There is an endless world of automotive enthusiasts. But one community that may shock you is the vast amount of Nissan Sentra lovers.
When Nissan first came out with the Sentra in the early 80s, they used its phenomenal gas mileage (50 mpg!) as its main martketing strategy. However in the early 90s, with the introduction of the two-door SE-R model, the Sentra began to target a new and upcoming audience: tuners.
Nissan continued its SE-R model through the 90s with the B14, and in 2002 introduced the popular B15 Sentra SE-R Spec V. It came with a 2.5 QR25DE engine, also seen in the top-selling Altima, and included a sporty 6-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential. It put out 175 horsepower at 6000 rpm, and a cool 180 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. It was the perfect choice to compete with the popular Honda Civic Si at the time, and had a price tag of around $20k to go with it.
In 2007 we saw the birth of the B16 Sentra, which also produced a Spec V model until 2012. It came with slightly higher horsepower and the same amount of torque as the B15, but its new redesign was the enticement to buyers.
The new B17 model has been a dissapointment to the Sentra community. While it offers great luxury features on the inside, it seriously lacks performance. Nissan no longer offers the SE-R or Spec V models, which lost a lot of fans. It’s 1.8L engine puts out only 130 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque.
As an owner of a 2003 Spec V for nearly five years, I can tell you its owners are incredibly loyal. You can find groups such as “Sentra Nation” and “B15 Society” on social networking that brings the owners together and proves their love for their rides. I know people from all over the world who are the original owners of their Sentra, and the thought of the new Nismo Sentra has them all riled up.
The new Nismo Sentra, still currently just a concept design, would be an incredibly smart move for Nissan. With its 1.8L turbocharged engine, it will put out an estimated 240 + horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. Currently the only “performance” Nismo models Nissan has on it’s car lots are the Juke, 370Z and GT-R models.
If Nissan were to go ahead and produce the Nismo Sentra concept, it would target a huge audience. It’s the perfect car that you can take to the drag strip and then stop for groceries on the way home in.
With all that torque? Take your family on a road trip to Sequoia National Park and have no problems on the steep grades.
Put it in a car show and get first place with its cool, sporty design.
And I’m sure all this would be offered for well under $30k. That’s where the market is. Not everyone can afford a $100,000 GT-R (although it is the best option for a ‘bargain’ supercar), or the $45,000 370Z. Nissan has an incredibly loyal following and needs to cater to the lower end market.
As of now, Nissan will not say whether they will produce it or not. Either way, when and if they do, I will be the first to sign on the dotted line for one.
How do you feel about the current Sentra after its performance history?
Would the Nismo model be a smart move?
Leave your thoughts below.