• May 21, 2008

When Nissan chose to begin development on the next Maxima, it originally set out to go the safe route of catering towards mass appeal, an effective plan frequently proven successful by Toyota. However, when Nissan brought on former R34 Skyline GT-R product planner, Hiroshi Tamura, to the Maxima team, he gave the company an ultimatum. He believed the company should set the Maxima apart from others in its class by offering an affordable sports sedan with unique styling. The idea meant stepping out of a comfort zone, aiming for core customers left out by other manufacturers' sedans and attempting to create a design that would stand out in a crowd. The final result was unveiled at the 2008 New York Auto Show. Tamura's influence can be seen in the wide fender flares, steering wheel paddle shifters and front grill. As Autoblog comments also suggested, its design evoked great debate on aesthetic acceptance.

The crowd reaction was all fine and dandy with Hiroshi Tamura. His pride and joy, the R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R, was not a visual pleasure for everyone when it was released. It garnered many a harsh criticism, but that did not hold back its popularity. After all, Tamura is an automotive enthusiast through and through. He holds function over fashion. As a product planner he has strived to put a piece of that passion into all of his projects. While the 2009 Nissan Maxima might not win a beauty contest, it was never meant to – it was meant to perform. Check out the gallery below to see Hiroshi Tamura give us an introduction to Nissan's new sedan. Also take a peak at previous Maxima galleries after the jump.






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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 59 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Unique styling....ha! The Maxima looks like a rehash of the old Infiniti Q45 sedan which never won any beauty contests either.

      I must agree with the majority here, the car is ugly.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is this result of a drunken night that led to a 3-way between a G35 sedan, Camry and Civic coupe? She's an ugly girl.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't know what's up with all the hate here. First of all, as stated previously, the Maxima has never been a particularly attractive car, at least in stock form. Never the less, this is by far the best looking Maxima so far and is much better looking than the cars in it's class (Accord V6, Camry V6, etc).

      The problem that it will face is that it doesn't actually compete with the Camry & Accord and is dangerously close in price to a G35 or BMW 1 series. It will probably still sell to the Nissan faithful who are considering an Altima but still associate Altimas with the crappy, bland sedans of the 90's.

      Good luck to Nissan on this one!
        • 6 Years Ago
        agreed... I highly encourge everyone to check out Nissans website. Look at it in the dark gray. It is IMHO a stellar car. If it was AWD it would rule. None the less, it is slated to replace my Toyota Avalon I've been stuck driving for the last 2 months.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh my God, that thing is so ugly.
        • 6 Years Ago
        really?!?

        I think it looks wicked

        this thing is going to smash the competition
        • 6 Years Ago
        the ass looks good, but the front is just UGH
        • 6 Years Ago
        Once 100's of em are on the road, they'll look even uglier.


        What's sad, is they took the worst design elements from the Infinity M35 and used them here.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thats what I thought too ...
        • 6 Years Ago
        The FAILboat has arrived at port.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Its uuugly! Now its as ugly as the camry and accord. I guess the target demographic does not care about looks, just functionality.

        But DAMN, its like they want anyone with any aesthetic sense to have to get an Infiniti. (Although M45 is pretty butt too)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Seeing those headlights just made me puke my pants.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks like the shark character that always follows Sponge Bob (is that Mr Crab's daughter?) Yes, I have kids and this maxima didn't fall out of the ugly tree, it rammed head on into it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      NOT. if you mean sporty as in "overly curved and quickly outdated" styling, then yes the Maxima was "sporty". The 90s Maximas were hideous.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yes it's ugly, but I also like it because the styling is actually distinctive.

      It reminds me of the time when Hyundais were easily identified by their quirky Asian looks. Nowadays they look like any other generic car on the road, even the "hot" upcoming Genesis coupe.

      Kudos to Nissan for at least trying to set this car apart.
      • 6 Years Ago
      OH SNAP!!! Paddle shifters.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The funny thing about this car is the fact that grill is a copy of the shape of the R34 GT-R grill. I thought nissan was trying to get away from that brand image of 2003. Anyway, this looks much better than the soft/passive look of the 2004-2008 maxima. I hate that look on the sentra and the last generation G35's. Nissan is the black sheep of the japanese big three, and their vehicles should have a mean aggressive look to reflect that status.
      • 6 Years Ago
      still ugly
      • 6 Years Ago
      Don't like the hood and grille treatment. Reminds of the direction Ford is going with their grills. Ehh...
      • 6 Years Ago
      who took a bite out of the headlights?
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