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Nissan considering sport-focused Maxima NISMO

The NISMO-tuned Maxima could use Infiniti\'s 3.7-liter V6.

Nissan has confirmed it is open to the idea of introducing a NISMO-tuned version of the new Maxima.

If built, the Maxima NISMO will be positioned above the Platinum trim level as a range-toping model. While the Maxima SR - the current enthusiast-focused member of the family - features a sportier appearance but no bump in power, the NISMO would offer a generous amount of additional grunt.

It is too early to tell what will power the Maxima NISMO. Nissan is looking at designing a tuned version of the stock model's 300-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine, but the company hasn't ruled out using the 3.7-liter V6 that' found in a number of Infiniti products. However, executives warn the six would need to be thoroughly re-engineered.

Nissan bills the new Maxima as a four-door sports car, so it is safe to assume that the NISMO-tuned model will benefit from a long list of handling-focused upgrades such as a stiffer suspension setup and upgraded brakes. The NISMO will stand out from its regular-production sibling thanks to a more muscular-looking body kit and model-specific interior components.

Ultimately, the fate of the Maxima NISMO depends on whether Nissan can make a favorable business case for it. Executives admit they'd like to build a true sports sedan, but the project won't get the green light unless management believes it will be a strong-selling and profitable model.

Photos by Byron Hurd.

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