Nissan Almera Profile

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Nissan Almera General Information

If you look into the Nissan Sunny GTI story, you find that the Sunny actually was a kit car and turned a major force in F2 rallying. And that despite the Sunny missing the typical body kit with bulky wheel arches. The Almera replaced the Sunny on the road as well as on the rally stages. The Almera is bigger than the Sunny, but it also has a longer wheel base, so it should have been even better than the Sunny when the going gets rough. This theory should further be underlined by the fact, that other than the Sunny the Almera actually featured the wide body kit so typical for F2. Maybe NME already started losing enthusiasm before the Almera was ever finished for its debut. It must be said the Almera had a bit like an estate car shape. When you look at the rear side window, especially as a 3-door it really was more like an estate. Nothing against a 3-door estate, but please not for a hot hatch with a GTI badge! And for unbiased description of cars, on the Almera I find it hard to shut up about Asian design that is ugly with zero character at the same time. But there are a number of Nissan cars that I like in design, but the Almera, yuk! Though in line with that is a point that, however NME managed to have this car on the minimum permitted weight in F2, just by its pure shape it is hard to see how this could ever be a nimble, well handling car. And indeed the wide body kit and such wider track so famously lacking from the Sunny should have been a clear asset of the Almera in F2 over the car it replaced. But it seemed to more compensate for the Almera's basic design and shape problem. I mean the Sunny already wasn't really the fastest F2 car. With the Almera NME meant business to F2 limits, the car was a full 140mm wider and more powerful than the Sunny, yet it was in no way faster on the stages, which I clearly blame on the basic shape. The Almera wasn't very reliable either. But as if NME knew from the beginning this car is going to be trouble, it still seems surprising to develop a full house kit car and then close the doors for good only a few events later? After that, the Almera GTI Kit Car was not even seen in private hands.

Maybe let this be a story why everybody should look at motorsport. For the rally fan there are some cars that you look at and you know it will never work. More recently the Suzuki SX4 was one such car that was discussed a lot before it was turned into a WRCar. And the doubters were proven right. Same goes for the Nissan Almera. I mean for sure not everyone is a rally fan and not everyone calls himself a sporty driver. But there will always come a time you need unexpected avoiding action, like a very sudden elk test. In such situation and never mind how many electronics and clever suspension bits you have, a car that is heavy with a high centre of gravity, that builds high and has a very narrow track and shape, it will never be a save car in sudden cornering, it just will not! This is why I don't get why anyone who has at least a slight interest in staying alife goes out and buys a car like a Mercedes A-Class, a Smart, a Hyundai Atos.... Before I get too far off subject, even though the Almera was not really the design to tip over, you just knew it would never handle well by just looking at it. I guess you know what I mean...

A real shame the NME story had to end with the Almera (and well, the Sunny GTI-R interwarmer story was also something NME could not influence or help in any way). NME in Didcot was a nice team run by nice people. I know, right in the Almera days I was living and working in their neighbourhood. Slightly before that I actually worked for SBG on the Volkswagen Golf Kit Car and honestly the NME people were nicer and more professional! But the Almera was replacing the Sunny on the road, so what choice did they have? In fact seeing Datsun 260Z, Safari Voilet, 240RS, a shame the whole Nissan story had to end with the Almera. The Almera just was the type of car, already by just looking at the base road car you knew this car would never work in competition nor even just for sporty driving.

Nissan Almera Related Content

Nissan Almera Evolutions

Model & Evo. (Activity)
Nissan Almera GTI (97-99) 265/8700 242/5500 4120.1830.1380 960 (3.6) FWD (2535)

Random Nissan Almera Photos

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Nissan Almera Results

This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
26th. 1998 WRC Rallye de Portugal J. Araujo O. Araujo #48 [UNKNOWN] 5:03:41.8
15th. 1998 WRC Rally of Finland M. Higgins P. Mills #28 [UNKNOWN] 3:41:27.5
18th. 1998 WRC Rallye San Remo M. Higgins P. Mills #34 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00

Nissan Almera Retirements

This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 1998 WRC Rally of Great Britain M. Higgins P. Mills #23 [UNKNOWN] SS4 engine
Ret. 1998 WRC Rally of Great Britain E. Kazaz . UNKNOWN #61 [UNKNOWN] SS66 disqualified - from 37th
Ret. 1998 WRC Acropolis Rally M. Higgins P. Mills #31 [UNKNOWN] SS9 gearbox
Ret. 1998 WRC Rallye de Portugal M. Higgins P. Mills #24 [UNKNOWN] SS9 crash
Ret. 1997 WRC Rally of Great Britain M. Higgins P. Mills #18 [UNKNOWN] SS23 suspension