Nissan turned a 1980s Altima into an electric vehicle, and it’s glorious – review geek

The Nissan Newbird surrounded by a rainbow.

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of its Sunderland plant, Nissan has turned one of its most iconic vehicles into a unique EV. Meet the Nissan Newbird, a modified 1980s Bluebird (called Nissan Altima in North America) with a Leaf EV powertrain and retro-inspired paint job.

The Nissan Newbird is fully functional with a range of 130 miles, but converting it to an electric vehicle was no easy task. The car’s original 1.8-liter engine and manual gearbox had to be removed and replaced with the powertrain from a Nissan Leaf and 40 kWh batteries.

Of course, the Leaf’s batteries are a bit heavy. In order for the weight of the Nissan Newbird to be evenly distributed, Nissan had to distribute its batteries between the trunk and the engine bay, and the car always needed a custom suspension to stay light on its feet! Obviously, this scheme worked, as the car would go from 0 to 62 MPH in about 15 seconds.

But our favorite thing about the Newbird is its styling. Nissan has glued pink and green details onto the Newbird’s original powder blue paintwork, and the result looks a bit like a funky ’80s windbreaker or retro aerobics outfit. Additionally, the Newbird has a sophisticated backlight for its front badge, although that backlight only turns on when the car is parked.

Converting a classic (or just old) car into an EV is a difficult task. In most cases, it is much cheaper to just buy a Hyundai Ioniq or a similarly priced EV. But even people who don’t care about cars love these retro electric vehicles. We’re hoping companies like Nissan and Ford can find cheaper ways to upgrade old cars, or at least build retro-inspired EVs that will stand out from cars that look like spaceships. that are now hitting our roads.

Source: Nissan UK


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