Big Altima Energy Just Got Even Bigger With The 2023 Refresh Of Nissan’s Perennial Midsize Sedan

2023 Nissan Altima

Nissan updates the Altima, the EU moves forward with banning new combustion-powered cars, a French company drops a stunning Porsche 928. All this and more on today’s issue of The Morning Dump.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

Nissan Refreshes The Altima

2023 Nissan Altima
Photo credit: Nissan

Big Altima Energy just got bigger. Yes, TikTok’s favorite midsize sedan gets an update inside and out for 2023. Powertrains remain completely unchanged, with 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine driving either the front or all four wheels, or a two-liter variable-detonation – err, variable compression turbocharged four-cylinder engine spinning the front tires. Yes, variable compression, the whole crankshaft is on a pivot. It’s about as insane as it sounds. Anyway, let’s take a look at the styling and creature comforts coming to the 2023 Nissan Altima.

I won’t lie, the current Altima has a little bit of early-installment weirdness going on. The headlights kept little wings on their edges, while the grille departs from the Sentra compact sedan and Versa subcompact sedan with a raised top edge that looks just a touch out of place. Thankfully, the styling team’s gone back in and refined some things for 2023. Since new tooling to stamp new fenders is expensive, the little headlight wings remain. However, the new headlight design looks much less fussy, with blacked-out internal elements. The grille and front bumper have been revised too, with flatter surfacing on the bumper above the grille, a flat upper edge for the grille, a new mesh pattern similar to that on the Kicks subcompact crossover, and larger faux corner grilles with enhanced flares at the bottom of the bumper. Toss in the latest Nissan badge and a little red SR grille badge on SR models, and presto – a sleeker-looking Altima for sure.

Around the side, top-spec models get a really handsome set of mesh-like wheels, while the rear end gets the subtle update of an all-black diffuser-style element rather than the body-color insert seen on current cars. Overall, I’d say job well done.

2023 Altima
Photo credit: Nissan

On the inside, an available 12.3-inch touchscreen is absolutely huge and sports a significantly different user interface than on other current Nissan products. Category selection moves to the left margin, large tiles feature color backgrounds, hard buttons only exist for dimming, seeking, and camera toggling, plus an actual physical volume knob. It looks pretty similar to one display option on the Ariya electric crossover, which means there’s a chance Nissan’s new infotainment arrives in the Altima before it arrives in the Ariya.

What can I say? Altimas are pretty fast. As for equipment, LED headlights are now standard across all trims, the interior trim gets a bit more plush, wireless CarPlay hops aboard as an option, but that’s about it for real changes. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Expect the 2023 Nissan Altima to hit showrooms across America this fall, with pricing expected to be released closer to its on-sale date.

White House Mulls Charging Station Standards

Chargepoint Stations
Photo credit: Chargepoint

You know, this whole concept of a proper national charging network planned along major highways sounds absolutely awesome. Judging by experiences with privately-owned Level 3 DC fast chargers, reliability and service can be spotty, and charging stations can be located in some seriously sketchy locations. Nobody really wants to be standing around an empty, poorly-lit industrial estate at midnight trying to get some juice, so consistently decent charging locations sound absolutely stellar.

However, the cost of installing charging stations means that they should be done right the first time. No little 50 kW chargers here. Indeed, according to Automotive News, the Federal Highway Administration has proposed some rules for the planning and installation of public EV fast chargers.

The rules are quite simple, even if they’re complex to implement – build charging stations every 50 miles, no more than one mile away from the highway, with key implementations along Interstate highways and alternative fuel highways. Minimum electric vehicle service equipment requirements proposed are each station having four 150 kW fast chargers that can support four vehicles at once. Of course, ADA compliance would also be required, and pricing, availability, and location must be available for drivers in real-time, but those should be fairly easy targets to achieve. What isn’t so easy to achieve is uptime – these charging stations must work at least 97 percent of the time.

