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Nissan Sport Sedan Concept Hints at Next Maxima

IDx Freeflow and IDx NISMO also coming to Detroit.

by on Dec.31, 2013

The Nissan Sport Sedan Concept.

Nissan will lift the covers on the new Sport Sedan Concept next month – but don’t be surprised if the name, “Maxima,” immediately comes to mind.  While the Japanese maker isn’t offering many details, the striking show car is expected to give a good idea of what’s to come when the next production Maxima reaches market in the coming year.

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That would be a welcome move considering Nissan’s corporate design language has evolved significantly since the current Maxima was introduced in 2008. Traditionally the sportiest of Nissan’s sedans, it has undergone little change in the following years.

“The Sport Sedan Concept previews a new energetic design direction that amplifies Nissan’s legendary approach of applying sports car principles to a sedan,” suggests a statement from Nissan accompanying this teaser image.

The Nissan IDx NISMO and Freeflow concepts.

That’s obvious from the Sport Sedan Concept’s leaner and more sporty headlights and trapezoid grille – the latter first appearing on the 2014 Nissan Rogue update, as well as the recent BladeGlider concept vehicle.  Expect to see this become the corporate model for future vehicle updates, as well.

Beyond its terse statement, Nissan is saying little about either the Sport Sedan Concept or the next Maxima.

The maker does note that it will have at least two other edgy models coming to Detroit following debut appearances at the recent Tokyo Motor Show. And both the Nissan IDx Freeflow and IDx NISMO offer intriguing new approaches to the design of roomy yet sporty-looking compact vehicles, “one expressing a casual, lifestyle-focused vision,” says Nissan, “and the other an ultra-sporty design that looks as if it came directly from a driving video game.”

Both prototypes use Nissan’s new “flexible box” platform, the Freeflow potentially powered by a small gasoline engine of between 1.2 to 1.5-liters paired with a CVT gearbox.  The NISMO version would opt for a more peppy turbocharged 1.6-liter engine with a CVT tuned to replicate the feel of manual shifts.

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Envisioned as a modern reinterpretation of the once-popular Datsun 510, don’t be surprised to see both of these concepts reappear in production trim, as well.

Nissan’s news conference at the 2014 North American International Auto Show is scheduled for 3:50 PM EST on January 13th.

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