2022 Nissan Maxima

What kind of car is the 2022 Nissan Maxima? What does it compare to?

With the Maxima, Nissan upgrades the Altima driving experience with a V-6 engine and more enthusiastic chassis tuning. It’s a competitor for cars like the Acura TLX, the Honda Accord, and the Toyota Camry. 

Is the 2022 Nissan Maxima a good car?

Review continues below

It’s pretty and drives well enough, and crash-test scores are great. It earns a TCC Rating of 6.5 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2022 Nissan Maxima?

The Maxima Platinum adds standard heated rear seats for 2022, but that’s all for changes. The Maxima still emerges from the tailoring ship differently from the related Nissan Altima; they share a cat-eyed look that uses black trim to make the roof appear to float, but the Maxima’s bulked-up fenders and wedgy stance set it apart from its cousin. Inside, the Maxima’s unexciting dash design has a large touchscreen that doesn’t swallow its ancillary controls, and fit and finish suits its price.

We wish the Maxima offered a different transmission. Its 300-hp V-6 has the right urges, but can’t satisfy us since it sends all the power to the front wheels through a CVT. The belt-and-pulley transmission takes its time to find the right power point, and keeps the Maxima working hard for its 0-60 mph times of about seven seconds. It drones and isn’t responsive, which undercuts the pleasantly quick steering and well-damped ride, even in the SR trim with its 19-inch wheels.

Four large adults can fit in the Maxima, but rear-seat head and leg room suffer compared to the Altima. Front-seat comfort is great, though, and all Maximas come with leather upholstery. The trunk’s smaller than average.

Both the NHTSA and the IIHS give the Maxima their highest crash-test ratings, and automatic emergency is standard on all models. A surround-view camera system is only offered on the Maxima Platinum.

How much does the 2022 Nissan Maxima cost?

It’s $38,215 for a Maxima SV with 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, power front seats, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The $43,375 Maxima SR has more engaging suspension tuning and more responsive brakes for not much more. 

Where is the 2022 Nissan Maxima made?

It’s assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee.

Mint Condition ’67 Firebird Restored and Drag Racing | Roadkill | MotorTrend

Finnegan and David Newbern rescue an unbelievably mint ’67 Pontiac Firebird. This Crusher Camaro look-alike has been stowed in a barn behind a dragstrip for almost two decades. Now the guys battle old parts, downpours and other issues in order to get this old drag car racing down the track once again.

#Roadkill #MotorTrend #Firebird

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BMW readies most powerful M with SUV concept

LOS ANGELES — BMW is expanding its utility vehicle lineup with the first standalone vehicle from its M performance brand since the BMW M1 launched five decades ago.

The BMW Concept XM, revealed at a press event here this month, is a preview of the most powerful M vehicle in its lineup, the automaker said.

The series-production version of the XM will launch late next year, assembled at BMW’s factory in Greer, S.C.

Franciscus van Meel, CEO of the M brand for BMW, described the XM as “a pinnacle of expressive luxury.”

He noted the new model’s target customer as being “extroverted” and “non-conformist.”

“We are really addressing target groups that we didn’t address within BMW and M,” van Meel said.

The new model will be offered worldwide, but the U.S. will be the single-biggest market, BMW said.

Like its Mercedes-Benz rival AMG, BMW’s M subbrand holds a high level of prestige in the marketplace, and having a standalone model keeps it in that exclusive strata, said Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions.

“This new model will pull up the other M editions, as buyers see them as more aspirational than just simply a trim level on otherwise common models,” Fiorani said.

The XM will be available only as a plug-in hybrid, using the automaker’s newly developed M Hybrid drive system, mating a V8 engine and a high-performance electric motor to generate up to 750 hp. The vehicle will have an estimated all-electric range of up to 30 miles.

With tightening emissions regulations, high-powered models will need to have some sort of hybridization to stay clean, Fiorani said.

“Adding the plug-in option gives drivers the ability to travel with no tailpipe emissions, and not adding to the automaker’s already high CO2 count,” he said.

Combining a V8 engine with an electric motor also delivers maximum performance.

“You have the punch of the EV engine, which is the maximum torque from a standstill, combined with the V8 engine, which is quite responsive,” van Meel said. “This is the best of two worlds and is a nice combination for a high-performance car because it gives you performance under all circumstances.”

