For years, the letters 'SE-R' were synonymous with sport-compact supremacy when applied to the Sentra of the early '90s. Now those letters are migrating to the mid-size class. In 2005, Nissan will introduce the Altima SE-R, powered by a tuned 3.5-liter V-6 good for more than 250 hp, bolted to either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. Other functional enhancements include firmer riding shocks, thicker anti-roll bars, bigger brakes, and 18-inch tires and wheels. Other visual distinctions on the SE-R include smoked tail lamps, a rear spoiler, and deeper front fascia. Inside, there's a new three-gauge cluster like the 350Z's, a set of leather sport bucket seats, and an eight-speaker Bose stereo. Expect to see the new Altima SE-R in dealers this September, priced just under $30,000.