The 2009 Nissan Maxima hasn't exactly been a well kept secret. For instance, we already saw the new Nissan Maxima unofficially prepping itself for its moment in the sun. The big news with the new Maxima, other than it's drastic styling change, is the new "sporty" direction. What does this actually mean? Shorter track and wheel-base than it's rather bloated predecessor. A refined 290-hp VQ V6 and a new Xtroonic CVT with paddle shifting. The new Maxima will arrive this summer with the two trim models: Maxima S and SV.
All-New 2009 Nissan Maxima Recaptures Its Place as the True "4-Door Sports Car" Premium Performance Sedan
The 2009 Nissan Maxima, which makes its world debut at the 2008 New York International Auto Show, marks a return to the longtime Nissan flagship sedan's roots as a commanding 4-door sports car - a vehicle that is unique in both appearance and driving feel, with renewed relevance for today's active and ambitious sedan buyers. In other words, the Maxima is back.
The all-new 2009 Maxima will be offered as two well-equipped models, Maxima 3.5 S and Maxima 3.5 SV, and is scheduled to arrive at Nissan dealers nationwide in early summer 2008.
"Maxima has always enjoyed a certain 'duality' - a unique fusion of sedan practicality with the soul of a sports car," said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. "In recent years, however, competitive vehicles have caught up with Maxima in 'sporty' looks and performance. For 2009, Nissan is reclaiming its rich 4-Door Sports Car heritage with an infusion of emotional design, driving excitement and advanced technology - creating a silky, stimulating sports sedan like no other on the road today."
2009 Maxima: Reborn at the "Ring"
"Do-overs" are sometimes allowed in sports but rarely in the automotive industry. Yet midway through the development of the new-generation Maxima a mulligan was indeed granted. Rather than continue with an evolution of the previous highly successful Maxima design, the creators of the 2009 Maxima stopped and rethought the entire direction.Inspired by the concurrent top secret development of the 2009 Nissan GT-R supercar, they threw away positioning words like "conservative" and "balanced" and concentrated instead on new concepts like "addictive performance," "striking," "commanding" and "powerful."
High targets were established, including the goal of creating "the best performing front engine, front-wheel drive car in the world," along with class-leading acceleration, braking, handling, workmanship and cockpit design.
"We aren't walking away from the strengths of the last generation Maxima, which was rated the top-ranked vehicle in AutoPacific's 2007 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Luxury Mid-Size Cars and a winner of Strategic Vision's 2007 Total Quality Award™ for Best Medium Car Ownership Experience," said Castignetti. "However, complacency breeds complacent vehicles. The new Maxima demanded taking risks in order to ultimately come up with a much more exciting and rewarding vehicle."
Three key areas were singled out for change: exterior design, which needed to be more aggressive, with more personality and attitude; a "super" cockpit, creating an interior that combines a driver orientation with high quality, roominess and user-friendly technology; and class-leading performance, enhancing what previous generation owners called "Maxima-ness."
To further push the performance envelope, the development team challenged themselves to concentrate their efforts on "emotional engineering" - to experience Maxima with the five senses in a purer, more visceral manner, rather than through CAD drawings and computer simulations.
As each designer and engineer set and exceeded higher and higher targets, they realized that confirmation of the results would require validation on the road. But not just any road. Members of the development team traveled to Germany's famed Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit - not coincidentally the site of much of the GT-R's performance development work - to test Maxima prototypes. Special attention was placed on body rigidity, suspension and steering, along with honing Maxima's competitiveness against some well-established European sports sedans.