Click above for a high-res image gallery of the 2009 Nissan Maxima

Surprise, surprise. As much as many Americans clamor for oil-burning engines for their future automobile purchasers, the fact of the matter remains that diesel engines do not translate into sales in the United States. The latest example of a mainstream diesel-powered machine being killed before it even gets off the ground may very well be the Nissan Maxima, which was scheduled to get a 3.0L diesel engine from corporate partner Renault before the end of the year.

Spokespeople for the Japanese automaker won't go quite so far as to admit that it's canceled, but it sounds like the writing is on the wall. Blame lowered gasoline prices and the general lack of new vehicle sales in the current economic climate. General Motors put its long-running 4.5L diesel V8 program on indefinite hold just a few weeks ago and rumors swirl that Honda may also officially drop its planned diesel engine for its Acura division. Sigh.

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