Whether among a sports team, company, or group or friends, it’s pretty common for a song, saying, or activity to be embraced for the way it embodies the spirit of the group. For the design team at Nissan, there must be something about swapping out tires for mechanical tracks that really rallies the troops.
The Japanese automaker first took this approach with their Rogue Trail Warrior crossover SUV in 2017, and followed it up with a track and ski version of the 370Z Convertible last year. Both were introduced as concept vehicles to help promote new capabilities of the company's conventional counterparts.
These concept cars must have accomplished their goals, because Nissan is at it again. This time they put tracks on a 2019 Altima for an appearance at the Montreal Auto Show.
Dubbed the Altima-te AWD, this concept car is being used to launch the redesigned midsize sedan, which will feature all-wheel drive for the very first time. The move is seen as a way of making the sedan more attractive in a market overrun by SUVs that offer all-wheel drive as a near-standard feature. Plus, these types of vehicles are highly preferred in climates like Montreal, which see plenty of snow.
The body and frame needed some slight adjustments to accommodate the tracks, which were bolted directly to the wheel hubs. The 2019 all-wheel drive Altimas will feature either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or the VC-Turbo, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with variable compression that combines fuel efficiency with horsepower.
And while the Altima-te AWD looks like it would be a blast to take over the river and through the woods, like its predecessors, it’s just a concept car.