convenience features, including leather-appointed seating, Bluetoothâ Hands-free Phone System, RearView Monitor, XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately) and Nissan's Advanced Navigation System with real-time Energy Flow Display.
The 2009 Altima is assembled at Nissan North America – Smyrna Manufacturing.