While it would most definitely be nice to see a 350 kW standard for the sake of futureproofing, 150 kW isn’t exactly nothing. Oh, and requiring industry-standard CCS connectors is a great move for the bulk of EV buyers. Honestly, it’ll be interesting to see where these proposed rules go. Hopefully some of them make it through and create an easier charging situation for EV drivers.

EU Votes Yes On Outright Combustion Car Ban

A Shell gas station.
Photo credit: “Shell Gas Station” by JeepersMedia is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Start building a casket – new combustion-powered cars will officially be dead in Europe come 2035. On Wednesday, European Parliament formally voted on an EV mandate, and the results were surprisingly close. According to Politico, 339 lawmakers voted in favor of the ban, 249 voted against, and 24 abstained from voting. Lawmakers now just need to work out specific wording of the final legal text and sign off on it.

Honestly, it’s a bit disappointing considering the alternative proposal seemed quite sufficient indeed. A proposal to cut tailpipe emissions by 90 percent by 2035 would have allowed for just a handful of specialty combustion-powered vehicles to keep the dream alive, but it seems that the majority of lawmakers weren’t having any of that. So, 13 years remain for Europeans to buy all the new dino-burning driver’s cars they can before the light is extinguished. That really isn’t a long time when you think about it. Best of luck.

Porsche’s 928 Gets The Restomod Treatment

Nardone Automotive 928 1
Photo credit: Nardone Automotive

Right, now that I’ve got some of the sensible stuff out of the way, it’s time to delve into dream cars. The Porsche 928 has always been a bit of an underappreciated gem. While it could never replace the 911 as a sports car, it’s a sleek, comfy, devilishly delightful grand tourer that feels far more modern than its 1978 launch would indicate. But what if someone made a truly modernized 928 that blends the best of Porsche past and present? Well, a small French company called Nardone Automotive has done just that.

Looking at Nardone Automotive’s 928, there’s a great deal of re-working on the outside. The puffed-up fender flares aren’t just there for visual effect, they hide massive tires and the fact that this 928’s body is made of carbon fiber. In fact, the bumpers and lamps are the areas that see the most substantial changes. The front bumper adopts a lower grille with shades of 993 Turbo, just significantly squared-off, bumper light air ducts recalling those on the 964 3.8 RS, and multiple vents near the leading edge of the hood that feel like a blend of 924 GTS and 997 GT3.

Out back, the tail lamps get replaced with a massive full-length blade of light, similar to that on the current Porsche 911. Fabulous.

Nardone Automotive 928 2
Photo credit: Nardone Automotive

It’s on the inside though, that things really heat up. As the exterior of this updated 928 is a very ‘70s shade of brown, the inside had to match, right? Indeed, there’s brown leather, suede, and carpet on just about every surface. The dashboard get simplified with a touch of carbon fiber accenting, a big splash of silver, and a tiny little infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay support. Sequestered behind interior panels is a modern hi-fi system, a must-do upgrade for grand touring. It just looks perfect, no gaudiness here.

Moving on to the gauge cluster, the dot-matrix treatment is lovely, but the tachometer really is a matter of taste. I like it quite a lot as it reminds me of some late-’70s watch designs, but I bet some people won’t be so keen. Regardless, the shove underneath this thing seems tremendous. Power comes from a tuned-up naturally-aspirated V8 making around 400 horsepower, while a six-speed manual transaxle and a limited-slip rear differential send all that power to the tires. Chuck in bigger brakes, re-worked suspension geometry, and electronically-controlled dampers, and this seems like a GT truly fit for modern driving.

Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but don’t expect this updated 928 to be cheap. It’ll also be a bit of a wait until the first cars are delivered – Nardone Automotive is targeting 2024.

