Originally Posted by CarscoopHighlighting Nissan's extended presence at this week's Moscow International Auto Salon, is the world premiere of its new Almera sedan that will be offered exclusively in Russia.
The reveal comes almost six months after the Japanese brand teased the car through a single image in late February.
As we pointed out at the time, the new Almera is based on the second generation of the Japanese market Bluebird Sylphy that uses Nissan's B-platform and which was introduced in 2005.
Nissan has already introduced a third generation of the Sylphy at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, which will be sold in the United States and Canada as the new 2013 Sentra sedan, but preferred to base the Russian market Almera on the previous model.
Compared to its Japanese sibling, on the outside, the changes are limited to the redesigned air vents on the front bumper, the new front grille and the tail lamps. Inside, however, it's a different story – literally, as Nissan has designed a new, much simpler looking and not as near as well-appointed interior as the Sylphy Mk2.
Nissan says it has re-engineered the car to meet the needs of Russian buyers and the rougher conditions of the roads.
"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," said François Goupil de Bouille, Managing Director, Nissan Russia.
"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.
Among other upgrades, the Almera sports a re-tuned suspension while also offering extra protection against poor road surfaces with the use of a 2mm steel plate under the engine bay as well as other steel plates covering potentially vulnerable brake and fuel pipes running under the car.
The Almera measures 4,656mm from bumper to bumper and according to Nissan, has the longest wheelbase in the class at 2,700mm.
The Japanese carmaker claims that interior space rivals or in some cases, is more generous than that offered in some premium D segment cars (think Opel Insignia). It also offers a spacious trunk at 500 litres.
Power for the front-wheel drive model comes from a 1.6-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 101hp (102PS) and 145Nm of peak torque. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic.
The Almera will be built on a newly installed assembly line in Togliatti, Russia, with sales to start in early 2013.
Nissan has not yet announced pricing on the Almera but says it will be highly competitive. "When the prices are revealed, everyone will see what an exceptional offering this is," said François Goupil de Bouille. "[The] New Almera offers the interior space expected by a D-segment car but at a B-segment price."