BMW’s decision to launch the XM as a plug-in hybrid, instead of as a battery-only model was about pragmatism.

Inadequate charging infrastructure in many markets still limits the adoption of full-electric vehicles, van Meel said. He said BMW received customer feedback saying, “Please don’t go completely electric because we are missing out on infrastructure.”

While much of the industry is moving on from combustion engines, the BMW M performance subbrand still sees a business case to keep high-octane engines around.

“We still have a big demand for V8 engines,” van Meel said. “We don’t want to shut that off on short notice.”

The design of the coupe-like Concept XM, which is more than 90 percent similar to the coming production version, heralds a new front end — a version of which will be seen for the first time in 2022 as part of a BMW model offensive.

The headlights have been split into two modules, with the daytime driving light located in the slim upper module. The low-beam and high-beam headlights will be in the lower module, mounted behind tinted glass.

The large kidney-shaped grille sits between the headlights and tapers toward the outer edges, producing a near-octagonal outline. M-style double bars within the grille add to the perception of width.

Contour lighting sets off the grille to make the daytime driving lights recognizable.

The new XM logo in the kidney grille and the large air intakes are a visual reminder of the V8 under the hood.

From the rear, the XM concept appears low and sporty. Slim L-shaped rear lights extend almost the width of the vehicle. The lights are completely black when not active, and reveal a uniform beam of red when switched on.

Dominating the rear apron are the characteristic twin tailpipes of BMW M models, this time in a vertical arrangement.

“This enabled us to go wider with the rear diffuser so that we could improve our aerodynamics,” van Meel said.

In homage to the M1, the rear window features dual laser-etched BMW roundels.

BMW will dial up the M’s luxury quotient with the XM.

“The feedback from our customers is that they really love our cars,” van Meel said. “But in the future, they would wish to have also more luxury in their cars.”

The Concept XM features “lounge-like” rear bench seats, black-tinted rear side windows for privacy and deep pile carpeting.

The visual highlight of the cabin is the headliner with its three-dimensional prism structure. A combination of indirect and direct lighting produces a relief-like structure. The ambient lighting can be activated in the three BMW M colors.

Automated driving systems have a dirty secret

What can’t be seen can hurt you. That’s the thinking behind a range of fluidic, compressed-air, ultrasonic and aerodynamic cleaning gear and hydrophobic coatings for the sensors. They are a vital part of automated driving systems.

A clean windshield and healthy wipers help with driver vision and sensor capability. But only if the sensors, like the driver, are positioned behind the windshield’s spritzed and swept glass. Certain thermal-imaging, night-vision and lidar sensors don’t work if they’re mounted under glass, so they are moving onto rooftops, the rear hatch, bumpers and fenders.

“It doesn’t take much to obscure an optical sensor,” explains Russell Hester, director of product development at dlhBowles, a company that engineers and manufactures automotive cleaning systems.

When optical sensors such as rearview cameras and lidars are even partially obscured by precipitation, road grime or bug spatter, their capability drops, or they stop functioning. Any vehicle using vision-style sensors for park assist, adaptive cruise, automatic emergency braking or lane keeping needs a clear view to ensure consistent operation.

“Many new vehicles have camera-based systems fused with radar-sensor inputs to apply the brakes to stop you from rear-ending another vehicle,” Hester states. “Right now, these are technically convenience features. Everyone should be able to look both ways before they back out of a parking spot. But if you’re not paying attention, having the vehicle stop for you if there’s cross traffic is a safety-related item. But it’s not mandated or regulated. In the future, customers will come to expect these systems to function in place of their own eyes and decision-making. It boils down to the customer expectation that if I’m spending the money, certainly in a premium vehicle, and it has this feature where it can drive me or help me drive, then I want it available.”

Recently, AAA ran two tests with four vehicles from different automakers with automatic emergency braking. Under ideal, dry conditions, no cars ran into the soft test obstacles. But in simulated “moderate to heavy” rainfall, 17 percent crashed at 25 mph. At 35 mph, 33 percent crashed.

In a second test of the four lane-keeping systems, vehicles crossed into the other lane 37 percent of the time under ideal conditions. But under simulated rain conditions, lane crossing increased to 69 percent.

“OEMs are quickly realizing that these very discerning customers are going to expect that a little bit of dirt and a little bit of condensation and a little bit of rain won’t disable system function,” Hester says. For now, though, they can.

