Nissan is calling Murano CrossCabriolet, “the world’s first all-wheel-drive crossover convertible”. Nissan engineers cut the roof off the Murano SUV, shortened the body, removed rear doors and created a 4WD crossover convertible that seats four.
Power for the Murano CrossCabriolet comes from a 265bhp 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine and it will go on sale early next year in the U.S. Base price for the Murano CC is $46,390 (roughly £29,040) and Nissan has no plans to bring it to Europe at this point.
Most people on the show floor are not impressed what Nissan has built, but in case it turns out to be popular it is just a matter of time when other automakers are going introduce their own open top crossovers.
2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet – “Innovation for Fun” Leads Design of World’s First AWD Crossover Convertible
– Bold Expression of Nissan’s Commitment to Design and Innovation Goes On Sale in Early 2011, Offered in One Luxurious All-Wheel Drive Model –
As the world’s first all-wheel drive crossover convertible, the 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet breaks new ground in both the crossover SUV and convertible segments. With its never seen before design and custom boutique style, the Murano CrossCabriolet is unlike anything on the road – blending all of the things people love in a crossover with the open air enjoyment of a convertible. Making its world debut at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Murano CrossCabriolet is scheduled to go on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in early 2011.
“When people think of a crossover, they think of a combination of the driving sophistication of a sedan with the utility of a sport utility. This new Murano CrossCabriolet adds an unexpected third element, the ability to make everyday activities more exciting with open air driving,” said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. “However, with its extraordinarily engineered convertible top, standard all-wheel drive and room for four adults plus cargo, the CrossCabriolet is not just for cruising South Beach or Malibu. It’s a vehicle to take to lunch, running errands or on a long ski weekend in any part of the country.”
Possibilities Await: Murano CrossCabriolet Design Concept
The impetus behind innovation is often as simple as asking questions not posed before, such as how do you overcome the functional limitations of a convertible? “Everyone loves the convertible experience, no one loves the convertible reality – compromised trunk space, a cramped back seat or none at all, and a lack of flexibility for everyday life,” said Castignetti. “The Murano CrossCabriolet is the reinvention of versatility, encouraging people to rethink what a convertible can be.”
The all-new Murano CrossCabriolet overcomes these obstacles, combining elegant design and state-of-the-art engineering. One of the priorities in the convertible top design was the retention of the traditional Murano silhouette with the top up, and a luxurious, sophisticated appearance with the top down.
The transformation of the Murano body from Crossover to CrossCabriolet and from 4-door to 2-door meant more than just removing the top. Along with creating new front doors (7.9 inches longer than 4-door Murano front doors) and eliminating the B-pillars, the structure has been reinforced from the A-pillar rearward. The cloth convertible top also includes a rear glass skylight, helping create a wide-open interior environment even with the top in the closed position. Dual Pop-up Roll Bars are also standard. The coefficient of drag remains close to that of the hardtop Murano, just 0.39 Cd versus 0.37 Cd.
One of the keys to the CrossCabriolet’s design’s success is the convertible top’s exceptionally compact size when stowed, which allows both additional interior and cargo volume (normally taken up by a traditional convertible stowage design). The hydraulically operated top mechanism includes an automatic power latch/unlatch system. Operation switches are located on the center console and driver’s door handle. With the top down, the stowed size is similar to that of a conventional 2-seat roadster. Trunk capacity with the top down is 7.6 cubic feet, enough to fit two sets of golf clubs or two carry-on suitcases. With the top closed, cargo capacity expands to 12.3 cubic feet.
Along with the unique convertible top appearance, the Murano CrossCabriolet exterior also includes High Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-functional xenon projector headlights with auto on/off function, front fog lights and Nissan 370Z-inspired LED taillights.
Other features include body-colored front and rear bumpers, chrome door handles, body-colored dual power/heated outside mirrors, and rear window defroster with timer. Along with convertible style, the CrossCabriolet offers the high ground clearance of a Murano for easy ingress and egress and enhanced driver visibility.
Six exterior colors are available: unique Murano CrossCabriolet colors Sunset Bronze and Caribbean, plus Merlot, Platinum Graphite, Super Black and Pearl White.
A Highly Rewarding Interior
The luxurious Murano CrossCabriolet interior starts with a foundation of the top-of-the-line Murano LE and takes it to the next level of standard features and convenience items. The tall windshield and A-pillar design combines with the body’s high beltline and high rear seat shoulders to help reduce conventional interior air turbulence with the top down, allowing conversation between occupants.
