The 2012 Maxima will again be offered as one well-equipped model, Maxima 3.5 SV and is scheduled to arrive at Nissan dealers nationwide this fall. The flagship Nissan Maxima continues to set the bar for Nissan sedans, combining breakthrough sports sedan styling, a drive-oriented cockpit, ample comfort and luxury for passengers and and an advanced drivetrain anchored by Nissan's legendary VQ-series V6 engine.
For 2012, the iconic Maxima receives a refreshed exterior – with a new front grille design, new rear combination lights, and new 18-inch and 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheel designs. Inside, the roomy Maxima interior's enhancements include a new meter cluster illumination colour (white), new Dark Piano-hairline trim, a new Atlantic Cherry wood tone trim and a new Beige interior colour. There's also a new audio segment display and new audio/HVAC knob design.
Aggressive Design Adds a "Wow" Factor to the Sedan Category
While seeking to create a simple-yet-strong presence, the designers of the Maxima's exterior also wanted to re-assert Maxima's breakthrough personality – establishing a "wow" level of style that would clearly distinguish it from segment competitors.
The exterior design theme for the Maxima is "Liquid Motion" – focusing on the flow of its powerful and beautiful surfaces, like the undulation of a wave. The look starts with Maxima's aggressive stance and powerful fender volume, which is not unlike many exotic sports cars on the market today. This deeply sculpted body/fender treatment is seldom used for mass market vehicles because of the engineering and manufacturing complexity required to physically accomplish it.
Maxima's aggressive look also comes in part from its GT-R style front end or "face." Large, wraparound L-shaped headlights add a unique dimension to the overall design, while the light surrounds suggest a powerful "turbine" appearance of energy and strength. The upturned headlight shape combines with a new wide front grille design, large bumper opening and bulging "catamaran-style" hood to give Maxima a formidable expression, setting the tone for the rest of the vehicle.
The powerful Maxima form continues along its profile, with careful layering of the bumper, hood and fender parting lines. The polished, elegant motion spreads from the deep-waisted rear fenders through distinctive Maxima-style C-pillars and high trunk lid and new combination taillights.
Maxima's dynamic performance stance is accented by 18-inch and available 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheel design in Fine Silver. Another styling feature is the available Dual Panel Moonroof, which is traditionally offered only in luxury segments. The Dual Panel Moonroof includes a front section that moves like a normal moonroof (positioned farther forward than typical), with a very wide opening to provide an open-air motoring feeling. There is also a fixed translucent rear section that provides light to rear seat passengers. The overall design gives the appearance that the entire roof is composed of black glass. The Dual Panel Moonroof includes dual power sunshades for both the front and rear glass sections, adding a level of convenience.
At the rear, Maxima features a new combination taillight design and is available in a choice of nine exterior colours: Satin White, Ebony, Ink blue, Sonoma Sunset, Niagara Grey, Crimson Black, Ocean Grey,Airstream as well as Meteorite Brown which is newly added for 2012.
Leading-Edge Sports Sedan Performance Platform
In creating driving performance worthy of Nissan's flagship, the Maxima's body and chassis engineering teams worked together to create a secure feeling, virtually no torque steer during acceleration and a level of nimbleness that ultimately makes a car fun to drive.
The 2012 Maxima has a wheelbase of 2775 mm, overall length of 4843 mm and a width of 1860 mm. Features of the "D platform" include the use of aluminum suspension links, suspension geometry, technology shocks, revised steering and suspension geometries, a lower engine mounting and application of the Xtronic CVT™ (Continuously Variable Transmission), all of which contribute to minimal torque steer and improved handling prowess.
Engine and CVT
Maxima's 3.5 litre, VQ35 engine provides 290 horsepower and 261 ft-lbs of torque, allowing quicker acceleration response and a special "Maxima Sound" – a satisfying, sporty sounding exhaust note. The engine features a modular engine design with microfinished crank journals and cam lobes, molybdenum coated lightweight pistons, a resin intake collector, digital knock control, six individual coils (one per spark plug) and a cross-flow coolant pattern. Also utilized are a Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), a variable induction system, a silent timing chain and electronically controlled throttle.
All 2012 Maximas come equipped with a revised Xtronic CVT™ with manual mode, tuned specifically for Maxima's sporty driving character. The Maxima development team finessed the previous CVT design to improve responsiveness and strike a balance between sport and comfort, ultimately creating a transmission that provides a true synergy between engine and transmission, along with smooth, responsive and efficient operation.
For drivers seeking the utmost in vehicle control, a "Ds mode" (drive sport) is also available. "Ds mode" is an electronic control logic that enhances sport driving through increased acceleration feel with higher engine revolutions, automatic engine braking and maintaining engine speed during cornering.
Ds mode takes advantage of the CVT's infinite selections of available gear ratios and is able to select the right gear, the right time, all the time. This enhances the emotional, sporty feel while driving on canyon roads or city streets. Whether it is upshifting through the gears while accelerating, or automatic engine braking (downshifting) when coming into a corner, Ds mode is able to match vehicle speed and engine rpm with the driver's intended acceleration input.
Ds mode, combined with the sound creator, creates an emotional experience not available on any other CVT vehicle. Available paddle shifters, mounted on the steering column, allow manual transmission shift changes for varying scenarios – such as winding roads – while the driver's hands remain on the wheel for optimum vehicle control.
Advanced Suspension, Steering and Braking
Maxima's suspension is designed to be both stimulating and relaxing, combining responsive handling with a comfortable ride. The subframe-mounted strut/coil spring front suspension makes extensive use of lightweight aluminum parts. An X-type upper cowl structure helps establish front body rigidity for suspension mounting.
