Nissan unveiled their new Sport Sedan Concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit last week (Jan. 13), capturing the attention of the media and the editors of Autoweek Magazine who named it Best Concept at the show.
Nissan says that this Sport Sedan is, “At this stage, a design study created to explore future design cues for Nissan’s sport sedans and is not directly related with any current of future product models”.
We think it very likely that it may contribute measurably to the next look of the venerable Maxima which has gotten very long in the tooth and is, in our view, past due for new styling and performance attributes.
“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,” said Nissan Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura. “The Sport Sedan Concept captures that essence with bold and exciting sports car design and proportions.”
The next-generation Maxima could well be the appropriate platform for Nissan to bring elements of that “next-level” philosophy to fruition through its luxury production sedan.
The front-wheel drive Sport Sedan Concept is powered by a 300-plus horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine backed by a sport-tuned Xtronic CVT and features an innovative suspension layout with performance dampers, according to Nissan.
We noted the “300-plus” description of the power plant which suggests to us that there is a next-generation V6 with probable enhanced horsepower, torque and fuel efficiency being developed for that next-level sport sedan.
The Sport Sedan Concept, as shown, rides on custom 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels mounted with low-profile 275/30R21 tires that give it a seriously bold look further emphasized by being pushed out to the corners.
The exterior of the Sport Sedan Concept is marked by low, wide proportions, with a lowered hoodline and reduced ground clearance compared to a traditional sedan.
What Nissan says is the “V-Motion” movement of the front end flows from the dramatic chromed grille up through the hood. The front of the Sport Sedan Concept incorporates the large LED boomerang headlights, a deeply scooped front fascia and wide, sloped windshield to accent the look.
A distinctive silhouette blends smoothly into the rear design, which is capped by a high deck, large chrome trunk accent and wide, deeply scooped rear fascia. As in the front, the boomerang rear combination lights accentuate the centered feeling and push outward to edges.
A unique “floating” roof design adds a sense of openness and lightness in contrast to traditional sedans’ heavy cabin appearance – says Nissan.
A final exterior touch is the unique “Strad Amber” paint on the Sport Sedan Concept. The elaborate candy color paint finish is achieved through application of an orange - amber topcoat over a base of gold paint, creating a distinctive depth and bespoke richness.
On the inside, the Sport Sedan Concept offers premium materials with the use of diamond-shaped graphics on the quilted seats, stitching and panels. Rather than traditional flat surfacing, the diamond treatment adds three-dimensionality. The interior also features high-contrast colors and facet metallic accents.
In just a couple of words, this new Sport Sedan Concept ‘looks good’ and would could make the next-generation Maxima a luxury sport sedan to reckon with.