Premium materials are used throughout the interior, with the standard leather- appointed seats available in a diagonally quilted premium leather, double-stitched pattern for added elegance. The interior’s curving, sculpted lines, half-matte chromed trim finish and unique wood-tone trim, tuned to match each of three available interior colors, add an additional rich, quality feel. Interior colors include Black, Cashmere (light brown) and Camel (brown).
The Murano CrossCabriolet comes fully equipped, with a long list of standard features including 8-way power heated driver’s seat with power lumbar support, 4-way manual heated front passenger seat with easy entry function, heated steering wheel, 2-position driver’s seat memory system for seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors, passenger seat easy entry release button on instrument panel for driver access, driver and front passenger seatback pocket, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and Nissan Intelligent Key™ with Push Button Ignition.
Every CrossCabriolet also comes with a standard Nissan Hard-Drive Navigation System with 9.3GB Music Box® hard drive and XM NavTraffic® (XM® subscription required, sold separately), Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver and RearView Monitor.
Open-air road tunes are provided by a Bose® AM/FM/CD audio system with 8 speakers including subwoofer, automatic audio adjustment for soft-top up/down position, integrated Interface System for iPod®, speed-sensitive volume control and auxiliary audio input jack. XM® satellite Radio (XM® subscription requires, sold separately) is also standard.
“The interior of the Murano CrossCabriolet provides a custom boutique feel. With numerous color combinations offered between the exterior, interior and convertible top, owners can express their own distinctive sense of style,” added Castignetti. “It’s a rare convertible that allows four passengers to feel equally comfortable, which this stunning new design absolutely does – as well as equally indulged.”
Under the Skin: Pure Murano
Open air driving is not the only emotional reward the Murano CrossCabriolet provides – it also offers a secure, rewarding driving experience. Its no-compromise drivetrain is shared with the all-wheel drive hardtop Murano, starting with the proven “D” platform (also utilized on Maxima and Altima sedans) and standard 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC V6 producing 265 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. The engine design includes the Nissan variable Induction Control System (NICS), twin knock sensors, low exhaust pressure, a 10.3:1 compression ratio, and 6,000 rpm redline.
The engine is mated to a standard second-generation Xtronic CVT™ with Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) for sporty response and smoothness, which utilizes an advanced, sport-tuned controller with adaptive logic for driving comfort or driving performance as conditions require. The advanced all-wheel drive system connects the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system, yaw sensors, wheel slip sensors and steering angle sensors to distribute torque according to driving conditions.
The Murano CrossCabriolet’s lightweight 4-wheel independent suspension features MacPherson struts in front, a multi-link rear design, cradle-type front subframe and front and rear stabilizer bars. Also utilized are dual-flow path shock absorbers for responsiveness and reduced ride harshness.
Steering is provided by a twin-orifice vehicle-speed-sensitive power-assisted steering system, while the braking system includes 4-wheel vented disc brakes with Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and G-sensor. Every CrossCabriolet comes with 20-inch split 5-spoke titanium finish aluminum-alloy wheels with P235/55R20 Toyo Proxes A20 all-season tires.
Standard Murano CrossCabriolet safety features include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt sensors and an occupant classification sensor and door-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor, along with front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, Zone Body Construction with front and rear crumple zones, front seat Active Head Restraints, Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS), Vehicle Security System (VSS) and Dual Pop-up Roll Bars.
One Fully Equipped Model
The 2011 Murano CrossCabriolet is offered in one fully equipped model. Along with the many items previously mentioned, standard features include power front windows with one-touch up/down and auto-reverse feature, Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature Control, and a 7-inch color display for audio, climate control, fuel economy, maintenance and comfort and convenience systems.
Also included are highly functional storage systems, including a two-tier center console storage box with fold-out function, cell phone holder, dual seatback pockets, Fine Vision gauges and driver instrumentation with white backlighting, illuminated steering wheel controls, auto door lock feature, four cupholders, tilting and telescoping steering column, auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control with illuminated steering wheel mounted switches, front door map pockets, and Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) system.
Only two options are available with specific exterior colors – a Camel interior with upgraded leather and the black top, and the Brown top/Cashmere interior combination (with upgraded leather).
“The versatility and functionality of a true all-wheel drive crossover, the unique open air driving experience of a pure convertible – the Murano CrossCabriolet is a breakthrough in concept, design and execution,” said Castignetti. “Innovation meets Murano with stunning results.”