Nissan released this sketch with a four-line press release about the 2019 Altima: "This official exterior sketch reveals an expressive, sophisticated all-new Altima and hints at the future of Nissan's sedan design language." It's peculiar timing for such a stroke for two reasons: Nissan unveiled the in-the-metal Vmotion 2.0 concept one year ago, which previewed design motifs for future products, and we've already seen spy shots of Altima prototypes that — as is to be expected — aren't nearly as slick as the Vmotion 2.0 nor as this sketch.

However, it does appear that the Altima will be the truest Nissan to the Vmotion 2.0 design themes. The grille, the front intakes, the thin, angled headlight design, the jewelry inside the light housing, and the twin shoulder lines look to have been traced straight from last year's concept and made amenable to the midsize sedan crowd. The rear silhouette looks to match as well, and we'll bet the taillights contain heavy references to the concept. We'll have to wait until the New York Auto Show to know how well Vmotion 2.0 elements work when shrunk and applied to a sedan that can't take too many daring chances.

There's only more guesswork when trying to suss what the Altima hides under its skin. Observers expect the current base engine, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, to carry over, and a CVT to be paired with every engine. Question marks remain as to whether six-cylinder engines will continue, but the Altima needs to at least make an effort to deal with the new and edgy Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Chevrolet Malibu, so we expect a sixxer. The interior goes all new, with an infotainment screen plunked atop the instrument panel, and a slick climate control center below. Plenty of Nissan's ProPilot Assist features should make the standard and options lists, and there are rumors that all-wheel drive might make the grade with the fifth generation. We don't have long to wait to find out. The New York show opens March 30.

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