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by Tim Beissmann

The Nissan Sport Sedan concept embodies the latest evolution of the car maker’s new design language and previews the next generation of its popular Maxima large car for the US market.

Revealed at the Detroit auto show, the Sport Sedan concept is the third in a trio of recent design studies – joining the Resonance and Friend-Me concepts – to share signature design elements that the Japanese manufacturer says will influence all future Nissans.

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Common among all three is the angular ‘V-motion’ grille and bonnet design, boomerang-shaped LED headlights and tail-lights, and a pillar-less ‘floating’ roof.

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The Sport Sedan concept is also Nissan’s strongest hint yet at its eighth-generation Maxima sedan that will replace the current car (different to the Thai-built Maxima that was discontinued from the Australian line-up at the end of last year) that has been on sale in North America since 2008.

At 4870mm long, 1912mm wide, 1378mm tall and riding on a 2825mm wheelbase, the Nissan Sport Sedan concept is 29mm longer (with a 49mm-longer wheelbase), 53mm wider and features a 90mm-lower roofline than the current US-market Maxima.

While the styling is striking, there are few surprises under the concept’s sleek skin, with the brand’s tried and tested 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine (tuned to produce “224kW-plus”) powering the front wheels via an automatic continuously variable transmission, as in the current Maxima and related mid-sized Altima.

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Nissan says the Sport Sedan concept’s interior also offers cues to future production designs, highlighting the use of diamond-shaped graphics on the quilted seats and stitched panels, as well as bold geometric shapes, contrasting colours and metallic accents.

The Sport Sedan was created by Nissan Design America in San Diego, California and developed at the Nissan Global Design Centre in Atsugi, Japan.

The eighth-generation Maxima is set to go on sale in North America in 2015.




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