We just spotted a camouflaged 2013 Nissan Altima in Michigan earlier this week, but the west-coast chaps at Motor Trend spied what appears to be another test mule of Nissan's upcoming midsizer looking bright under the sun near a California speedway.
The most noticeable differences between the two 2013 Nissan Altima prototypes seem to take place on the rear, and while the camera angle and swirly camo may be at fault here, it looks to us that this Altima's taillights are different from what we've seen previously. The taillights on the car spotted yesterday flanked out the sides and looked more angular, while the ones on this Altima are smaller and rectangular in shape, squaring off where the other taillights come to a point. The back also looks more truncated, which could indicate that this may be the 2013 Nissan Altima hybrid to sport Nissan's new hybrid system that was showcased at the Tokyo show last November.
The hybrid system is reported to combine a supercharged 2.5-liter inline-four engine and integrated electric motor with a new generation of its XTRONIC CVT. Power is stored in a lithium-ion battery pack, and Nissan says the drive train provides the performance of a 3.5-liter engine, but with significantly reduced fuel consumption.
Although the current Altima mid-size sedan has been selling well, a new 2013 Nissan Altima is needed to keep pace with the competition, and considering how hot the mid-size segment has recently become, it's probably not a moment too soon.
Click over to Motor Trend to check out the full set of spy photos.