2019 Nissan Altima-te Awd: What It's Like To Drive An Altima On Tracks

2019 Nissan Altima-TE AWD: What it's like to drive an Altima on tracks

MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec — All-wheel drive comes to the Nissan Altima with the model's 2019 redesign, and while that's big news for the U.S. market, it's an even bigger deal in the Great White North, where all Altimas are so equipped. To herald the news, Nissan had built what it calls the Altima-TE, an AWD Altima outfitted with snow tracks, and we recently had a chance to drive it. "Altimate" ... get it?

The tracks are 30 inches tall, and although the car's standard suspension travel is retained, the tracks necessitated raising the ride height by three inches. It's not unlike the Nissan "370Zki" we drove in February of last year, in concept if not execution. The result is a big climb up to get in, but once inside, the interior is standard Altima. The powertrain is unmodified, which means even this AWD Altima sends 100 percent of its torque to the front wheels — er, tracks — unless it detects slippage (which seems unlikely in this application).

Nissan Altima Plows Under Ram Pulling Trailer In Bizarre Accident

Nissan Altima plows under Ram pulling trailer in bizarre accident

If you've ever wondered whether it's possible to wedge a Nissan Altima underneath both a Ram pickup and a camper trailer it was towing, well, here's your confirmation.

The improbable accident happened earlier this month in Virginia Beach, Va., on westbound Interstate 264. Virginia State Police tell WAVY-TV the 2011 Ram and its four occupants was pulling a travel trailer when the trailer's brakes locked up, stranding them in the second lane of traffic.

2019 Nissan Altima Buyer's Guide | New All-wheel Drive And Turbo Engine

2019 Nissan Altima Buyer's Guide | New all-wheel drive and turbo engine

The Altima was just redesigned for 2019, and it's significantly different than its predecessor. First introduced in 1992, the midsize sedan slots in-between the larger Maxima and the Sentra in Nissan's car lineup. It's built at Nissan's assembly plant in Smyrna, Tenn. The outgoing Altima is Nissan's third best-selling vehicle.

The brand new Altima offers snazzier looks and some very interesting powertrain options. All-wheel drive is now available, as is a technologically impressive VC-Turbo engine with variable compression for enhanced power and economy. We'll get to all of the new details and features below.