Researchers, particularly at autonomy companies using lidar or cameras, are working on advanced software that detects the level and type of obscuration at individual sensor windows. It then determines the volume of fluid to be delivered from individual nozzles.

It might even ultimately activate ultrasonic vibrations from piezoelectronics within the sensor to generate scum-loosening sonic shimmies. Dirt is transferred from the window into a thin film of applied fluid, and the window’s high-frequency vibration atomizes that fluid into the atmosphere. This technique could also be used to de-ice, remove condensate and shed raindrops.

These future smart-scrubbing strategies will provide more effective cleanup, reduce overall energy consumption and conserve the tank of alcohol-based cleaning fluid.

Of course, sensors that don’t get dirty don’t need cleaning. Most individual sensor windows are treated with hydrophobic coatings that shed moisture. There also are hydrophobic washer fluids available that have been tested and accepted by cleaning-system makers.

A further smudge-busting tactic, reviewed at Ford Motor Co., involves aerodynamic surface features that direct airflow to divert bugs and dirt particles. One approach: Ducts near the camera lens that funnel incoming air back into the overall airstream. The idea is to push the bulk of the flow around the sensor.

Ford autonomous-vehicle system core supervisor Venky Krishnan described the automaker’s work in a 2019 blog post. He said the company designed the tiara, the structure that sits atop Ford’s AVs and houses various sensors, as a “first line of defense.” Even if an insect manages to get past the air curtain, nozzles can spray fluid to clean the dirty camera lens.

“Just as we must equip self-driving vehicles with the brains to process what’s happening in their environment, we must also equip them with the tools to deal with that environment — no matter what kind of gunk it decides to throw at them,” Krishnan wrote.

GM taps Cadillac North America VP Mahmoud Samara for GM Europe startup

General Motors plans to reestablish its presence in Europe with a mobility startup business, and it has tapped Mahmoud Samara, Cadillac’s North America chief who has led much of the transition to electric vehicles this year, to run it.

Samara, 44, becomes president and managing director of GM Europe on Dec. 1. He will report to Steve Kiefer, senior vice president and president of GM International, and will be based in Zurich.

“His mission is to transform our current operations into a non-traditional mobility start-up in the region, identifying entrepreneurial opportunities to commercialize our global growth strategy investments in Europe,” Kiefer said in a statement. “We will make very deliberate decisions about where and how we compete in Europe.”

Eric Cunningham, vice president of excellence for GM’s electric vehicle growth organization, will replace Samara as vice president of Cadillac North America sales, services and marketing, also effective Dec. 1. He will report to Rory Harvey, vice president of global Cadillac.

The leadership shifts come as GM aims to fill the void it left in Europe after selling its Opel and Vauxhall brands to PSA Group in 2017 and as Cadillac prepares for electrification.

Cadillac is just beginning to electrify its lineup, with the Lyriq crossover going on sale in the first quarter, and is revamping its dealership network for EV sales and service. More than one-third of Cadillac dealers opted to leave the brand this year.

Samara’s role with Cadillac was critical for preparing Cadillac’s 560 remaining dealers for the EV transition. In Europe, Samara will be tasked with leading a sustainable and profitable mobility startup with electric and autonomous vehicles, GM said in an emailed statement. The startup will also incorporate software, connectivity, defense, delivery and logistics.

“It has been an honor to work with our incredible dealer partners to build great momentum for Cadillac in pursuit of GM’s global growth plan and EV future. However, it’s not often that you get the opportunity to lead and build something new,” Samara said in the statement. “My most immediate priorities will be developing the right structure and strategy for our start-up in Europe.”

Samara was an Automotive News Rising Star this year.

Cunningham, 56, Cadillac’s incoming vice president of North America, assumes his new role after a nearly four-decade tenure with GM. Most recently, he was vice president of excellence for GM’s electric vehicle growth organization, led by Chief EV Officer Travis Hester. The team is responsible for preparing and transforming the EV business, including the dealership network, customer experience and infrastructure.

“Cadillac is in the midst of a historic transformation as the brand prepares for our EV future. I look forward to working with Cadillac’s dealer network as we shape this vision together,” Cunningham said in a statement. “I have always admired Cadillac and I’m excited to have the opportunity to leverage my retail and EV experience to help enable the brand’s journey.”