Like Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront, the Nissan Maxima was once a scrappy fighter that "coulda been a contenda." In the 80s it was the car that talked to you -- the one Eddie Murphy made fun of, wishing that instead of saying things like "Your door is ajar," it would say something useful like "Hey man, someone stole your battery." Then it really found form as the 4DSC (4-Door Sports Car) that looked good and went good. That was when it had the brand new 300Z for a sibling, back when Super Bowl commercials were worth watching. But that was the early 90s. Now the Maxima is, as they say in middle America, a lost ball in high weeds.

Nissan has decided to change that. Come 2009, Nissan has promised a Maxima "unlike anything we've ever done." It will be based on the VQ engine family, but will be FWD so as not to ruffle Infiniti feathers. With next year being Nissan's 50th anniversary, expect a concept to join the parade circuit along with the ready-for-sale GT-R and new Z.

[Source: Automobile Magazine]