Earlier this month, Nissan its next-generation sedan at the New York Auto Show in March, but other than verifying the date -- March 28 -- company officials haven't said much about what to expect from the new midsize family car.
At least not intentionally.
During a recording of Autoline After Hours, a weekly auto industry-focused internet show, Nissan's Christopher Reed alluded to the sixth-generation Altima receiving an important new feature in its arsenal: all-wheel drive. Reed, who is vice president of components engineering at Nissan Technical Center North America, was actually on Thursday's show to talk about the .
A member of Autoline's audience had written in to ask Reed if the Leaf would ever receive AWD, and he responded by saying:
"We know that in the future... especially in the North, people like all-wheel-drive cars, right? And we're talking about coming out with all-wheel drive on the Altima and that kind of stuff, so we're doing some new things there."
Reed's remark corroborates long-held rumors that the sedan will get the grips-at-all-corners technology. When reached by Roadshow, a spokesman would only say, "Nissan will announce full details of the 2019 all-new Altima at the New York International Auto Show, until then, no, we have no further information to share at this time."
Imbuing the next Altima with all-wheel drive seems to make a lot of sense. After all, more and more buyers are leaving traditional sedans for crossover SUVs, often in part because most models offer the foul weather-friendly technology. Indeed, Nissan's best-selling new vehicle is now the -- the Altima has relinquished the brand's sales crown.
If the 2019 Altima does gain AWD, it probably won't be standard equipment, and it definitely won't be alone in its segment -- the Ford Fusion already offer it. However, the Altima will be the highest-volume mainstream sedan to offer the technology -- and are exclusively front-wheel drive, and the same goes for popular models like the , and Kia Optima.and
Along with available AWD and a host of new safety and convenience features, we're expecting for the new Altima to gain markedly more aggressive styling, likely influenced by(shown above), a show car that debuted at the 2017 .
We'll know much more on March 28, when the new Altima debuts in New York at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.