What It Is
IRVINE, CA - Traditionally, Nissan's SE-R nomenclature has been reserved for various hot-rodded Sentra models dating back to 1991. Starting this September, speed junkies will be able to purchase a version of the 2005 Nissan Altima that wears the SE-R badge, offering slight bumps in engine horsepower and torque and providing yet another reason to skip paying extra for the larger, heavier Maxima flagship sedan.
What's Under the Hood
Making more than 250 horsepower and in excess of 250 lb.-ft. torque from its outstanding 3.5-liter V6 engine, the 2005 Nissan Altima SE-R's power output is increased through the use of a freer flowing exhaust system finished with dual chrome outlet tips. Choose between a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels; either way, torque steer is likely to be evident during hard acceleration.
To increase the Altima SE-R's ability to stick to the road, the four-wheel-independent suspension is re-tuned with stiffer shocks and springs, and thicker stabilizer bars front and rear. Forged aluminum alloy wheels measure 18 inches in diameter, and wear P225/45 performance tires. Inside and out, the 2005 Nissan Altima SE-R is modified to clearly state its sporting intent. Restyled front and rear fascias, special headlight and taillight lens treatments, side sill extensions and a unique rear lip spoiler are the key visual cues separating the Altima SE-R from the more pedestrian members of the lineup. The Altima SE-R also gets silver painted brake calipers, compact fog lights and Xenon headlights. Paint color choices are Black, Smoke, Silver, Blue or Red - the last of which is exclusive to the Altima SE-R.
Black leather heated sport seats can be outfitted with your choice of silver or red perforated inserts. Matching stitches keep the leather wrapped around the new three-spoke steering wheel. A three-pod auxiliary gauge cluster that monitors voltage, oil pressure and fuel level sits atop the center stack, recalling the Nissan 350Z sports car. Dark chrome trim is used to dress up the cabin, and the driver's feet operate aluminum pedals. A Bose audio system with an in-dash, six-disc CD changer is standard. Options include traction control, side-impact airbags, and side curtain airbags. If you require a stability control system or a limited-slip differential, shop elsewhere.
Given the increasing availability of Nismo go-fast goodies through Nissan's dealer network, it's a fair bet that the Altima SE-R has even more performance potential. We expect that a well-equipped 2005 Nissan Altima SE-R will close in on $30,000 when fully optioned - before Nismo speed parts are added.
Photo Credit: Nissan North America