When Nissan dumped that jellybean-shaped Altima sedan from the 1990’s in favor of the attractively styled VQ35-powered version that hit the roads in 2001 (as a 2002 model year), it marked the beginning of a new era for this beloved Japanese carmaker. Gone were the underpowered and blandly shaped Nissans of the 90’s (other than the 300ZX and 240SX, of course) and in their place went a fleet of V6-powered machines with broad shoulders and strong chins. The new Altima was now a winner on every level, from looks to power delivery to bang for the buck. Buyers who used to only look at the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry suddenly had a new option to consider, and with the introduction of the 2008 Altima Coupe Nissan was clearly trying to take a bite out of Honda’s Accord coupe sales as well as their sedan sales.
All’s fair in love and war (and auto sales), and in an effort to showcase just how impressive a platform the new Altima Coupe really is, Brian Fox from Fox Marketing took off the gloves and laid a bare knuckle beating on the competition with this ultimate of Altimas. From its unique body kit to its seamlessly integrated turbo kit, this baby G35 has the looks of a supermodel and the power to leave its admirers staring squaring at its taillights.
When Fox Marketing took possession of their ’08 Altima Coupe in early November 2007, they only had two and a half months to get the car built in time for the New York Auto Show, where it was scheduled to debut. Having built 86 cars prior to this one, including the Nissan Versa featured in Modified Mag back in the August 2007 issue, Fox knew his team could get the job done on time, but given that every panel (except the hood) on the Altima Coupe is new, it wasn’t going to be easy.
Wanting to give his Altima a classy Euro-inspired appearance package, as soon as he took delivery of the coupe he sent it off to Powell Customs in Allentown, PA, where the body kit was developed out of fiberglass. "I was extremely impressed by how quickly and cleanly Powell Customs developed the kit", said Fox, "and from there we had bodykits.com pull molds off it and begin producing the Fox Marketing kit". With a front bumper design that has clearly been inspired by the very popular Top Secret bumper for the G35, the Fox Marketing kit gives the two-door Altima a lower and more aggressive look that enhances its sporty lines. Add to that a fresh coat of BASF R-M Silver paint and the first ever set of 20-inch Work Varianza T1S wheels to roll on American soil and you’ve got an Altima that looks entirely at home parked next to a Benz or Bimmer. Completing the exterior facelift are AP Racing 13-inch front rotors and 4-piston calipers as well as a ride height that’s been lowered 1.8 inches.
But the Fox Marketing Altima Coupe isn’t a case of just throwing on an Armani suit and fancy split toe shoes and calling it a day. Nope, to be crowned the ultimate Altima you know this Nissan has something special under the hood. Having worked with Artisan Performance before, Fox knew he’d get exactly what he wanted in the power department. "I didn’t want some crazy 600 horsepower build that nobody could afford. I wanted a low boost setup that would be totally streetable and daily-drivable on the stock engine. Something I could beat on like I have for the last 12,000 miles with zero problems, but still have more than enough power to leave most other cars on the street eating my dust".
With that in mind, the Artisan team went to work building this extremely clever 8 psi turbo kit, which uses a custom Turbonetics turbocharger and a Mishimoto front mount intercooler. The kit that Artisan now sells for the Altima Coupe is completely turnkey and includes larger fuel injectors and a pre-tuned fuel computer, but the prototype system installed on the Fox Marketing coupe runs on the stock injectors and fuel maps and according to Brian runs 100% reliably while producing a very impressive 330 whp (over 100 whp more than stock). Best of all, since the turbo can handle up to 550 horsepower, you can always opt to turn up the boost and do a custom ECU tune for really big power if that’s what turns you on.
Inside the Fox Marketing Altima is equally impressive, including a particularly creative trunk setup built by Creative Car-Tunes from Lemoyne, PA, where the custom fiberglass enclosure positions the Rockford Fosgate subs and amps such that they resemble a Nissan logo. Up front the clean and classy Euro theme continues, where black leather and red stitched Yonaka front bucket seats, Stri boost, EGT, and oil pressure gauges and a Pioneer DVD-display headunit all look perfectly at home in the high quality interior of this affordable sports coupe.
Amazingly, this head-to-toe overhaul by Fox Marketing and its partners from Artisan Performance, Powell Customs, Bodykits.com and Creative Car-Tunes was completed in time for the NY Auto Show, but with the new Maxima being unveiled Nissan decided to postpone the first showing of the Fox Marketing Altima Coupe. Instead, this sleek and sexy Silver coupe has been making the rounds at car shows including HIN Dallas, a show Brian Fox drove it to from his base in York, PA, a 2800-mile round trip that proves this finely-tuned coupe isn’t just a show-stopper, it’s the ultimate street-driven Altima with the mileage to prove it.
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe
Engine: 3.5-liter VQ35DE V6
Engine Modifications: Artisan Performance turbo kit and cat-back exhaust; Mishimoto intercooler, AMSOIL 0w30 Signature Series synthetic oil and antifreeze
Wheels, Tires & Brakes: 20x8.5’ Work Varianza T1S wheels, 245/30-20 Toyo T1-R tires, AP Racing 13’’ big brake kit, AMSOIL Dot 4 brake fluid
Suspension: 1.8’’ Performance Springs lowering springs
Exterior: BASF R-M Silver Paintby Powell Customs, Fox Marketing front bumper side skirts, and end caps from BodyKits.com; Impressive Signs and vinyl.
Interior: Yonaka black leather sports seats with red stitching; custom rear black leather seats with red stitching by Powell Customs, Stri boost, EGT, and oil pressure gauges, Creative Car-Tunes custom Nissan logo fiberglass trunk enclosure, Pioneer D3 headunit, Rockford Fosgate Punch 4 Channel Amplifier, Punch Mono Amplifiers, and Punch Shallow Mount Woofers, 5.25"
Numbers: 330whp @ 8psi
Sponsors: TurboChargers.com, Artisan Performance, Work Wheels USA, BodyKits.com, Toyo Tires, Rockford Fosgate, AMSOIL, BASF Refinish, Mishimoto, AP Racing, STRI Gauges, Yonaka, Creative Car Tunes, Impressive Signs, Powell Customs