The Nissan Maxima has been around for nearly 40 years (originating in 1976) and has always been viewed as a conservative entry level luxury car. Re-enforcing this conservative quality, the Nissan Maxima has even marketed themselves as the “four door sports car.” But, this unadventurous image may have been tossed with yesterday’s introduction of the new Nissan Maxima at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
The very first Maxima model to be ready for major production was the Datsun 810, which premiered in 1977. This car established an accessible reputation here in America. Shoot, it was even a pretty cool design. Murilee Martin of Motor Authority says the same, “[The Datsun 810] managed to achieve a modicum of cool, if only for the same nostalgia laced reasons that Freakies cereal now seems cool.”
But, as the 80s dawned and people choked themselves with hairspray, the Nissan Maxima lost some of its coolness and sex appeal. Simple box designs were used for the vehicle’s body. It was neither fast, nor particularly luxurious. It was just kind of average and symbolized a life of boredom and monotony. At least, it was safe and reliable (yawn).
Car and Driver describes certain branches of the 80s Nissans by saying, “Both the Toyota Cressida and the Datsun Maxima are growing whiskers, which are especially noticeable with so many fresh faces around. Rear drive consumes an uncomfortable amount of their cabin space, both cars have gone a bit soft around the edges, and the typical plethora of buttons and gadgets has reached the point of sensory overload.”
Into the 90s and the 2000s, their cars started to get a little cooler and hipper, but that boring reputation seemed to linger like bad B.O. Year after year, predictable models were released and mass produced. The roads were littered with them. In a radical turn of events though, the new Nissan Maxima Sport Sedan Concept was debuted yesterday and showed no hints of staleness or boredom.
Nissan’s vice president Shiro Nakamura says, “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.” For the first time in years, I see the sexiness returning to the Maxima.
This new car features a sleek body and includes a floating roof design, V-shaped front grille, as well as boomerang-shaped headlights and taillights. The engine has stayed strong, too, featuring its standard 300 horsepower, V-6 engine. It is expected that a finalized version of this vehicle will be showcased in a couple months at the New York Auto Show, but all that’s important is that Maxima doesn’t stink any more.