The Flush

Whelp, time to drop the lid on this edition of The Morning Dump. Let’s say that in 13 years, with new gas-powered cars well and truly dead in Europe, you suddenly find yourself with the time and money to restomod a car from the early 2000s. What car would you pick, and how would you update it? Honestly, I feel like an X308 Jaguar XJR with the thumping great five-liter supercharged V8 from an F-Type SVR, a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual gearbox, properly top-notch Öhlins suspension and AP Racing brakes, and an interior fully-wrapped in semi-aniline leather would be absolutely mega. Killer looks, killer powertrain, brilliant suspension and stopping. A proper Jag turned up to 11. How about you? What restomod from the unremembered aughts would float your boat?

Lead photo credit: Nissan

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52 Responses

  1. “these charging stations must work at least 97 percent of the time.”

    That sounds good at first, but when you do the math it’s actually not great. Unless they’re including scheduled maintenance in that (which could be scheduled for low traffic times and have minimal impact on the usability of the station), it means about every 33 stops you’re going to run into a non-functioning charger. I’ve seen malfunctioning gas pumps too, but I’m pretty sure it’s not every 33 times. Looked at another way, that’s almost 263 hours a year that these stations will be offline. I’m not saying they need to have five 9’s (99.999%) availability, but more than one 9 would be good.

    I guess the obvious answer to the restomod question is my 2001 Corvette. Ventilated seats would be delightful, especially on hot days with the top off. There isn’t much else I would really want to change though. Maybe bluetooth for better phone integration, but I’m not sure that qualifies as restomod material since I could do it myself pretty easily.

  2. “You know, this whole concept of a proper national charging network planned along major highways sounds absolutely awesome.”

    Yeah, until you understand just how MASSIVE an infrastructure project it is, and how 150% dependent it is on private power companies with complete and total regulatory capture. 150kW times 4 is an absolute SHITLOAD of power. You’re literally talking about a single ‘large’ charging station getting into the MEGAWATT range. That’s a shitload of power.
    We’re looking at having rolling blackouts in the midwest this summer due to a shortage in generation and naked profiteering. 47-fold increase in cost for a megawatta-day for MISO. Went from $5/MWday to $236.66MW/day.
    Thanks, Texas fucknuts, for showing MISO generators they can profiteer just as much. (Texas is not connected to the grid, they can fuck off.) MISO covers 42 million people over 15 states, who will for the first time ever, be facing rolling blackouts this summer. Especially if there are dangerous heatwaves again.

    In other words, this entire idea is doomed to fail unless the generation and grid is forcibly nationalized, and tremendous amounts of new and old generation capacity is brought online. That means new construction – oh boy, more natural gas fired power plants, boy that’s eco-friendly! Even with a nationalized grid and generation system, nuclear plants take decades to build. They don’t just keep 1100MWE reactors on the shelf.
    And so long as the generation and grid is for-profit? It’s a blank check for even more profiteering. By companies that have openly and blatantly bribed politicians. Google ‘FirstEnergy Ohio Bribery’ – sure, they’re totally not going to demand another multi-billion dollar bailout, hold the power grid and customers hostage, then offload all the debts to a shell company to declare bankruptcy with.
    Nevermind Tesla’s willingness to say “fuck you” and ignore the law in every possible way.

    It’s an admirable idea. It’s a good idea. And it will never work in the failed third-world country that is the ‘United’ States.

    “Let’s say that in 13 years, with new gas-powered cars well and truly dead in Europe, you suddenly find yourself with the time and money to restomod a car from the early 2000s. What car would you pick, and how would you update it?”

    Not to toot my own horn, but I’m sure the fellow commentariat is very, very interested to hear my answer. I mean, it’s me.
    I was going to go Neon, but, honestly? I wouldn’t restomod a Neon. I’d restore it to factory ACR spec. That’s not a restomod. That’s not interesting except to drive. (Trust me, it’s the most fun you can ever have under 3.8 liters.)

