To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Maxima, frequently considered the benchmark of sports sedans, Nissan North America, Inc. is offering a new model, the SE 20th Anniversary Edition, with a 227-horsepower 3.0-liter DOHC V6 engine (up 5 hp from other models), a viscous limited-slip differential, and interior and exterior enhancements. This is in addition to evolutionary improvements across the Maxima model line.
The fifth-generation Maxima, created at Nissan Design International, Inc. (NDI) in La Jolla, Calif., was introduced as a 2000 model, and features an unmatched blend of performance and luxury. The 2001 Maxima includes state-of-the-art interior ergonomics, a standard 222-horsepower 3.0-liter DOHC V6 engine with a 100,000-mile tune-up interval and available 17-inch alloy wheels.
“Nissan is fortunate to own some of the industry’s strongest brands, including our flagship Maxima, which has an incredible reputation and following,” said Bill Kirrane, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. “Our goal in creating the newest Maxima was to remain true to its ‘Maxima-ness’ – which we define as the heart and soul of the performance/luxury sedan.”
The original Maxima was introduced as a 1981 model. Its arrival essentially created the “mid-size import sedan” category. The first V6-equipped Maxima appeared in 1984, and Maxima has remained the number one selling V6 import sedan ever since, with more than 1.8 million sales since its debut.
“Maxima has an exceptionally loyal owner base, with many buyers on their third or fourth Maxima simply because they cannot find a better package,” said Kirrane. “With the 2001 Maxima, we’re once again proving that there truly is no other car in America like it. We took a great car in the current Maxima and made it even better.”
The Maxima’s performance capabilities are first announced through its aggressive styling, including large, well-filled wheel forms connected by a taut, substantial shoulder line sweeping front to rear. Its front honors the familiar Maxima grille shape, smoothly integrated into the powerfully aerodynamic form. The rear view leaves a strong visual impression with its large, distinctive taillights and unique “cut-off” design.
“The Maxima is a road car with an Autobahn flavor and a ‘high want factor’ even though it is a sedan,” said Kirrane. “Some of the best cars from Europe are sedans, and Maxima captures that flavor. The rear view especially leaves what we call a memorable visual calling card. We want other drivers to know that they’ve just been passed by a sedan with confidence and character.”
Since 1995, Maxima has been known for its V6 engine superiority. Its innovative 3.0-liter powerplant has been named one of the “10 Best Engines” by Ward’s Auto World for six consecutive years. Ward’s editors have written that it is “simply, the best V6 engine available in America.”
For 2001, engine horsepower of the 3.0-liter V6 in the SE 20th Anniversary Edition model has been increased by five, for a total of 227. This was achieved through a new exhaust system featuring a new muffler with downward facing pipes.
A new large engine cover with the Nissan logo completes the engine compartment of the SE 20th Anniversary Edition.
The standard 222-hp V6 continues with the enhancements made to the 2000 model, which included new intake and exhaust manifolds, Nissan Variable Induction System (NVIS) air intake control with a resin intake collector, new equal length exhaust pipes and the addition of a new variable capacity muffler derived from the one on the high performance Nissan Skyline GT-R. A special muffler flap valve, using high temperature aerospace spring technology and materials, opens at 2,000 rpm and above – reducing exhaust system backpressure. These changes helped increase the engine’s horsepower from 190 to 222 and torque from 205 to 217 ft-lbs, versus the 1999 Maxima.
The Maxima’s DOHC 24-valve V6 utilizes micro-finished crank journals and cam lobes, molybdenum coated pistons, digital knock control, six coils (one per spark plug) and a cross-flow coolant pattern.
Additional features of the engine package include an engine control module located inside the passenger compartment for reliability, a large air intake chamber, a thick radiator and a four-point engine mount design with two liquid-filled (manual transmission) or electronically controlled fluid (automatic transmission) mounts to reduce vibration.
Double-tipped platinum spark plugs give Maxima a 100,000-mile tune-up interval, providing a lower projected cost of ownership and all Maximas are now 50-state emissions certified.
