Detroit LIVE: Nissan Sports Sedan Concept [Video]

Does Nissan\'s Detroit show concept preview the next Maxima?

Nissan has unveiled its new Sports Sedan Concept at the Detroit Auto Show. Though spokespersons have been tight-lipped on whether it will hint at the next Maxima, they did confirm it will augur the design direction of all future Nissan models.

Nissan is trying to establish a cohesive design language for its next generation of cars. Key to the corporate face will be what the automaker calls the V-motion grille and floating roof. Starting from the front, the former is a large stylized chrome V encapsulating the Nissan emblem. Curves stemming from the V continue outwards over the hood and fenders. Executive Design Director Mamoru Aoki confirmed to us that it's an evolution of the twin-opening wing grille seen on cars like the 2004-08 Maxima, Rogue, and Murano.

A strong character line with a squared-off radius arcs down the front fender, reminiscent of the GT-R. Aoki calls it the "sonic pulse," and it continues at an upward trajectory across the doors, getting picked up by a parallel line that flows into the rear deck.

Speaking of the rear deck, it is very short, with a touring fastback silhouette. Think Audi A7 rather than a traditional sedan. Crucial to the design of future Nissans is what Aoki calls the floating roof, which sits atop the C-pillar rather than blend into it. The C-pillar itself is finished in black to give the impression that the swept-back roof, with panoramic glass, is cantilevered above the rear window.

Boomerang-shaped head and tail lights continue the Nissan design cue that began with the 370Z, but are integrated far more cohesively.

The concept has a full interior finished in brilliant white, diamond-quilted leather. Though the concept is more driver-focused, Aoki says that customers want more room so expect the production version to cut out the center console that extends all the way rearward. An overhang above the instrument cluster recalls the gauges from the 370Z.

Aoki tells us that future designs will see a strict design language separating Nissan from Infiniti. Whereas the luxury marque will feature styling inspired by organic, natural shapes like the zen gardens of ancient Japan, Nissan will be bolder, more angular and inspired by the futuristic, robotic shapes of modern Japan.

No powertrain details were divulged, but the overall profile is definitely front-wheel-drive.

Live images by Mark Elias.

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