The new Almera will be be built in the Russian city of Togliatti, which is also home to plants for automaker AutoVAZ.
The emphasis here is on basic, robust construction – even underhood, where a yestertech 102-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine is protected by a steel skid plate. The Almera rides on a ground clearance of 6.3 inches, which according to Nissan, is best in class, as is trunk room.
The Almera is the latest move stemming from Nissan's desire to expand its Russian automobile business – as of late May, the brand represented 5.9 percent of the market. This is the first step in a plan that Nissan hopes will bring its market share to ten percent by 2016.
Check out the gallery for images and the press release below for more information on the new Nissan Almera.
-- Developed for Russia and built locally, the new Nissan Almera brings a
premium feel to the mainstream market --
Timeless looks and accessible technology
Exceptionally spacious with ample room for five adults plus a large trunk
Highly affordable: D-segment space at B-segment price
Built for the Russian market, with...
Extended ground clearance
Special anti-corrosion chrome treatment
Quality in-built on new production line at Togliatti
MOSCOW (29 August, 2012) - The all-new Nissan Almera, launched today at the Moscow International Autosalon, has been designed specifically to meet the unique demands of the Russian market.
It combines exceptional roominess and genuine refinement with a robust chassis and proven drivetrain, while the design mixes contemporary Nissan styling cues with classic features to create a modern yet timeless look.
In addition to its size, features and its Japanese badge, the new Nissan Almera will also be a highly affordable, rational and aspirational purchase matched by an unequalled ownership experience.
The car will be built on a newly installed line in Togliatti operating in full compliance with global production standards.
"We have ambitious expansion plans in Russia and the new Almera will play a central role in that growth," said François Goupil de Bouille, Managing Director, Nissan Russia.
"To create the car we have taken the best engineers from Japan, Europe and Russia and immersed them in the specific demands of the region. The new Nissan Almera is a Russian car through and through, but one which benefits from the engineering and design expertise developed by Nissan globally. It is perfectly in tune with the needs and expectations of Russian consumers," he added.
Prices – which will be announced nearer to its on-sale date in early 2013 – will be highly competitive. "When the prices are revealed, everyone will see what an exceptional offering this is, " said François Goupil de Bouille. "New Almera offers the interior space expected by a D-segment car but at a B-segment price."
The new Nissan Almera in detail
Almera is a classic four-door, five-seat saloon with a timeless body design showing clear Nissan DNA. The long wheelbase helps to create a spacious cabin while the roomy luggage area is cleverly disguised by the sweep of the roofline and rear window which blends into the trunk lid.
At the front, Nissan's familiar wide four bar grille is chromed – as are the door handles – to underline the quality image. But showing the attention to detail that has helped to create the new Almera, the chrome incorporates anti-corrosion technology which was specially developed by Nissan.
It has a unique trivalent chrome compound which withstands attack from the chemicals used to de-ice the roads in Russia to maintain the premium chrome look.
Biggest interior in the class
Four wide-opening doors allow easy access to the interior which is notably larger than class rivals. In fact, the rear compartment knee room is actually more generous than that offered in some premium D segment cars and is easily capable of carrying three adults in comfort. As well as providing more interior space than rivals, at 500 litres Almera's luggage trunk is among the largest in its class.
The luggage area itself is another example of the care that has gone into the car's design. A wide opening lid reveals a deep and practical load space, free from obstructions – the trunk lid hinges, for example, are hidden while the tool roll and jack are also stored away so as not to interfere with the load space.
A handle mounted on inside the lid means the trunk can be closed without the need to touch the invariably dirty exterior of the car. And under the boot floor, there's ample space for the full sized spare wheel.
Almera is 4,656mm from bumper to bumper and has the longest wheelbase in the class, a full 2,700mm.
Proven, robust chassis
Integral to Almera's capability to withstand the local conditions is its chassis. Almera's enhanced chassis features a strong strut-type front suspension allied to a rear beam axle.