    So man, what are we gonna do?
    Wait. You just gave me all of EUROPE to work with? Hang onto your butts, folks.
    Bring me… a Mitsubishi Diamante wagon! Motherfuckers, we are going full fucking send. See, the Mitsubishi Diamante is 1) the Mitsubishi Diamante, which is an awesome car you all missed out on, 2) already set up for AWD. The level of technology in the Diamante was literally more than a decade ahead of everyone, and highly modular. So what are we doing?
    We’re keeping the laser-based distance and lane-keeping. We’re keeping the multi-link suspension. We’re keeping the Lay-Z-Boy seating with leather. We’re keeping the keyless entry. And we’re putting a Mitsubishi engine in it. “Oh so you’re gonna build a Diamante VR-4?”
    HELL NO. This is me. We’re dropping in an Evo. But not just any Evo, that’d be boring and meh. Yeah, no. We’re putting in an Evo FQ-440 MR. It’s a Diamante, it needs an “automatic” you can select the gears on. Also it needs 440HP and 412ft/lbs.

    Besides, Renault already did the best thing you can do to an Espace.

    1. Solar, wind, and local storage. Need it. Everywhere. Particularly with non-scarce mineral chemistries. Doesn’t matter that it’s going to be hard to do. What’s the alternative? Hydrogen maybe, but that still needs the solar and wind build-out to matter.

    2. Are we talking about the first generation Diamante/Sigma in long roof form? Because, if so, yes please.

      Also, I agree largely with your assessment on plug-in infrastructure. I know politicians are famously miopic, but holy smokes, you’d have to lack the ability to find the number 2 if you were spotted the 1 and 3 to be this blind. The most stupid part is that they’re closing the door on fossil fuels without having solved this problem first, just to appease the noisiest segment of their electorate. That’s like quitting your current job without having another one lined up.

      1. With the split headlight design, we absolutely 110% are indeed my friend.

        For those of you who are unfamiliar, it is this glorious boi:
        https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/94/Mitsubishi_Diamante_Wagon_%28Japan%29.jpg/800px-Mitsubishi_Diamante_Wagon_%28Japan%29.jpg?20160108022547

        And no, this is just… even fucking dumber. Because it’s a bunch of greenwashing theatrics that at best will make pollution orders of magnitude worse while also handing literal wheelbarrows full of cash to literal criminals. While also ignoring anything resembling the actual problem, with a vengeance. And far more likely will go exactly fucking nowhere because the ‘other side’ is literal Nazism hellbent on breaking the government so they can seize power.

    3. You seem to have a ton of specific knowledge on this topic. I’m genuinely curious, as this isn’t adding up for me. How has Tesla managed to build out a robust supercharger network without grenading the grid? How is this proposed project any different?

      1. Because Tesla is small incompetent potatoes reliant on a cult.
        Their oh-so-vaunted superchargers take 2 hours at 150kW, and their “V3” systems are actually grid limited to no more than 350kW, and an absolute peak of 250kW. There are approximately 37 Teslas per Supercharger stall, with each station costing over $300,000. Less than 20% of all charging is done on superchargers.
        And Tesla was bragging about doing 72GWh for the month of July 2019. Because cultists and average people have no concept of how little 72GWh actually is.

        Because it is actually tiny. 1GWh = 1M kWh. R.E. Ginna NPP, the oldest and smallest nuclear power plant in the country, produces 4,930GWh per year. 410.8GWh per month. Tesla’s highest demand month ever is equivalent to a whole 17.5% of what is actually a small power plant PERIOD. Not small ‘nuclear.’ Just small. R.E. Ginna is only 580MW nameplate; a mid-sized coal fired power plant would be around 900-1000MW of nameplate capacity. Modern coal plants are well over three times the capacity.

        The other factor with the impending MISO collapse is outright profiteering thanks to regulatory capture and capitulating, AKA “deregulation.” Generators can charge any amount they want, the company you think of as ‘the power company’ is only the power lines and equipment. They have to buy electricity on the ‘open market’ from generators to deliver to you. Of course, the ‘invisible hand’ bullshit says that generators should compete to offer the lowest price blah blah blah.
        No, that was always bullshit. Generators and deliverers will always go for the absolute maximum profit margins through deliberate neglect, price hikes, profiteering, unlawful conduct, and criminal acts. Deliverers doubly so because they are all monopolies. And since the deliverers don’t want to pay the generators, and aren’t subject to any meaningful regulations or any consequences whatsoever? They will gladly force you to live in the dark while charging you for the privilege.

