Under the banner of "it's about time," Nissan has announced the SE-R will once again prowl the streets of the import performance scene. Debuting at the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, this new model will be available for sale in the fall of 2001 in SE-R and ultimate-performance SE-R Spec V models.
The original Sentra SE-R, produced from 1991 to 1994, was based on the third-generation Sentra two-door sedan. Even though it looked similar to a standard Sentra, a 140 hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine gave it lots of punch. The SE-R was a Car and Driver "10 Best" winner four times and an Automobile "All-Star" twice, not to mention a favorite of autocrossers and grassroots racers everywhere. Heck, Turbo editor Evan Griffey had the first turbocharged SE-R in 1992, so we have been fans from the get-go. The '91 to '94 appeared in our top used performance car picks in the February issue. When the SE-R moniker jumped to the 200SX nameplate in 1995, the zealous following of the Sentra did not make the trip.
"The first Sentra SE-R was quite understated," said Bill Kirrane, vice president and general manager, Nissan North America. "This one announces its performance intentions at first glance. The 2002 SE-R was designed to give a feeling of a mini-Nissan Skyline sports sedan. Building upon the style set forward on the fifth-generation Sentra four-door sedan, an aggressive front fascia with a mesh-pattern grille and large fog lamps have been added. The side view is filled with body-color side sill extensions and large wheels and tires-16-inch on SE-R and 17-inch on SE-R Spec V models. The final touch is provided by a rear spoiler and large chrome exhaust tips."
An all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder, dubbed QR25, powers the SE-R. This engine produces 180 hp and 180 lbs-ft of torque in the SE-R Spec V model and 170 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque in the SE-R, up 40/30 hp and 48/43 lb-ft of torque from the previous generation SE-R. The SE-R Spec V gains 10 hp over the standard SE-R with the use of a specially tuned exhaust system.
Technology for this all-new engine comes from the award-winning VQ six-cylinder engine found in the Maxima sedan and Pathfinder sport utility vehicle. This includes a modular engine design, micro-finished crank journals and cam lobes, molybdenum-coated lightweight pistons, electronically controlled throttle and continuously variable valve timing.