A front anti-roll bar improves handling performance while the bar, the rear beam axle and the coil springs have all been stiffened to provide a highly comfortable ride allied to an inherent strength to ensure the car can withstand the conditions.
During test development, engineers from Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE) have driven hundreds of thousands of kilometres over varied roads in the region to fine tune the springs and dampers to the conditions.
At the same time, noise reduction programmes have resulted in the use of thicker steel for the platform to reduce stone chipping and splash noise, while the upper body structure has been strengthened and stiffened giving both refinement and durability improvements.
The result is a car that provides class-leading comfort and handling at the same time as being capable of withstanding severe winter conditions and meeting the needs and requirements of the Russian customers.
Further proof of Almera's durability can be found under the car. Offering extra protection against poor road surfaces, the bottom of the engine bay is covered by a 2mm thick steel plate while potentially vulnerable brake and fuel pipes running under the car are also covered by a steel plate.
With a generous ground clearance of 160mm – reducing to 145mm only at the steel plate protecting the engine – Almera is, once again, one of the best in class.
Also found under the car is a small but highly effective aero deflector which improves the car's aerodynamics for better high-speed stability.
Power comes from another tried and trusted source, Nissan's proven 1.6-litre, 16-valve petrol engine developing 75kW (102hp) and 145 Nm of torque for competitive performance and economy. Almera will be available with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
Winter performance is enhanced by a powerful heating and ventilation system (heated seats and door mirrors are available depending on the model grade) while cold start performance has been optimised. The wipers have been engineered to clear as much of the large windscreen as possible and are aided by a large 5-litre washer tank that needs less frequent refilling... though when it does it is easily accessible in the engine bay.
Following established Nissan practice Almera will be available in three grades: Welcome, Comfort and top-of-the-range Tekna.
Standard equipment on Comfort models, expected to be the biggest selling grade, includes remote central door locking, heated power door mirrors, fog lamps, a trip computer and height adjustment for the driver's seat.
There are chromed accents to the air vents while the trim material is patterned. Large door mirrors are finished in body colour and the door handles and trunk finisher are chromed while the front seats are heated to provide extra comfort in winter months. Air conditioning and alloy wheels are available as options.
Top Tekna models have air conditioning as standard, along with power windows at the rear, four speakers, a leather wrapped steering wheel and 15-inch alloy wheels. The audio system is a fully integrated double-din AM/FM tuner with single disc CD player and Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phones. An Aux-in jack socket to connect a MP3 player is also standard.
The sophisticated Nissan Connect communications system is available as an option on Tekna models, making Almera the only car in its class available with a fully integrated navigation system.
Nissan Connect has a five-inch full colour touch screen with 2D/3D mapping and voice guidance. Updates can be downloaded from the Internet and uploaded to the system via USB. The audio system includes a single disc CD player, an AM/FM tuner, an Aux-in jack and Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phones and audio streaming.
All grades have active and passive safety features including anti-lock brakes, plus driver and front passenger airbags as standard.
The colour palette has seven exterior body colours – a solid white and six metallic shades.
The Almera customer
The typical Nissan Almera buyer will be a family man living in the regional cities. He is making his way up in society and at work and aspires to owning a car with a foreign badge yet retains a rational outlook on life. Almera will be his introduction to the Nissan brand and the Nissan ownership experience and will be used for commuting to work during the week and for extended family dacha trips at the weekend.
He will appreciate its premium styling and undeniable roominess at the same time as being reassured by its ability to cope with local conditions.
"The new Nissan Almera is an important car for Nissan and an important car for Russia. It brings a new dynamic to the vital mainstream market by offering an upscale feel and D-segment spaciousness but at a B-segment price. And by generating jobs on the production line and in the supplier chain, Nissan is investing in the country's future.
"We have gone to great lengths to create a car that will not only appeal to the increasingly more discerning Russian consumer in terms of looks, equipment and quality but one that will also cope with the unique demands of the market, the weather and the local road conditions," said François Goupil de Bouille.
"Almera is designed to meet new standards and new ambitions of consumers. It's unexpectedly spacious, exceptionally comfortable and built to last," he added.