        1. 2 hours at 150kW? Maybe you need to check the specs on the mushrooms you eat. I’ve never been at a Supercharger longer than 1 hour — worst case situation in the cold on a 72kW one. I’ve driven across the united states on superchargers. Average time at charger: 20 minutes. So yeah, bullshit on your assertion, you have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to Tesla.

          You have two choices for the power industry: nationalize and get the lowest bid on the last generation technology and live with it for 50 years, or go private and endure the fact that yes, piling on more regulations makes power generation expensive. And all this “the cool new kids like wind and solar” will take massive investments in local storage, distributed load shedding, and real-time pricing. Grid operators care about voltage, frequency and not having anything break while they’re near it. When you have stringent government regulations, quasi monopolies, and insane resistance to new infrastructure this is what you get. Still, our power grid is better than what most folks deal with.

        2. Having lived in a few “energy choice” states, it is depressing to see how many of the providers available are month-to-month variable pricing with an absurdly low first month price and no way to know what your future month costs will be in advance. Also it takes a few months to switch providers so when your kWh rate goes from $0.09 to $0.32, you effectively don’t know until its too late. And that’s just for regional mix power.

          If you do your homework, you can find fixed price contracts and pay for renewable generation credits. But it’s a serious pain in the ass and sometimes your contracted supplier gets bought or goes bankrupt. In my case, we’ve been paying for 100% wind power, typically on a 24 month terms. It’s always been within a cent or two of the default price at the time, so occasionally we win and sometimes we lose relative to doing nothing, but the stability is nice and we don’t use a ton of power anyway.

          One more corporate welfare program under the guise of free markets that really only exists to screw people not wealthy enough to beat the system.

          1. I wish our “Energy Choices” were better because it’s the same thing. Even with the homework the closest I can get is a fixed contract within 5 cents of the standard price that our utility offers right now so I haven’t grabbed a fixed price contract just yet. That may change though if we continue to see a rise in energy prices.

  3. Kind of OT, but I feel that so much of a car’s character is defined not just by its design, materials, both inside and out, but also the drivetrain. I could see restomodding characterful cars that would otherwise prohibited from on-road use, but I think you lose a certain essence by refining it with an electric drivetrain. Think about, for example, older Volvos or SAABs, how much would be lost in that transfiguration? I’m sure there’s many other examples of this, too.

    1. I’ve always had the mindset that if you’re restoring a car, then all of that character should be preserved in order to maintain as much of the original experience as possible. But a restomod isn’t meant to reproduce all of that, but to enhance, update, and even improve.

      So in that vein, I think this is spot on. It evokes nostalgia while refreshing things froward and aligning better with modern materials, driving experiences, etc. So would a restomodded Saab be like driving a new one in 1974 or 1984 for instance? No, nor should it be. It becomes its own unique thing, and I like that aspect.

  4. Early 2000s resto mod, with all the OBD II and FWD everything and passive anti-theft systems and bloated but essentially leftover 90s designs?

    Okay, fine, take the 2000 Mustang I’m using while the truck is in the shop, swap me in a Barra I-6 and make it a manual transmission while you’re at it. I think I could live with that.

  5. Biased obviously, but I’ll keep my aughts ride and restomod it as time goes. It gets a comment about 75% of the time I’m out in it or someone stops by. Old guy walking into a bank past me, siding guy asking about it, highschool girl at the drive through, person bringing pizza out for curbside pickup, etc.

    I’ve already got plenty done to it (brakes, suspension, wheels, seats, exhaust, tune, cosmetic stuff…) but at some point it will need a new heart. Maybe down the road when the kids are moved out I can transplant in the new Z’s drivetrain. Or maybe by then I’ll want to electrify it. All I know is that it has aged fantastically and will continue to do so.

