By Joe Bruzek on January 12, 2014
Looks like: An orange Mazda Takeri (Mazda6) concept
Defining characteristics: Sleek, low roofline and aggressive, angular body lines
Ridiculous features: 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
Chance of being mass-produced: Toned down for production, this is likely the next Maxima
The Nissan Sports Sedan Concept at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit provides a glimpse of what Nissan's next sports sedan could look like; the Maxima currently wears Nissan's "Four-Door Sports Car" moniker. The Sports Sedan Concept shows off aggressive styling on all four corners and what Nissan calls "V-Motion" front styling where the angular front end flows from the grille into the chiseled hood. It's a concept with an angry face.
The concept's styling, inside and out, is a dramatic departure from anything in Nissan's current sedan lineup. What's under the hood isn't, however: A 300-plus-horsepower V-6 drives the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission.
The concept as a whole previews the next step for Nissan's design language; a version of the V-Motion front styling also showed up on Nissan's 2013 concept cars, the Resonance and Friend-ME. The Sports Sedan Concept is anything but friendly looking with a much more menacing appearance thanks to a low stance and short roofline with a laidback, wide windshield.
Compared to the Maxima, the Sports Sedan Concept is longer, wider, lower and rides on an extended wheelbase that pushes the wheels farther toward the corners of the car for a more sports-car-like stance. The massive 21-inch wheels, wide tires and low ride height help the cause as well. The front headlights wear an LED "boomerang" design, and the rear taillights also mimic a boomerang shape, exaggerated more than the Maxima's current layout.
On the inside, the Sports Sedan Concept features styling as aggressive as the car's exterior with raised diamond-patterned quilted seats, giving them a 3-D appearance. Nissan says the look is edgy and geometric, inspired by modern furniture, apparel and accessories.
Road Test Editor Joe Bruzek covers Cars.com’s short-and long-term fleet of test cars and drives a 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Email Joe