2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet to take on Bmw, Audi

Article by Christian A., on March 21, 2011

As you may know already, Nissan unveiled the Murano CrossCabriolet back in 2010 at the LA Auto Show. Honestly to tell you we can’t really understand this car, but it appears that the Japanese production thinks this is a serious business and that the car will not steal buyers from Toyota, Honda and Hyundai, but from the luxury world of BMW, Audi and Volvo.

Whoa ?!?!?? Apparently, Nissan thinks that the new car which costs $47,300, will attract buyers of the Lexus RX crossover, BMW 3 series and Audi A4.

Still, we don’t get it! Moreover, the new Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is in the price range of the higher-end products and the manufacturer says that the car offers luxury buyers a convertible alternative that doesn't exist elsewhere.

We have to admit that the car will be something rare on the streets and maybe that’s why Nissan hopes to take the lead in this segment, but competing with cars such as the Lexus RX crossover, BMW 3 series and Audi A4 is, in our opinion, way too much.

"We continue to challenge what people think about what they drive and why they drive what they do," says Mike Drongowski, Nissan senior manager of product planning. "It might not be a typical choice for a product, but it's consistent with who we are as a brand and our history of innovation." 

Ever heard of a crossover SUV that offers a top-up top-down driving and riding experience? Nissan is introducing the first all-wheel drive crossover convertible in the world -- the new 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. A crossover SUV and a convertible, the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet made its global debut at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show and will be available at Nissan dealers across the United States in early 2011.

Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager for Nissan Division at Nissan North America, Inc., said that the new Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet combines three vehicle elements -- the driving sophistication of a sedan; the utility of an SUV; and the open air driving pleasure of a cabriolet.

He remarked that the new Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is an all-rounder vehicle that serves any purpose – whether for daily trips, vacations or work – thanks to its superbly engineered convertible top, standard all-wheel drive and ample room to accommodate four adults and their cargo. Typically, a convertible offers an open-air driving experience, something many people enjoy.

However, a convertible has its own limitations, especially in terms of functionality and utility. In reality, a convertible does not offer enough trunk room and has limited or no space for rear passengers. Likewise, a convertible cannot offer the flexibility needed to completely enjoy everyday life.

Nissan has solved this dilemma with the new Murano CrossCabriolet. Castignetti described the new Murano CrossCabriolet as a reinvention of versatility that encourages consumers to rethink what a convertible can be. Aside from being a solution to such a dilemma, the new Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is also a product of advanced engineering and elegant design.

In designing the convertible top, one of main concerns was to retain traditional Murano silhouette when the top is deployed. Another aim was to convey a sophisticatedly luxurious appearance when the top is down. However, transforming the Murano body from a crossover to cross-cabriolet and from a four-door to a two-door required more than just getting rid of the hard top. Nissan has to create new front doors that are 7.9 inches longer than those on the four-door Murano. Nissan also has to get rid of the B-pillars while reinforcing the from the A-pillar rearward.

Interestingly, the cloth convertible top of the new Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet features a rear glass skylight, thereby treating the driver and the passenger to a wide-open interior even when the top is deployed. Its cloth convertible top is supported by Dual Pop-up Roll Bars as standard.

In terms of aerodynamics, the coefficient of drag of the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet (0.39 Cd) remains close but not better than the Murano (0.37 Cd). Nissan has managed to keep the size of the convertible top very compact when stowed, which means extra interior and cargo space.

Its hydraulically operated top mechanism features an automatic power latch/unlatch system, with switches located on the center console and driver's door handle. When the top is down, the stowed size is similar to a typical two-seat roadster. In this operation, the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet offers a trunk capacity of 7.6 cubic feet. A deployed top increases the cargo capacity to 12.3 cubic feet.

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