Special features for a somewhat special car

While everyone is going stir crazy over the Nissan Z Proto’s arrival, Nissan has quietly unveiled a special edition model for one of its veteran nameplates. It’s called the Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition, and, as the name clearly indicates, it’s a celebratory model of the Maxima’s 40-year run in the U.S.

Yes, the Maxima has been in America that long. It’s the longest-running nameplate in the country, and to mark that occasion, Nissan went all-out in dressing the Maxima 40th Anniversary with all the bells and whistles.

The Nissan Maxima has been around this long in the U.S.?

2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition Exterior
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Yes, the Nissan Maxima has been around that long. It arrived in the U.S. in 1981, even though it wasn’t called a Maxima and, just as important, it wasn’t badged as a Nissan.

Back then, the Maxima was identified as the Datsun 810 and, among its features was a 2.4-liter inline-six-cylinder engine.

A year later, the 810 was rebranded as the Maxima, and two years after that, the Datsun Maxima officially became the Nissan Maxima. Forty years and eight generations later, the Nissan Maxima remains as one of Nissan’s foundational models. It has lost a lot of its luster in recent years as buyers have gravitated towards crossovers and SUVs, but the Maxima nameplate still stands amid all of this upheaval.

What makes the Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition special?

2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition Exterior
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The exterior, for example, benefits from a two-tone gray and black paint finish that’s not available in any other Nissan model. In keeping with the visual theme, Nissan also dressed the set of 19-inch wheels, as well as all the trim, badges, and even the exhaust tips in black.

The approach isn’t fancy, but the all-black look does give the Maxima a stealthy and aggressive look that’s compounded by the well-laced front section and the identifiable character lines on both sides of the sedan.
2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition Interior
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The interior, on the other hand, is where the fun begins. Deep red semi-aniline leather with matching black accents adorn the seats. The red stitching on the doors and dashboards provide much-needed contrast. In lieu of plaques, Nissan embossed “40th anniversary” logos on the seats to properly identify this version of the Maxima as a special edition model.

2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition Interior
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The rest of the interior trim is finished in dark chrome, preserving the dark motif of the special edition Maxima. There is, however, one detail that counts as an exception. Look closely at the faces of the speedometer and tachometer and you’ll notice that they’re silvery white. That’s not a happy accident nor is it something random that Nissan threw in for giggles. The silvery-white dials are a nod to past Maxima models.

Should we expect any upgrades to the Maxima’s 3.5-liter V-6 engine?

2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition Interior
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No, there aren’t any, and it’s wise not to expect anything. The Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition does not benefit from any engine upgrades, suspension tweaks, or any other technical addition that improves its performance capabilities. On the bright side, the special edition Maxima, which is offered on the second-highest Platinum trim as its base unit, benefits from the aforementioned V-6 engine that produces 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a CVT transmission that sends power to the front wheels.

2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition Exterior
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In full bloom, the Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition should be able to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and hit a quarter-mile in 14.4 seconds at 101 mph.

2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition specifications
Engine 3.5-liter V-6
Horsepower 300 HP @ 6,400 RPM
Torque 261 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM
Bore & stroke (mm) 95.5 x 81.4
Compression ratio (:1) 10.6
Spark plugs Double-tipped iridium
Maximum engine speed 6,600 rpm
0 to 60 mph 5.9 seconds
Quarter mile seconds 14.4 seconds
Quarter mile speed 101 mph

How much is the Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition going to cost?

2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition Exterior
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Nissan hasn’t revealed pricing details for its special edition Maxima. That should come soon enough, though. For now, we’re estimating that the Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition will cost around $45,000 when it’s out in the market. For what it’s worth, a 2020 Nissan Maxima Platinum sells for just under $40,000.

Final Thoughts

2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition Exterior
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The Nissan Maxima hasn’t received the credit it deserves in recent years. Sure, it’s not the most rounded sports sedan in its segment, but it does punch above its supposed weight class. It’s a fun car to drive provided you set your expectations at an appropriate level. Throw in all the exclusive touches befitting a true special edition model and the Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition suddenly becomes a far more appealing model than most people will give it credit for.

  • Leave it
    • No performance improvements
    • Other models offer better packages
    • High price for a Maxima
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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