When Nissan first launched the Maxima, it touted the car as a sport alternative to the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. It even marketed the car as a "Four-Door Sports Car" ("4DSC" for short). Today, the Maxima seems to have lost its way.

Rather than a bold alternative to its rivals, the Maxima is merely Nissan's equal to the Camry or Accord. However, that is all about to change with the 2009 model, according to Automobile magazine.

The next-generation model will go back to the drawing board, and is likely to emerge as a Mercedes CLS-style four-door-coupe. To prevent any damage it might do to sales of the G35 sedan, Nissan will likely keep the vehicle front-wheel-drive, the report said.

On Nissan source told the magazine the new Maxima is unlike anything the Japanese automaker has ever done before. A concept is expected to arrive next winter during the auto show circuit.