Maxima's multi-link, subframe-mounted independent rear suspension design offers outstanding handling by minimizing camber change during cornering. The rear shock absorbers and springs are separated for minimized friction and the shocks are in line with the centre of the rear wheels, providing excellent damping and minimal harshness. Front and rear stabilizer bars are standard.
Braking is provided by standard 4-wheel disc brakes with a 4-channel, 4-sensor, 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). The system features vented rear disc brakes with larg rear rotors and a variable ratio linkage for a secure feel.
The 2012 Maxima also features a Twin Orifice Power Steering (TOPS) vehicle-speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering system, similar to that utilized on the Nissan 370Z. The system features high accuracy gear, which is designed to offer improved high performance response, along with ease of driving at low speeds and a stable feel at high speed. Maxima has the quickest steering ratio of any Nissan sedan (15.2:1) to help provide its sporty steering feel. A new strut tower brace also contributes to Maxima's improved steering precision and rigidity.
Every 2012 Maxima offers standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with Fine Silver Finish and V-rated P245/45R18 all-season tires. The Maxima 3.5 SV model with Sport Package features 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with Light Silver Finish and P245/40R19 all-season tires.
"With Maxima's engine horsepower and torque, CVT programming and 'Ds mode,' we expect the Maxima to be among the best performers in class in terms of acceleration and driving feel," said Judy Wheeler, Director of Marketing, Nissan Canada. "Add in its tuned performance exhaust, the virtual lack of torque steer, nimble handling, controlled body movements and linear steering and braking feel, and Maxima stands out as the most exciting and exhilarating performance sedan in class."
"Super Cockpit" Interior
The challenge in designing a true sports sedan is creating an attractive, intimate, sporty cockpit feel for the driver without compromising the traditional sedan attributes of passenger comfort, roominess and utility. Maxima's interior design team developed an interior concept of "Super Cockpit, but with Space" – the feeling of a sports car with controls ergonomically close, yet with ample roominess and comfort for both driver and passengers. Key design words emphasized during development were "impressive and silky," "high touch," "craftsmanship" and "high tech."
To enhance the "cockpit feel" of the Maxima's interior, the centre console is raised and a premium quality feel is provided through the extensive use of soft touch materials, as well as soft, deep pads where an arm or elbow may rest. The high quality feeling is also expressed with "Daytime Illumination" electroluminescent meters, with a special tilting of the tachometer so engine redline is placed at the 12 o'clock position, and extensive use of chrome surrounds for the gauges, vent rings, vent knobs and audio switches.
The 2012 Maxima's three-spoke steering wheel is sport-oriented for improved feeling and Maxima Sport and Premium Package models feature a unique "parallel" pattern steering wheel stitching (versus the traditional baseball-style stitching) for enhanced grip.
Maxima's driver's seat, or "the Chair" includes a manual thigh extension for long distance driving, additional support in the side bolsters for good lateral support during sporty driving, as well as added seat height adjustability. Maxima's seat height was lowered 0.8 inches (at its lowest setting) for the 2009 redesign, which enhanced the sporty driver's feel. The seat is also heated with available cooling function and premium leather-appointed surfaces with special stitching and there is also a power lower lumbar and available memory function.
Maxima's front and rear seats share a common design theme for added harmony and cockpit feeling. The front seatbacks include a slim, sculpted design, resulting in additional rear passenger knee room.
The 2012 Maxima is available with two different rear seat layouts – a 60/40 fold-down rear seat with access to the trunk, and fixed rear bucket seats with centre armrest pass-through for carrying long items such as skis or other sporting equipment. Two interior colours are offered for 2012 - Café Latté and Charcoal.
Comfort and convenience features include an iPod Net in the centre console standard on all models, as well as standard moonroof, 8-way power driver's seat and 4-way power adjustable front passenger seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control with illuminated steering wheel mounted controls, Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, power windows and door locks, an advanced Bose® premium audio system with 9 speakers (including two subwoofers and a centre channel speaker), speed-sensitive volume control and Radio Data System (RDS), Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System and a USB input with iPod® compatibility.
Maxima also has leather-appointed sport seats, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, fog lights and outside mirrors with turn signal indicators.
A number of packages are also offered, including the Sport Package with a smoked finish to its front grille, sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, High Intensity Discharge (HID) Xenon headlights, outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down feature, automatic entry/exit system with two-driver memory, paddle shifters, metallic link trim, XM® Satellite Radio (active XM® subscription required, sold separately), premium leather-appointed seats and more.
The Premium Package includes 18" Alloy Wheels, Dual Panel Moonroof and power retractable sunshades, Fold-Down Rear Seat Armrest, Heated / Cooled Driver's seats, power rear window sunshade, One-Touch Auto Up/Down Window Control (Front and rear), Premium Mood Light, Atlantic Cherry wood-tone interior trim accents, and RearView Monitor.
Building on the Sport Package and Premium Packages is the available Navigation Package, which includes an HDD Navigation System with Voice Recognition and Touch Screen. The Navigation Package also includes Canada and U.S. Map Data, DVD playback capability, Bluetooth® Streaming Audio, RearView monitor.
The 2012 Maxima comes equipped with standard Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage front supplemental air bags, front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags for chest protection and roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for front and rear outboard occupant head protection.
Also standard are front-seat Active Head Restraints, 3-point rear seat belts for all seating positions, front seat belts with adjustable upper anchors, pretensioners and load limiters, emergency inside trunk release, Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). The 2012 Maxima also features a standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS).
The 2012 Nissan Maxima will be assembled by Nissan North America Manufacturing Smyrna & Decherd Tennessee Plants.
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