MRO Magazine

2016 Nissan Maxima SR Bests Field of Luxury Sports Sedans in Certified Testing at Buttonwillow Raceway Park

May 18, 2015
By Business Wire News


Nissan promised that the 2016 Nissan Maxima lives up to its “4-Door Sports Car” nickname when it revealed the all-new, eighth-generation sport sedan’s design at the recent New York International Auto Show. Now the certified proof – and video testing highlights – are in and posted online for everyone to see (CLICK HERE).

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2016 Nissan Maxima SR bests field of luxury sports sedans in certified testing at Buttonwillow Racew ...

2016 Nissan Maxima SR bests field of luxury sports sedans in certified testing at Buttonwillow Raceway Park (Photo: Business Wire)

Called the “2016 Nissan Maxima Test Track Challenge,” AMCI Testing was contacted as an objective, independent third-party testing organization to explore and certify differences in Buttonwillow Raceway closed course lap performance between the 2015 Acura TLX 3.5 (FWD) with Technology Package, 2015 Audi A4 2.0T quattro® Premium Plus Tiptronic, 2015 BMW 328i sedan and the 2016 Nissan Maxima SR.

When all laps were completed around the 1.8-mile Buttonwillow Raceway Park’s West Loop, the new Maxima was clearly the fastest:






Margin (sec.)

Maxima SR 1:18.50
BMW 328i 1:19.48 0.98
Acura TLX 3.5L 1:20.58 2.08
Audi A4 2.0T Quattro 1:21.21 2.71

“We expected the all-new 2016 Maxima, with its re-engineered engine, transmission and chassis to do well, but frankly even we were surprised by the head-to-head test results against some very well-established luxury sports sedans,” said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America. “Following the adage that ‘seeing is believing,’ the video highlights that the 2016 Maxima’s drivetrain and powertrain combination is well optimized for performance, meeting the challenge offered by the well-regarded rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive competitors.”

About the Testing

AMCI Testing obtained the Acura, Audi and BMW anonymously from manufacturer authorized dealerships. The 2016 Nissan Maxima SR was obtained from Nissan North America (the 2016 Maxima goes on sale in early June).

AMCI Testing certified lap times were set by two AMCI Testing certified test drivers on Buttonwillow Raceway Park’s West Loop (Configuration 28, Clockwise). All stability and traction controls were in the off position for all laps, and each lap began from a 40 MPH “Pace Car” start.

As required by the specific attributes to be certified, all vehicles underwent AMCI Testing’s proprietary break-in procedure and were prepped according to manufacturers’ specifications prior to testing. All preparation work was completed by an independent service facility.

“With strong acceleration out of the box and eager turn-in response while simultaneously braking, the Maxima SR outpaces the others to the apex of the first hairpin,” Andy Lally, a four-time Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona winner, explains – and demonstrates – in the video. “Next, the esses, where you can see the others falling behind.”

Along with infrared timing systems, the test team utilized “simulcam technology” to ghost the images of the four sports sedans over each other to show the differences in performance and speed as they drove through various corners.

About the 2016 Nissan Maxima

The all-new 2016 Nissan Maxima sets a new standard for style, performance and technology in the large sedan segment. Its groundbreaking presence is also intended to “Maximize” the Nissan brand itself – as a halo vehicle showcasing the company’s cutting edge design, performance and innovation leadership. Now in its eighth generation, the new 2016 Maxima takes the nameplate’s position as the “4-Door Sports Car” to its highest execution ever.

From a performance standpoint, Maxima achieves a power-to-weight ratio that exceeds that of the Acura TLX V6 and BMW 335i*, and authentic performance hardware that includes monotube rear dampers, tires specially developed for Maxima, and a “Sport” mode that transforms the vehicle’s character with the touch of a button. The new Maxima’s 3.5-liter VQ-series V6 has been redesigned with more than 60 percent new parts (compared to the previous generation 3.5-liter V6). With 300 horsepower, it achieves a high specific output (HP/L) of 85.7 horsepower/liter. The revised engine also offers a 15 percent increase in highway fuel economy to 30 miles per gallon**.

Complementing the revised powerplant is a new, performance-oriented Xtronic transmission featuring a wider ratio range, which allows for stronger acceleration from a standing start and an all-new D-Step shifting logic that provides rapid shifts at high throttle openings.

The new Maxima’s enhanced handling and ride comfort starts with a redesigned platform that features a revised 4-wheel independent suspension with monotube rear shock absorbers. The new Maxima SR grade features unique suspension damper tuning, a Performance Chassis Damper, a larger front stabilizer bar and 19-inch diamond-cut machined aluminum-alloy wheels and 245/40R19 all-season tires developed uniquely for Maxima to add even more performance. The Maxima SR also offers premium Ascot leather-appointed seats with diamond-quilted Alcantara® inserts, Climate-controlled front seats, Ascot leather-appointed steering wheel with Alcantara® insert, paddle shifters, aluminum sport pedals, Liquid Chrome faceted finishers and LED low beam headlights.

The 2016 Maxima is available in five well-equipped models (all equipment is grade standard, no available options): Maxima S, SV, SL, SR and Platinum. For photography and additional information about the 2016 Nissan Maxima, along with the complete lineup of Nissan vehicles, please visit

About Nissan North America

In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized annually by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year since 2010. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at and, or visit the U.S. media sites and

About Nissan Motor Co.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 244,500 employees globally, Nissan sold 5.32 million vehicles and generated revenue of 11.38 trillion yen (USD 103.6 billion) in fiscal year 2014. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. Nissan leads the world in zero-emission mobility, dominated by sales of the LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle. It is the best-selling EV in history with almost 50% share of the zero-emission vehicle segment.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at

About AMCI Testing

AMCI Testing is an independent automotive research firm, which has been specializing in unbiased, comparative automotive evaluations for more than 30 years. The company has been instrumental in the certification of hundreds of product-marketing claims and has developed exclusive test protocols required for compliance with Section 5 of the FTC Act.

* MY 2016 Nissan Maxima v. 2015 Acura TLX V6 and BMW 335i. Competitor information obtained from manufacturer’s websites.

** Fuel economy based on 2016 EPA fuel economy estimates for 2016 Maxima. Actual mileage may vary with driving conditions – use for comparison only.

Nissan North America
Dan Passe, 615-725-5264
Product Communications