Generally speaking, when an automaker builds a sports coupe that's based on a front-wheel drive mid-size sedan chassis, the outcome tends to be pretty uninspiring. Softly sprung and almost always equipped with an automatic transmission, these so-called sports coupes are usually little more than pretty commuter cars with very little real performance bred into them. And that's pretty much what I was expecting out of the Altima Coupe 3.5 SR, especially when I noticed the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) badge on the trunk lid. But much to my surprise, the engineers at Nissan have injecting some real sportiness into the 3.5 SR Coupe.
The 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine beneath the Altima Coupe's swollen hood provides more than enough oomph to light up the meaty 235/45/18 front tires. In fact, the 3.5 SR will sprint to 60 mph from a stop in just 5.5-seconds and passes slower traffic on single lane highways with ease. The first time I made one of these passing maneuvers I was caught off guard by how strongly the V6 pushed me back in the firm and supportive leather-wrapped driver's seat. If you're not the sort of driver who values this kind of powerful acceleration, then the 2.5 S model with its 175-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine should be more than adequate, not to mention significantly more fuel efficient.
More: 2010 Nissan Altima Coupe 3.5 SR Review on AutoGuide.com