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Nissan Maxima unveiled in Super Bowl

US gets first Nissan Maxima outing but large car future in Australia uncertain


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3 Feb 2015

UPDATED: 04/02/2015NISSAN has offered a first peek at its Maxima large sedan replacement in an advertisement during American television coverage of the Super Bowl NFL grand final.

TV spectators of the American football final were given a brief look at the new Nissan's front and rear, revealing a car that has not drastically changed from the Sport Sedan Concept that surfaced at the Detroit motor show in January last year.

Nissan released a pair of images following the airing of the ad, and described the Maxima as the company's “flagship product” and referred to it as a “4-door Sports Car”.

As with almost all concept-to-road transitions, the deadly wing-mirrors have been replaced with more compliant units and its wheels have lost an inch or two, but the forked headlights and tail-lights, bold grille, extended wheel arch lines and C-pillar kink all remain.

No technical details were specified in the advert including launch dates or powertrain options but it is likely the new Maxima will share petrol engines from Nissan's other similarly sized offerings, including the Altima and Pathfinder's 3.5-litre V6. A diesel is unlikely in octane-centric America.

The Maxima large sedan nameplate was discontinued in Australia in 2013, immediately before the introduction of its almost identically sized but mid-segment competing Altima.

At this stage Nissan Australia says there is no consideration of the new Maxima for introduction Down Under and is remaining tight lipped about its justification.

One possibility could be a proximity of the new model to its Altima sedan, which sails very close to the large segment in size. The arrival of the Maxima could create competition in an already narrowly divided market.

Alternatively, dwindling sales in the large passenger segment could be affecting a decision to bring in another large offering, while large car customers continue to migrate over to large SUVs or simply downsize.

The introduction of another large sedan could also have an impact on Nissan's two-team V8 Supercar line-up that currently uses Altimas.

Last year Nissan sold nearly 1800 Altimas – some way behind the segment-dominating Toyota Camry with 22,000 registrations and second-placed Mazda6 with a total of 5883.

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