The Nissan Max-Out is virtual no longer. The automaker Nissan rolled out a physical version of its electric convertible concept to celebrate its Nissan Futures event, which is being held at its global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, for the next several weeks.
We’ve seen renderings of the Max-Out, alongside several other futuristic concepts, when Nissan announced its ambitious five-year $17.6 billion electrification strategy in November 2021. Now, the Max-Out has taken physical form and will be on display for the duration of the company’s event, which is expected to last through March.
The Max-Out is a two-seater with a low-slung stance to emphasize speed and performance. Nissan says that it will include dynamic cornering and a steering response that’s balanced with limited body roll to optimize driver and passenger comfort.
But its rectangular front end and a distinctive grid pattern on the hood and wheels conjure up images of riding a lightcycle through the digital landscape of Tron and other science fiction works from the 1980s. Past and future collide.
Its retrofuturistic bonafides are undeniable. The question is: how far ahead of a vision is the Max-Out? Nissan’s motorsports boss, Takao Katagiri, has said the automaker is developing a new sports car for North America and Europe. Car watchers have speculated it to be some sort of preview of a GT-R successor that will have hybrid and pure electric power. Could the Max-Out come to life as an addition to the Nismo lineup?
Nissan has said it will produce 23 new electrified models by 2030, 15 of which will be fully electric. The company is targeting a 50 percent electrification mix for its Nissan and Infiniti brands by the end of the decade. In the US, Nissan plans to take things a little slower, only targeting 40 percent of its sales to be EVs by 2040. The company’s Ariya SUV is expected to hit dealerships in the US this year after a delay.
Nissan has long been a leader in electric vehicle sales, despite really only having one EV — the functional if uninspiring Nissan Leaf hatchback — on the market. The company unveiled the Ariya SUV against the backdrop of corporate turmoil, executive turnover, plummeting sales, and pandemic-related cost cutting at Nissan.