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For Australians, Nissan drops a V-8 in the Altima

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  October 30, 2012 07:47 PM

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Racing drivers Todd Kelly (left) and Rick Kelly (at right) flank Nissan Australia CEO William Peffer Jr., beside the most ridiculous Altima that will never be sold.

We've already been wowed by the 2013 Nissan Altima, which has been thoroughly redesigned as a more comfortable, stylish, and fuel-efficient midsize sedan. Bill Griffith found the Altima's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to be more than adequate, and on Seattle highways last week, I couldn't agree more. It's quiet, quick, and all-around competent.

That said, wouldn't the new Altima be fantastic with a 400-horsepower V-8?

Nissan's Australian division agrees. They've skipped past the V-6 and built a race-spec Altima V-8 for the Australian V-8 Supercars series, the first time in two decades that a non-American car has entered the competitive field of rear-wheel-drive, four-door V-8 sedans. It's very much the Australian version of NASCAR, except Supercars race cars can actually be identified as stock. Until now, only the Holden ClubSport and Ford Falcon sedans -- both of which can be purchased in Australia with massive V-8 engines -- have been in the mix.

Nissan hopes to make a big splash -- much in the way Toyota did when it entered an American-dominated NASCAR in 2007 -- especially when the race series arrives to the brand-new Circuit of the Americas course in Austin, Texas next May.

We just wish Nissan's ultimate family sledgehammer was a production Altima. What kind of praise must we spew to make that happen?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee
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