More than 15 years ago Nissan helped establish a segment that catered to driving enthusiasts on a budget, taking the compact Sentra sedan and adding performance attributes normally seen on vehicles twice its price. The 2009 Sentra SE-R and Sentra SE-R Spec V continue that successful formula of serious performance at an affordable price.
"The Sentra SE-R and Sentra SE-R Spec V are enthusiasts' dreams, made for the performance buyer who wants it all for a price that doesn't take it all," said Al Castignetti, vice president, Sales, Nissan Division. "With high-output engines, high performance ventilated brakes, sport-tuned independent suspensions, 17-inch alloy wheels and sport-inspired interiors – the SE-R and SE-R Spec V deliver true driving exhilaration."
The latest duo of Nissan Sentra SE-R models, which carry over into the 2009 model year virtually intact, offer more power, more performance and more technology than any generation of SE-R that has gone before – including a power-to-price ratio of 200 horsepower for around $20,000. The Sentra SE-R Spec V is rated at 200 horsepower and the Sentra SE-R at 177 horsepower.
New for 2009, both the SE-R and SE-R Spec V receive a redesigned rear trunk lid, MP3 playback capability and a new Premium Audio Package. SE-R models receive a new optional SE-R Upgrade Package. Two new exterior paint colors (five total) are also offered for 2009 – Metallic Blue and Midnight Sky.
Both the 2009 SE-R and SE-R Spec V are powered by Nissan's advanced 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (QR25DE) and are equipped with a range of unique (versus non-SE-R Sentra models) performance-oriented equipment and features.
SE-R enhancements include standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and tires, 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and specially tuned electric power steering (EPS) – as well as unique exterior and interior appearance modifications.
Segment-Defining Performance – SE-R Spec V
Development of the QR25DE 2.5-liter DOHC engine was a primary focus in the creation of this generation SE-R. Special emphasis was placed on the Sentra SE-R Spec V-specific high output version, which features extensive modifications to the engine. Among the Spec V engine features are use of a unique resin intake manifold and dual branch exhaust manifold; revised piston crown shape to support its 10.5:1 compression; iridium tipped spark plugs for improved combustion characteristics; and a revised cam shaft profile, reinforced connecting rods and 8-counterweight crankshaft to achieve a higher redline limit of 7,000 rpm.
With these modifications, the engine achieves 200 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 180 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm (when using premium unleaded fuel). Helping to put all this power to the ground is an optional Helical Limited-Slip Differential (available with Spec V only). The Spec V model is available only with a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission and features unique suspension tuning, brakes, tires and body structure changes (versus the base SE-R). The SE-R Spec V is equipped with higher rate springs, shocks and bushings than the non-Spec V SE-R; 225/45WR17 uni-directional high performance tires; high performance front disc brakes with 12.6-inch rotors; and a revised cowl top structure and a unique trunk mounted "V" brace, both utilized for increased body rigidity. SE-R Spec V chassis performance and vehicle dynamics tests were conducted on the grueling Nurburgring Nordschleife closed circuit outside of Cologne, Germany.
Sentra SE-R: Smooth and Responsive
The 2009 Sentra SE-R model (non-Spec V) also offers fun-to-drive performance and aggressive, sporty appearance. The Sentra SE-R's responsive engine performance is delivered by the QR25DE engine, which is tuned for 177 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 172 lb-ft of torque at 2,800 rpm (on regular unleaded fuel). The Sentra SE-R is equipped exclusively with Nissan's Xtronic CVT™ (Continuously Variable Transmission), providing a unique offering in the sport compact market.
Enhancing the driving experience of the SE-R model are steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, which allow for quick and responsive up shifts and down shifts while driving on mountain roads or just negotiating daily traffic.
Sentra SE-R's independent strut front / torsion beam rear suspension design, shared with the standard 2009 Sentra, has been tuned for sporty handling, while not being overly firm during everyday use. Stopping power for the SE-R is provided by 4-wheel disc brakes with 11.7-inch front and 11.5-inch rear rotors. Contact with the road is handled through 225/45VR17 all-season performance tires.
Unique SE-R Exterior and Sporty Interior
Unique SE-R exterior treatments include aggressive front and rear fascias, side sill extensions, rear spoiler and SE-R badging. Inside Sentra SE-R's cabin are a number of unique SE-R features, including an exclusive black interior color, sport bucket front seats with SE-R stitching, unique seat fabrics, red seat belts (Spec V only), aluminum foot pedal pads, leather-appointed steering wheel (with red stitching on Spec V) and shift knob, and an additional two-gauge meter pack. These two additional gauges, canted towards the driver, provide information on oil pressure and acceleration/deceleration g-force.
Like all 2009 Sentra models, the SE-R also offers an array of comfort and convenience features including standard power windows and door locks, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD 6-speaker audio with an auxiliary input and MP3 playback capability and an integrated overhead compact disc holder.
Standard safety features for the Sentra SE-R include the 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; roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection; and front seat Active Head Restraints.
Optional features include the new SE-R Upgrade Package, with moonroof and Nissan Intelligent KeyÔ (SE-R only); an Audio Package with 340-watt Rockford Fosgate-powered audio system with 8 speakers, in-dash 6CD changer and XMâ Satellite Radio; the Moonroof Packagewith power slide and tilt moonroof and dual sun visor vanity mirror illumination; and Helical Limited Slip Differential (SE-R Spec V).