The all-new 2009 Nissan Maxima was unveiled at the 2008 New York International Auto Show. The 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 and will be available in a choice of eight exterior colors: Winter Frost, Super Black, Navy Blue, Tuscan Sun, Radiant Silver, Mystic Jade, Precision Gray and Dark Slate.
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.”
The exterior design theme for the new Maxima is “Liquid Motion” – focusing on the flow of its powerful and beautiful surfaces, like the undulation of a wave. The look starts with Maxima’s aggressive stance and powerful fender volume, which is not unlike many exotic sports cars on the market today. This deeply sculpted body/fender treatment is seldom used for mass market vehicles because of the engineering and manufacturing complexity required to physically accomplish it. Maxima’s new stance is created by a slight reduction in wheelbase and overall length, along with a wider front and rear track. Maxima’s dynamic performance stance is accented by 18-inch and available 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with low-profile performance tires.
For five previous generations, Maxima has been built on a front-wheel drive (FWD) platform. Yet with the new Maxima’s development team everything was open for discussion, including the benefits of front-wheel drive versus rear-wheel drive (RWD). Although there are well-known advantages of RWD in terms of sporty handling, it was ultimately decided that by switching Maxima from its previous platform to Nissan’s new “D platform,” which was first introduced on the current Nissan Altima Sedan, Hybrid and Coupe, the target Maxima performance could be delivered – without giving up the added FWD benefits of lower costs, lower weight and enhanced roominess versus a RWD platform.
A range of enhancements helped achieve these targets, including increasing body rigidity and adjusting the wheelbase and track dimensions. Body rigidity was increased by 15 percent and front strut mounting rigidity was increased by 100 percent, with all-new structures added to the engine compartment and additional reinforcement applied to the instrument panel structure. Maximas equipped with the Sport or Premium Packages feature a panel behind the rear seat that improves torsional rigidity by 17 percent versus models with a fold-down rear seat (a rear trunk pass-through is utilized with this panel). Additional “D platform” enhancements include the use of aluminum suspension links, revised suspension geometry, new technology shocks, revised steering and suspension geometries, a lower engine mounting and application of a new Xtronic CVT™ (Continuously Variable Transmission), all of which contribute to minimal torque steer and improved handling prowess.
Compared to the previous generation, the new Maxima offers more horsepower and torque, providing quicker acceleration response and a special “Maxima Sound” – a satisfying, sporty sounding exhaust note. For 2009, Maxima again features a standard 3.5-liter VQ-series V6 engine, enhanced and refined to take its driving performance to new levels.
The revised engine features a modular engine design with microfinished crank journals and cam lobes, molybdenum coated lightweight pistons, a resin intake collector, digital knock control, six individual coils (one per spark plug) and a cross-flow coolant pattern. Also utilized are a Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), a variable induction system, a silent timing chain and electronically controlled throttle. The 2009 Maxima’s 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 is now rated at 290 horsepower and 261 lb-ft of torque (estimated), increases of 35 horsepower and 9 lb-ft of torque over the 2008 Maxima.
All 2009 Maximas come equipped with a revised Xtronic CVT™ with manual mode, tuned specifically for Maxima’s sporty driving character. The Maxima development team finessed the previous CVT design to improve responsiveness and strike a balance between sport and comfort, ultimately creating a transmission that provides a true synergy between engine and transmission, along with smooth, responsive and efficient operation.
For drivers seeking the utmost in vehicle control, a new “Ds mode” (drive sport) has been added to the CVT for 2009. “Ds mode” is an electronic control logic, that enhances sport driving through increased acceleration feel with higher engine revolutions, automatic engine braking and maintaining engine speed during cornering.
Comfort and convenience features include a standard moonroof, 8-way power drivers seat and 4-way power adjustable front passenger seat, dual-zone automatic temperature control, cruise control with illuminated steering wheel mounted controls, Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, power windows and door locks, AM/FM/CD6/MP3 audio system with 8 speakers and an available Interface System for iPod
Maxima 3.5 SV models add leather-appointed sport seats, an advanced Bose® premium audio system with 9 speakers (including two subwoofers and a center channel speaker), speed-sensitive volume control and Radio Data System (RDS), HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, fog lights and outside mirrors with turn signal indicators.
A number of packages are also offered, including the Sport Package with sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels, rear spoiler, High Intensity Discharge (HID) Xenon headlights, heated outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down features, automatic entry/exit system with two-driver memory, heated front seats and steering wheel, paddle shifters, metallic link trim, Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System, XM® Satellite Radio (active XM® subscription required, sold separately), premium leather-appointed seats and more.
The Premium Package includes the Dual Panel Moonroof with rear roof window and front and rear power retractable sunshades, High Intensity Discharge (HID) Xenon headlights, heated outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down features, automatic entry/exit system with two-driver memory, heated front seats and steering wheel, paddle shifters, premium leather-appointed seats, Eucalyptus wood-tone trim, 7.0-inch color monitor, RearView Monitor, Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System, XM® Satellite Radio (active XM® subscription required, sold separately) and more.
Several Tech Packages are available, including the Maxima 3.5 SV Tech Package, which includes an advanced Nissan Hard Drive Navigation System with Voice Recognition, 9.3GB Music Box Hard Drive, XM NavTraffic® with Real-Time Traffic Information (active XM® subscription required, sold separately), 7.0-inch color monitor, XM® Satellite Radio (active XM® subscription required, sold separately), RearView Monitor and Interface System for iPod®.
The 2009 Maxima is available with two different rear seat layouts – a 60/40 fold-down rear seat with access to the trunk, and a fixed rear seat with center armrest pass-through for carrying long items such as skis or other sporting equipment. Three interior colors are offered for 2009: Café Latté, Frost and Charcoal.