[cars name="Nissan"] plans to bring the 2009 Maxima back to its Four-Door Sports Car roots. The goal for the new Maxima was to create “the best performing front engine, front-wheel drive car in the world.”
To achieve greater performance, the Maxima now produces an estimated 290 hp, 261 lb-ft of torque from its 3.5-liter V-6. The VQ engine boosts its output by 35 hp and 9 lb-ft compared to the 2008 Maxima. That power is put to the front wheels via a revised CVT transmission which features paddle shifters and a drive sport mode. Nissan’s engineers have specifically focused on eliminating torque steer from the Maxima.
Individuals looking to squeeze the maximum amount of performance out of the Maxima would be wise to opt for the 19-inch rims and performance tires in place of the standard 245/45R18 all-season rubber. The four-wheel vented rotors employ ABS, electronic brake force distribution, and brake assist to keep occupants safe during panic stops.
Maxima’s exterior is much more exciting than the outgoing car. The Maxima now evokes sporty pretentions as well as a touch of luxury. Bulges on the hood and fenders separate Maxima from other sedans in the class. A 1.9-inch shorter wheelbase combines with a wider track (1.4-inches front and 1.2-inches rear) to make driving a bit more exciting. We’re most intrigued by the Maxima’s “shoulders.” Such a design element looks good on a rear-wheel-drive car, but it makes little sense on a car that is only offered in front-wheel drive.
Inside, the Maxima is more luxurious and offers the usual assortment of electronics. Everything from Bluetooth to iPod connectivity to a navigation system with XM traffic is available. Drivers will notice the shifter is now closer to the driver’s seat and the steering wheel has been redesigned.
Click the link below for high-resolution Maxima images.