The 4-Door Sports Car – Reimagined and Re-Energized
A virtual clone of the stunning Nissan Sport Sedan Concept, the new Maxima is 1.3 inches lower and 2.2 inches longer than the previous generation design. It is also lighter and offers greatly increased torsional rigidity, all of which help Maxima push the performance envelope in its segment.
While the new Maxima’s exterior projects a distinctive upscale look through its lower profile and wide stance, the heart of this newest generation 4-Door Sports Car is its completely revised 300-horsepower 3.5-liter VQ-series V6 engine and new performance-oriented Xtronic transmission.
The engine utilizes more than 60 percent new parts (compared to the previous generation 3.5-liter V6), applying lessons learned from the Nissan GT-R such as sodium filled valves, to achieve a high specific output of 85.7 horsepower/liter. Torque is rated at 261 lb-ft.
The comprehensive re-engineering effort also resulted in a considerable 15 percent increase in highway fuel economy, to an estimated 30 miles per gallon***. City fuel economy is estimated at 22 mpg.
Well-matched to the new powerplant is a new Xtronic transmission, which, with its lack of fixed ratios, affords the specific advantage of always being in the right gear at the right time. A wider gear ratio range allows for stronger acceleration from a standing start and an all-new D-Step shifting logic allows rapid shifts at high throttle openings. An all-new shift logic holds rpm when it detects high-G cornering, allowing for seamless re-acceleration on corner exit.
The all-new Maxima also features for the first time a Drive Mode Selector (Sport and Normal modes) that adjusts throttle response, transmission tuning, steering feel and Active Sound Enhancement tuning. In Sport mode, the engine throttle response increases, the Xtronic transmission programming changes for more aggressive shifting under braking and gear holding, the steering weight increases and the Active Sound Enhancement system further amplifies the engine note in the cabin.
The foundation for the new Maxima’s enhanced handling and ride comfort starts with a redesigned platform that features increased use of high strength steels, including the first use of 1.2GPa high strength steel in a Nissan sedan. This allows the 2016 Maxima to not only boast a 25 percent improvement in torsional rigidity, but also contributes to an 82-pound weight reduction (versus the previous generation), giving Maxima a better power-to-weight ratio** than a BMW 335i or Acura TLX V6.
The suspension is an independent subframe-mounted strut/coil spring design in front. In the rear is an independent multi-link double wishbone design with ZF Sach dampers. The rear dampers features a monotube design, often found in performance applications, for enhanced performance and fade resistance. Large stabilizer bars are found front (26.0 mm) and rear (26.5 mm).
Responsive braking is provided by 4-wheel power-assisted vented disc brakes, standard 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. Steering is provided by a vehicle speed-sensitive hydro-electric power-assisted steering (HEPS) steering system. Maxima comes with standard 18-inch machined finish aluminum-alloy wheels with painted inserts and 245/45R18 all-season tires.
For the ultimate 4-Door Sport Car enthusiast, the new SR trim was conceived with the specific goal of pushing Maxima’s performance boundaries further than ever before. The Maxima SR-exclusive hardware starts with unique suspension damper tuning and a larger front stabilizer bar. Monotube rear dampers, which provide better high-temperature fade resistance than twin-tube designs and are typically found on higher-end sports cars, were originally specified for the SR grade only. The development team found that the benefit of the monotube dampers was so significant that the damper design was carried across to all grades of Maxima.
The Maxima SR-exclusive performance upgrade also includes a segment-first Performance Chassis Damper, which is installed on the front section of the chassis to help quell high frequency vibration in the body that can result from the stiffer suspension. A similar damper is used on the Nissan 370Z NISMO. In addition, the Dual Panel Panoramic Moonroof offered on Maxima SL and Platinum grades was eliminated to help lower the SR’s center of gravity and further enhance torsional rigidity (versus moonroof-equipped models).
And, along with special Alcantara® seating inserts and steering wheel insert for high-grip at key touch points, Maxima SR’s Integrated Dynamic-control Module (IDM) system adds a completely new element of electronic chassis management to the Maxima.
For example, Active Ride Control (ARC), a feature within the IDM system, uses targeted brake applications after the vehicles encounters a bump or undulation to immediately improve the level of the body, allowing the SR to offer a ride quality that defies its sporting intention.
*** Fuel economy based on Targeted 2016 EPA fuel economy estimates for 2016 Maxima – EPA data not available at time of publication. Targeted 2016 fuel economy 30 hwy estimates based on Nissan internal testing results, subject to EPA confirmation. Actual mileage may vary with driving conditions – use for comparison only.
Source: Nissan News Room