Nissan's studying the Altima's segment hard, looking for nooks and crannies to poke Altima variants into. The first volley is the coupe, which rides on a shortened platform and shares only the hood with the longer Altima sedan. The lines of the coupe would lend themselves quite well to having a roofectomy, and it would offer another choice in the affordable four-passenger convertible market. Up until recently, droptop motoring at reasonable prices were the domain of such snoozefests as the Sebring convertible and the Solara. The Altima has a decidedly sporty bent, and though body stiffening would add weight, we'd still expect to see it post solid midpack acceleration numbers while being surefooted (for a puller) and rewarding to drive.

The knock on coupes lately has been claims of waning public interest. Nissan seems to think that it was more a case of public ennui with aged, dispassionate product. With the recent introduction of the Volkswagen Eos, Volvo's new C70, Pontiac G6, and the new Chrysler Sebring convertible, there's now a plethora of choice in the four-seat top down tourer end of the spectrum. The Altima, specifically its athletic demeanor, would help further wake up the segment, and much of the work is already done. We just hope that the sporty lines of the Altima coupe are retained, regardless if the top is cloth or metal. We also hope that once Nissan gets done with the convertible, it turns its attention to the Altima wagon that also gets mentioned. Now that would be sweet.

[Source: Inside Line]

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