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New York show: Nissan renews Maxima

Maximum effect: Revised Nissan US model could preview our next Maxima.

Nissan presents an all-new Maxima for the US market at this week's New York show

20 Mar 2008

NISSAN took the covers off a Maxima tested and honed on the Nürburgring at the New York Auto Show this week.

Due on sale in the United States in June, this seventh-generation Maxima has a body and interior that are all new, while the front wheels are again turned by a revised version of the acclaimed VQ35 3.5-litre petrol V6 mated to a CVT Constantly Variable Transmission that now features a sport mode.

Nissan dubs the design “liquid motion”, which is meant to convey a “commanding four-door sports car” feel evidence of this is in the Maxima’s so-called aggressive stance and “powerful fender design” that is “not unlike many exotic sports cars on the market today.”

12 center imageSwitching from front to rear-wheel drive was considered during this Maxima’s gestation period, Nissan reveals, and while due consideration was given to the inherent dynamic advantages, the company ultimately chose to stick with the status quo of the previous four generations since the mid-1980s to keep running costs, manufacturing complexities, kerb weight and interior space intrusion down.

Nevertheless, compared to the outgoing US model, this MY09 Maxima is also shorter in length and wheelbase, and wider in track – the upshot of a new platform for the model that is also shared with Nissan’s US-only Altima Camry rival.

The US Maxima now boasts aluminium suspension links, revised suspension geometry, new technology dampers, revised steering and suspension geometries, and a lower centre of gravity as a result of mounting the engine a little closer to the ground.

This all contributes to the Maxima’s stated goal of becoming “the best performing front-engined, front-wheel drive car in the world”.

To this end, Nissan is claiming class-leading acceleration, braking, handling, craftsmanship and interior design.

Amusingly, the cabin’s theme is “Super Cockpit” that manifests itself in an improved ergonomic layout within a space that offers ample room for both driver and passenger.

Among the usual prestige car features of leather and premium audio availability, the Maxima also now comes with a 9.3GB hard drive and voice recognition technology.

Today’s Australian Maxima is based on the Teana sedan, which is itself due for a compete revamp in the not-too-distant future.

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