  6. The EV infrastructure idea is a huge step forward towards acceptance. That is the primary issue how, not all of us have a place to plug at our place of residence. Also it will help with the “What about if I drive more than a commute” concern.

    The next barrier is the charge time. A fuel stop can be under 10 minutes with ICE. I don’t know enough about EVs to say what 350kW charge times would be.

    When I am road tripping I make quick stops (bathroom, fuel up, snacks), if I am traveling with someone we split duties as much as we can to reduce time. A typical stop doesn’t go much over 15 minutes.

    1. The charge time is going to be a big hang-up for road-trippers for a bit, most likely. Depends how often and how far, of course, but some things could help before the tech takes off. Adjusting to taking the time for a sit-down meal will solve it for many (as long as restaurants start installing chargers). Having charging available at destinations will also help. Going to visit a cool museum? Charge while you’re in there. Higher capacity batteries and more efficient motors are already improving range, which will also help.

      1. Played right, it could mean a return to sit-down roadside dining. If it takes an hour to pick up your next 250-300 miles of charge, why not relax a bit instead of snarfing down drive-thru in the car?

        1. I’ve been considering an EV for a bit now (though being a renter complicates that). I think my road trips would become significantly healthier, between actually getting out of the vehicle and probably eating better.

    2. Kia’s EV6 and it’s architecture siblings can charge 10-80% at a 350kw charger in 18 minutes. Range is 310 miles, so 70% = 217 miles.
      The limit here is the battery chemistry (NMC), which can’t handle 350kw through it’s whole charge curve. If a battery could sustain a constant 350kw, it would gain 87.5kwh in 15 minutes. Most new EVs get 3-4 miles/kwh. That means the theoretical maximum possible range gain in 15 minutes at 350kw is about 260-350 miles.
      A big enough LFP battery could probably get close to that, but LFP are currently larger/heavier per kWh than NMC batteries. Solid-state batteries would also be able to handle it, while also being smaller/lighter per kwh, but are (most optimistically) still at a engineering-sample / pre-production stage.
      For a final comparison, using the above method, the theoretical maximum from the 150kW charging stations the Gov’t is proposing in 15min = 37.5 kwh = 110-150 miles of range.

  7. “While it would most definitely be nice to see a 350 kW standard for the sake of futureproofing, 150 kW isn’t exactly nothing.”

    I’m not even sure it’s futureproofing, Kia’s and Hyundai’s already are at 350 kW. This seems outdated already.

  8. It’s not quite early 2000s but close.. growing up my Mum had a RAV4 World Cup edition, must have been like 1998/99, that was all white with a different grille and the stick shift. She always professed how much I would have loved to drive that car if she had held onto it soooo I’d go with one of those. Or the 323 Astina that came before it!

  9. I, too, find myself disappointed in the 150kW minimum requirement. However, since I am a cog in the government gearbox, I know how this happens when writing a spec, and some manager who has no subject matter expertise just pulls a number out of a convenient orifice, and calls it good enough, without thinking about what would be the technically best solution, or what would be useful a couple of years down the line. Pushing for a 350kW minimum would have made the most sense, but it would also have been more expensive, so obviously, it was rejected.

    I’d love to have a T-Rex-ized AMC Eagle. Or Raptor-ized. Y’know, that kind of thing.

    1. It would be interesting to see what the price difference and power-supply requirements for a 150kW vs a 350kW fast charger are, it could be a case of the existing tranche of funding being enough to cover a real national network at the lower figure but have to leave holes at the higher one.

  10. Is it just me, or does the front overhang of the restomod 928 look completely out of proportion? It was enough so that I went and checked pictures of the original and the front overhang looks normal on those. I think it’s largely the extra mass added to the more blunt nose whereas the original had a more shark-like snout that to me works much better.

