Nissan has unveiled its highly anticipated Nissan Altima V8 Supercar giving fans their first glimpse of the car which will make its race debut in next year’s V8 Supercars Championship.

The Japanese carmaker has partnered with Kelly Racing and will field four entries under the Nissan Motorsport banner for the 2013 championship.

“This is a proud day for Nissan and a significant occasion for the sport of V8 Supercars,” said Nissan Australia Managing Director and CEO William F Peffer Jr.

“Unveiling our Nissan Altima V8 Supercar, the first new V8 Supercar model in two decades, brings Nissan’s special brand of ‘Innovation and Excitement’ to the V8 Supercars Championship.

“2013 will be an enormous year for Nissan in many ways, with several important new models set to launch next year. One of those will be the all-new 2013 Nissan Altima, the first time the Altima nameplate has gone on-sale in Australia, and what better way to introduce Altima to Australia than to have it on-track in the V8 Supercars Championship from the start of next season.

“Everyone at Nissan is right behind our team, led by Todd and Rick Kelly, and we are excited about hitting the track next season with this spectacular Altima V8 Supercar.”

Nissan only announced in February that it would be joining the series next year under the new Car of the Future regulations [see our earlier news story on the announcement] and Kelly Racing co-owner and driver Todd Kelly expressed his pride at what the team had achieved.

 “This is the proudest day in the relatively short history of our team, as well as one of the most significant days in recent times for the sport of V8 Supercars,” he said.

“Our team has done a tremendous job to design and build an all-new V8 Supercar, including a new engine, in roughly nine months.

“The Nissan Altima V8 Supercar really is like no other V8 Supercar. Not only does it look spectacular but its unique features and aggressive design ensure that Nissan Motorsport will stand out from the rest of the field.

“The look of the Altima and sound of the VK56DE engine are second-to-none. Once V8 Supercars has homologated the aerodynamic package on the Altima, we will begin our testing to ensure it drives as fast as it looks and sounds.” [see our earlier news story on the VK56DE engine launch]

As the only new factory entry to be announced so far for 2013, Rick Kelly added that the team had set itself ambitious goals.

“2013 will be the first time in my career that I will be a factory driver and it’s a responsibility that I am not taking lightly,” he said.

“Our entire team is working harder than ever to ensure that we rise to another level as we transform into Nissan Motorsport for next season. This is the most exciting time in our sport for two decades and it is amazing to think that our team is at the forefront of this change.

“A lot of hard work still lies ahead but we want to ensure that Nissan Motorsport is competitive next season and is a force to be reckoned with in the not-too-distant future.”

The Altima is expected to undertake its initial shakedown this week and the team will work with V8 Supercars to homologate the Nissan Altima V8 Supercar, in particular its aerodynamic package, to ensure parity with its Ford and Holden rivals. Once the homologation process is complete the team will begin circuit testing.