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Spy Shots: 2007 Nissan Maxima

Our latest spy photos reveal the upcoming 2007 Nissan Maxima, a long-time stalwart in the company's North American lineup. For the next incarnation of this vehicle, Nissan will be positioning the Maxima to compete more directly with the likes of the Toyota Avalon and Chrysler 300C.

Traditionally, Nissan has positioned the Maxima as a sportier competitor in the large sedan segment. The recent Touring edition of the Avalon, with an equivalent engine to the Maxima, has robbed Nissan's premier sedan of quite a bit of its glory, though ? a situation Nissan is looking to rectify with the 2007 model year Maxima.

While little is likely to change in terms of the Maxima's engine, the car will receive a considerable makeover that is bound to enhance both its interior and exterior appearance. The 2007 Maxima will retain its FF-L front-drive platform, although the facelift already evident in these photos should give the car a more mainstream appeal as well as further distinguish it from the midsize Altima.

In addition to the intended sheet metal changes, Nissan will also rebuild the Maxima's cabin from the ground up, bringing this vehicle up to true flagship status within the company's lineup. Higher-quality interior materials will likely be joined by more advanced electronics, including a greater use of telematics.

Nissan will continue to build the Maxima in Smyrna, Tennessee, and the company might even bring out a hybrid version of the vehicle sometime around 2009 as a companion to the already-planned Altima hybrid.

Look for the 2007 Nissan Maxima in the fall of 2006.

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