Nissan hasn't let the latest Altima languish since introducing the midsize sedan. In the last two model years, the company has improved the vehicle's infotainment system and slightly bumped the V6's fuel economy, among other tweaks. But the upcoming mid-cycle refresh may bring the most drastic changes yet, according to the company's product planning exec.

Nissan styling boss Shiro Nakamura previously suggested that the refreshed Altima might take some design inspiration from the latest Murano and the Sports Sedan Concept. The move would give the midsize sedan a sportier look and presage an even more aggressive shape for the next-gen model.

Nissan North America product planning boss Pierre Loing confirmed to Automotive News that some styling changes are on the way for the Altima for the 2016 refresh, and the sedan is getting updated tech, too. He even hinted that the model's already impressive 38-miles-per-gallon highway fuel economy may see a bump, as well. "We're going to do something significant for the Altima for the midcycle," said Loing to Automotive News. Although, the updates might not go as far as the updated 2015 Toyota Camry's roughly 2,000 new parts, he suggested.

The decision to put so much work into the updated Altima comes partially from its position in the midsize market. While the sedan segment is losing ground to crossovers, it's still a big part of the industry, and the Altima is gaining steam. The Nissan's sales were up 4.7 percent to 335,644 units in 2014, according to Automotive News, compared to 388,374 for the Honda Accord and 428,606 for the Toyota Camry.

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