Nissan has been rolling out an assortment of new products and doesn’t show any signs of easing off on this vehicle blitz anytime soon, not according to senior executives gathered this month to give automotive journalists a heads-up on the company’s plans.
That includes a quick look at one particularly intriguing model that Nissan’s global design and creative director Shiro Nakamura revealed will make its formal debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show next January. Nakamura said the concept vehicle will reveal the “future design direction” for the Nissan brand.
Though shown only as a rendering, the brief glimpse came as a surprise not only to the journalists assembled in Southern California but apparently to other Nissan staff who had no idea what Nakamura had in store.
According to the senior vice president, the concept has a “very strong design signature,” and it clearly takes off from where other recent Nissan offerings, such as the Altima, Sentra and Rogue have gone.
The surprise reveal has created a lot of buzz and debate among the automotive media about what it signals. Could it be an entirely new sports sedan? Or will it replace something already in the Nissan line-up? That seems to be the most likely scenario.
Indeed, the timing would seem to be perfect as it’s known an all-new version of the Nissan Maxima is under development and should be in the line-up for the 2015 model-year. The timing of other recent roll-outs would suggest we will see the sleek new concept at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show in January and perhaps the production model at the New York Auto Show a few months later. Then again, with the increasing importance of the Chinese market, perhaps Nissan will wait to unveil the final version in Beijing later in the spring.
With a strong likelihood the Maxima is what we’re seeing there are still plenty of questions left to be answered: like which wheels will be driven? With the growing interest in all-wheel-drive technology, could that be in the offing?
And might Nissan add a hybrid version of the next Maxima? It would come as no surprise considering the approach taken by sibling Infiniti brand which has added a gas-electric version of the Q50, the replacement for the old G-Series sedan. The good news is that despite boosting mileage, the hybrid is the performance version of the Infiniti four-door. And that would clearly fit the mission for a future Nissan Maxima.
Tags: 2014 detroit auto show, Nissan Maxima, auto news, auto shows, car news, nissan, nissan concept, nissan concept detroit auto show, nissan news, nissan sedans, nisssan design, paul a. eisenstein, paul eisenstein, shiro nakamura, thedetroitbureau