Today at the Beijing Motor Show, Nissan unveiled the Sylphy. But don't be fooled by the name; this is the US-bound 2013 Nissan Sentra in disguise.
Nissan won't admit on the record that the next-gen Sentra is basically what you see in front of you, but this is it. What we're not sure of is if our Sentra will get the same 1.8-liter four-banger and XTRONIC CVT drivetrain as the Sylphy, but otherwise the two look identical.
The proof is in Nissan's teaser video for the 2013 Sentra, showing a car that is missing the Sylphy's chrome grill bars and wood interior trim, but is an exact match in every other way.
Joint head of both Renault and Nissan, Carlos Ghosn is aiming for Nissan to reach 8% of global car sales by 2016. At the moment, Nissan holds 6.4% of the global market with 4.8 million vehicles. While the Sylphy and a re-started Datsun brand are supposed to pick up sales in developing markets, the Sentra will be busy with the new Altima and some new SUVs adding 200,000 units in America.
We'll have to see the fit and finish of the car in person to really judge what we think of the new Sentra. At the moment, there's very little to get excited about.
We'll see the squigglier, Altima-aping seventh-generation Sentra in the States sometime later this year.