Pay attention to the concept sedan Nissan rolled out Monday afternoon at the Detroit Auto Show. You may see it again soon.
The car, officially dubbed the Sports Sedan Concept, is a strong indication of what the next Maxima sedan will look like when it debuts in production form later this spring.
“The Sport Sedan Concept shows a new, highly emotional and energetic design direction that takes Nissan’s legendary approach of applying sports car principles to a sedan to the next level,” Shiro Nakamura, Nissan’s vice president and chief creative officer, said in a statement.
Nissan has long positioned the full-size Maxima sedan as the fun-to-drive alternative to its more staid peers. Yet the current-generation car has been around since 2009, making it conspicuously more outdated than its competitors.
Cars such as the Chevy Impala, Hyundai Azera, Kia Cadenza, and Toyota Avalon have all been updated in the last 12 to 24 months. Sales for the current Maxima reflect this, declining 9% from 2012 to 2013.
Thus, Nissan is eager to reinvigorate its presence with a sharply designed offering due in the coming months. Monday’s concept teases where the look of that car is headed.
The car “previews a future production vehicle intended for owners with a passion for cutting-edge design and driving dynamics,” Nissan said announcing the car.
The concept’s dramatic styling was conceived at Nissan’s design center in San Diego, and previews elements the brand intends to bring to not only the next Maxima, but numerous future vehicles as well.
Key elements on the Sport Sedan Concept to watch for include the floating roof design, V-shaped front grille and boomerang-shaped headlights and taillights, Nissan said.
Though the design of the next Maxima will be all-new, the philosophy of the car won’t, as evidenced by the concept. Front-wheel-drive is still standard, as is a 300-plus horsepower V-6 paired to a continuously variable transmission.
A production version of Nissan’s next Maxima will likely debut at the New York Auto Show in April. Look for it to wear much of the Sport Sedan Concept's clothes when it does.
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