The 2001 Maxima is available with a choice of 5-speed manual (standard on GXE and SE) or 4-speed electronically controlled automatic (standard on GLE) transmissions. A viscous limited-slip differential is standard on the SE 20th Anniversary Edition.
Maxima’s innovative rear Multi-Link Beam™ suspension, which offers precise handling and outstanding stability by minimizing camber change during cornering, was refined for the fifth-generation Maxima through use of thicker front and rear stabilizer bars, adoption of larger, softer trailing link bushings and a relocation of the system’s unique lateral link to behind the rear beam. 17-inch wheels and V-rated tires, offered as part of the SE Comfort and Convenience Package and standard on SE 20th Anniversary Edition, enhance handling and give a performance look.
The Maxima’s “cut above” performance is reinforced by standard 4-wheel disc brakes with 4-channel/4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), refined engine-speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering and an available Z? Edition Traction Control System (TCS).
Maxima’s luxury, like its performance, takes many forms, starting with its enhanced roominess. Versus the previous generation, the Maxima now offers a 2.0-inch longer wheelbase (increased from 106.3 inches to 108.3 inches) and 2.9 additional cubic feet of passenger compartment volume (increased from 99.6 to 102.5 cubic feet). Front seat head room and front leg room have been increased, and front footwell width is 1.4 inches wider, while rear leg room is up
2.7 inches. Trunk room is increased to 15.1 cubic feet.
The interior features a stylish “wave” design with a sweeping console, striking instrument panel and special attention to driver ergonomics. The steering wheel, parking brake lever and power seat controls have been positioned to provide superior driver control and comfort.
Maxima’s low-fatigue front seats are designed with a rigid seat structure and improved vibration absorption. Other features include a deep pattern seat appearance, improved seat cushioning, continuously variable lumbar support and a double-lock recline mechanism. The rear seat offers a 60/40 split fold-down design and anti-theft lock function.
Other luxury touches include the extensive use of noise, vibration and harshness countermeasures, isolation of wind and road noise, generous storage space (including room in the center console for 16 compact discs), “one-touch” auto up and down driver’s window and sunroof, auto on/off headlights, a second 12-volt power outlet and an available an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and custom-tuned 200-watt Bose® audio system with six-speakers plus woofer. For additional driver convenience, the 2001 Maxima features steering wheel mounted audio controls (optional on GXE, standard on all other models).
Attention to detail reinforces Maxima’s exceptional luxury feel. Heating and cooling vents on the instrument panel close flush for a sleek appearance; dome light switches are easy to operate; and the front and rear door levers are large and easy to use with gloved hands.
Safety and Security
Maxima safety features include a redesigned impact dispersion body side structure which includes reinforced roof side rails, B-pillars and side sills, pipe-style steel side-door guard beams, dual supplemental advanced front air bags, 3-point front seat belts with seat belt pretensioners and load limiters, active head restraints, an inside trunk release latch, child safety anchors and tethers (called LATCH – Lower Anchors and Tether for CHildren) and available front-seat side-impact supplemental air bags.
A Choice of Four Well-Equipped Models
The 2001 Maxima is available in four models: the well-equipped GXE, the luxurious GLE, performance SE and the SE 20th Anniversary Edition, which includes all of the standard equipment of the SE model, but adds the SE Comfort and Convenience package, the 227 hp V6, viscous limited-slip differential, bright finish 17-inch wheels, a body spoiler package including side sills and a rear under-spoiler, Bronze-colored headlamp lenses, simulated brushed-metal interior trim, brushed metal-look shift knob finisher, drilled metal pedals, perforated leather (with the available Leather Trim Package) and special “20th Anniversary” badging. In addition, a special color is offered for the SE 20th Anniversary Edition – a highly chromatic Dark Blue.
Many option packages are available on Maxima, including GXE and SE Comfort & Convenience Package, Meridian Edition, SE Leather Trim Package, Power Glass Sliding Sunroof, Z Edition traction control system and the Bose audio system (SE, standard on GLE).
The 2001 Maxima is available in eight exterior colors and three interior colors.