Desperate times in the passenger car segment call for desperate publicity measures, so Nissan’s trying to make a splash ahead of the release of its next-generation 2019 Altima.
Among the brand’s conventional cars, the Altima’s 2018 sales slide (down 21.7 percent over the first four months of the year) is only topped by that of the larger Maxima (down 25.1 percent). Not altogether surprising, given the market and the older model’s age. However, now that there’s a fairly edgy replacement waiting in the wings, Nissan’s doing what it can to generate buzz ahead of the launch.
Enter the “Altima Edition ONE.”
Looking much like a 2019 Altima, because that’s what it is, the Edition ONE is a limited production launch edition that sees the new sedan festooned with almost everything Nissan can throw at it. One must reserve this automobile, rather than wait for it to show up on dealer lots. (Reservations open June 15th.)
As for just how “limited” this model is, Nissan isn’t telling.
Anyway, for this version, the cost of which is unknown at this point, buyers gain dark grey 19-inch aluminum wheels, external ground lighting (long a complaint among Altima owners), illuminated kick plates (presumably with the word “Altima” on then), plus badging and floor mats that won’t let anyone forget that this Altima is an Altima Edition ONE, regardless of the car’s actual VIN.
Basically, this is a Platinum-trim car with a few extra features you’ll hopefully talk to your coworkers about. One of those features is three years of complimentary concierge services. In the mood for opera tickets or fancy restaurant reservations? There’s a live human being that can be reached — either via the car itself or a smartphone app — to take care of the arrangements.
Under the hood of this top-tier Altima is Nissan’s brand new, variable compression VC-Turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder. This nifty engine makes 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, mated to, what else, a continuously variable transmission. (Fuel economy figures aren’t available at this time.)
Other goodies include Bose audio, leather, and Nissan’s ProPilot driver assist technology, which turns your vehicle into a semi-autonomous vehicle while driving in a single lane. Just keep one hand on the wheel while you’re dialing up the concierge. Rear automatic braking joins the roster of driving aids for 2019, and there’s just three paint colors to choose from.
One thing you won’t find on the Edition ONE, or any other 2.0T Altima for that matter, is all-wheel drive. That available perk goes only to buyers who can’t tear themselves away from the model’s returning 2.5-liter base engine. Still, there’s a gift waiting for reservation holders. Edition ONE buyers can choose from an assortment of Amazon or Apple products, just to sweeten the pot. Surely, the model’s price covers the loot.
The 2019 Altima, funky door handle placement and all, rolls into dealers this fall. You can expect to hear pricing announced closer to that time.