  11. Re the Altima, the body looks good. Mostly because the original version of it on the Ford Fusion was (and still is to my eyes) so handsome.

    Less so than the Taurus in the ’80s, but still significantly so, the second-gen Fusion really seemed to have had a big influence on subsequent mid-market sedan design across the board.

  12. A naughty oughties car? S2000. Restomods? Umm. If I have to? Carbon ceramic brakes, carbon fiber wheels, magnetorheological shocks, modern infotainment, heated / ventilated seats, ultra light titanium and carbon fiber PRHT.

  13. I took a quick look at the source document that the EU parliament approved and they did not ban ICE cars in 2035. The set the fleet CO2 average to 0 g/km. That sounds like a ban but the devil is in the details. Just as today – the fine for not hitting the fleet target is 95 euro per g/km CO2. So Mercedes would pay a 3,135 Euro fine on every E300e PHEV they produced in 2035 (33 g/km CO2 x 95)

    Separate note – What is going on with these comments. It is bad enough that they aren’t chronological from top to bottom so they are easy to read but they aren’t even chronological from bottom to top.

  14. The charging station standards NEED to happen. IMO charging infrastructure will be adequate is once I can do a cross-country road trip in a Mitsubishi i-MiEV without having to go out of my way. Being able to take your EV anywhere, no matter the range, and knowing you will be able to charge it is critical to the success of EVs.

  15. I love my little shitbox OG wrx: it’s shabby & janky and it induces chortles ‘most every time I drive it. But, it needs more torque down low for those 5mph gravel hairpins around here.
    {YES I know I bought a Subaru…settle down back there!
    Damn, dude! You just shot Coke like FIVE feet out your nostrils. Good job!
    Ok, you done??}
    Irl, I’m toying with transplanting a Forrester XT drivetrain into it for the extra 1/2-liter and the 4.44 gears.
    In my fantasies, I Tesla-swap it—but modded. I’d like rwd with on-demand power to the front. The software would be beyond my abilities, but I’m sure someone out there has figured it out. Worst case, I’d set it up with a switch which ‘locks’ the rear diff, and another bringing the front axle in as if it had a locked center diff. I’d have to find an ‘80s XT (the car, not trim level/engine induction) and steal the shifter with a 4wd button on it: that new/old dichotomy would fit perfectly in my jugar ride. Hoonage would no doubt ensue.

  16. Somehow, the facelift seems to make the Altima look less bloated, the current car always had kind of a pudgy/chubby cheek look to it, to me, not sure why

    Of course, I’d have to see one in the flesh with a taped-up garbage bag rear window, cloudy headlights, a bumper cover halfway ripped off and flapping in the wind, one bald donut tire, and 3 wheels heavily caked in brake dust to really tell for sure

  17. C30 PHEV conversion?
    Allroad diesel/PHEV conversion?
    e-TT?

    As with yesterday, I’m sure we could really get weird with some time to fire up the wayback machine, but assuming cost-no-object extends to repair cost also no object, something in this vein

    Seeing the defense production act invoked and tariffs waived for solar panels/inputs is a good step and only eighteen months late. Regulatory capture with utilities is definitely an issue, but there are a lot of flat surfaces that could have a panel stuck on them as the charging network gets built out. I hope salt water batteries are still being developed, because they seem great for fixed location applications.

    1. Hell, I dont want to hang around even one of the “nicer” gas station/convenience store chains any longer than I have to – Wawa, Sheetz, and Royal Farms all have meth head pan handlers roaming their parking lots and camping out by their garbage cans, just want to fill up and get the hell out. Certainty don’t want to be stuck charging a battery

  18. Restomod an early aughts? Almost everything that era is kind of too new to restomod, or not interesting enough. Most aren’t properly aged enough for that.

    Only two, outside of off-roaders come to mind.

