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2015 New York Auto Show: The 2016 Nissan Maxima breaks cover

“The rebirth of an icon” was going to be my working title, however, I’ve not driven the new Maxima so I’ll wait until then to confirm whether or not the Max we used to love is truly back. 

The interest surrounding the car started with its surprise Super Bowl ad appearance, but it’s now, when facing the car, that I feel somewhat excited. I’ve long been a fan of the Maxima, but was let down when I drove the 6th generation and also when I attended the launch of the 7th. The latter, however, looked far better, but still acted more like a competitor to the Toyota Avalon than a BMW 3 Series. 

Now, the 8th gen Max is poised to eradicate our memories of past Maximas with styling, 300 horsepower, and loads of technology. The driving impressions will make or break this car’s worth, as I’ve said, but in the meantime, data: 

The new Maxima carries forth with the VQ35DE 3.5L V6 that we all love. This time around, power is upped to 300 hp from 290, while the torque figure sits at 261 lb-ft. The extra boost in power comes from numerous new engine parts. Unfortunately, Nissan has seen fit to fit a new Active Sound Enhancement (ASE) system that enhances engine sounds into the cabin. I may ask if it comes with an “off” button…

An Xtronic CVT transmission with manual mode will handle the power transfer to the front wheels. Steering is hydroelectric power-assisted and the suspension is fully independent. 

Physically, the 2016 Maxima is longer, lower, and lighter and tighter than the previous car. Specifically, it is 33mm (1.3”) lower, 56mm (2.2”) wider and 36kg (82lbs) lighter. Also, the new Max features 25% more torsional rigidity. 

From a design standpoint, Nissan says that the new 2016 is inspired by the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels. More explicitly, the cockpit design of the aircraft is mimicked in the wrap-around design of the Maxima's otter shell. I can picture how the lowered streamlined stance can give off this powerful impression.

The cabin is replete with high-materials and very cool touches such as the standard 7.0” Advanced Drive Assist Display. It looks as though it could be fitted to any Infiniti, and that’s a good thing. I was unable to sit in the car (large crowds after the unveiling), but I expect it to be an excellent place to spend numerous hours travelling the open road. 

Technology-wise, the new 8th generation Nissan Maxima can be equipped with the latest in passive and active safety features. One of them is the available Driver Attention Alert (DAA) system, which alerts the driver when the car’s not sure about what the driver’s up to… 

The new Max will also offer purchasers of the new car its NissanConnect Services powered by SiriusXM. It will provide vehicle security, monitoring and remote services. These services may even include a Concierge if you feel up for it. Canadian pricing for the brand new Maxima starts at $35,900. 

The 4-door Sports Car is back, but is this a true comeback? I can’t wait to truly find out.