Nissan shows off V8-powered Altima for Australian race series
No, the real Altima will never offer a V8, but the race Altima packs upward of 400 horsepower.
Nissan unveiled its 2013 entry into Australian V8 Supercars at a launch in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday.
The Altima V8 Supercar is the first new model unveiled to the race series in two decades, as Nissan joins the championship with the four-car factory Nissan Motorsport team. Just as Toyota's 2007 entry into NASCAR caused a large stir among U.S. automakers, Nissan is likely to shake up the American-dominated field of manufacturers in Australia's V8 Supercars series, which have been entirely comprised of Holden (General Motors) and Ford sedans.
However, unlike the Altima, those sedans can all be purchased from Australian dealers with potent V8 engines. Unfortunately, while the Pontiac G8 was briefly sold stateside -- a rebadged version of Holden's popular HSV ClubSport -- other Austrialian-built muscle sedans have never been sold in the U.S.
The Altima V8 has been designed and built to the category's new 'Car of The Future' regulations, which include 18-inch wheels, transaxle gearbox and independent rear suspension. Nissan Motorsport will use the production-based VK56DE engine in the Altima V8 Supercar, the same engine that powered Nissan to the FIA GT1 World Championship in 2011.
Todd Kelly (left), Nissan Australia CEO William Peffer Jr., and Rick Kelly pose with the hottest Altima we'll never see. (c) Nissan
The VK56 engine also powers the all-new 2013 Nissan Patrol (our Infiniti QX56) that goes on sale in Australia in February. That engine produces 400 horsepower from the factory.
Kelly is the 2005 Bathurst 1000 winner and team racing director.
"This is the proudest day in the relatively short history of our team, as well as one of the most significant days in recent times for the sport of V8 Supercars," said Todd Kelly, co-owner and driver of Kelly Racing.
The Australia's V8 Supercars Championship next season will consist of a 15-race schedule that includes a stop at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on May 17-19.
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