    Put a scorching hot, yet reliable LS into a Jaguar XK8 (project code X100). Your choice, convertible or coupé. There’s a California company that makes kits for that so you don’t have to fumble in the dark. Assuming your Jag engine is toast, that is. These are already pretty damned good as delivered from Coventry.

    Any nice LS in a Miata is also an option. Lots of options there, because it’s such a great idea.

    With either car, maybe some racing shocks. Then spray the outside with a few dozen coats of expensive custom color paints, and redo the interior in padded butter-soft leather like you’d find in a Bugatti or Bentley.

    The off roaders are obviously Jeeps, or maybe see what you can stuff into a Toyota FJ or a Honda Element.

    The problem with the FJ is that they’re currently an insanely expensive starting point as a stock vehicle. All but the best, most expensive restomod is likely to reduce the value!

    1. Agree with everything you said.

      The Element, though interesting, was a huge disappointment for me. I had a 2005 EX AWD/5MT. Slow, poor MPG because the overdrive gear ratio is wildly out of touch with American highways and interstates (70 MPH feels like youre doing 120, especially if you had to go by the tachometer, and given the faulty instrument cluster, that may have been a possibility). It was not exactly a vault of reliability, either, requiring rebuilds of several systems way before they’re expected due date (and some not usually expected at all).

      I love the concept of it, even though it’s really a soft-roader and it didn’t really live up to the expectations I had of Honda, having owned many 80s and 90s examples. I know now that a 2005 and a 1995 Honda are not the same thing.

  19. You can’t talk about a Nissan sedan without talking about their CVT. According to Nissan, their latest 3rd generation “Xtronic” CVT fixes all of the problems that earlier versions had with overheating and poor performance. Does anyone know if this is true? It would be nice to know that that part of Nissan’s history has finally been put to bed.

    1. Thank you. I’m also wondering if the materials on the dash, door panels and armrest start flaking off in no time, and if the stock suspension will last longer than the first oil change or two.

    2. As the one seemingly unashamed Altima owner on these forums, let me play devil’s advocate here. The old Jatco CVT is unreliable garbage…when service is neglected. And that service gets neglected because it’s a fucking footnote in the manual, rather than part of the actual service schedule. And because Nissan owners aren’t exactly known for prophylactic maintenance. Old/dirty fluid WILL grenade them, despite owners thinking the transmission is lifetime fill, which it sure isn’t.

      So the question becomes: are the CVTs garbage, or do they just need more routine upkeep than owners know to give? I flog mine up mountain roads and keep the fluid fresh, and it’s been trouble-free. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

      tl;dr change Nissan CVT fluid routinely and it’ll treat you right. Oh and that 2.5L engine strapped to the CVT is still a lump of oil-burning, catalyst-inhaling meh.

      1. In my opinion, ALL belt or cone drive CVTs are garbage because they rely on a degree of constant internal slippage to function correctly. Constant slippage guarantees continuous wear no matter how often the fluids are changed. So they are always on a timer until failure. I won’t own one because I don’t trade in my cars on a schedule shorter than their anticipated life.

        The only CVTs worth having are planetary drive CVTs whose ratios are controlled by differing forces on the input/output shafts and the actual gear ratio selection is done by varying the input of one or more electric motors. This is how the Toyota CVT systems and other similar ones like Ford Fusion hybrids work.

        I am unaware of any other types in significantly broad automotive use, but could be wrong.

  20. I want a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ BTCC-level spec of Infiniti G20 / Nissan Primera tuned for street compliance. A full interior, pair of reclining Recaro’s, daily-appropriate exhaust muffling, and a rollcage integrated into the pillars.

    Mmmmm, yum.

  21. I might get some grief on this, but my resto-mod would have to be something that was once mundane. Since we are playing the no-budget game, I honestly think something amazing could be done to a Malibu Maxx. Throw in a Blackwing and that sweet Caddy suspension, full-length transitional moonroof, something reminiscent of a Ferrari GTC4Lusso interior. Oh, and lose the Chevy badging for something bespoke.
    I can see the vision, anyway. ha.

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