Mike Stevens | Nov 18, 2010

Some may have hoped it remained just a rumour, and others might be excited by the idea. Wherever you stand, it's happening, it's going into production, and this is it: the 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet.

Available in limited numbers in the US early next year, the Murano CrossCabriolet is - according to Nissan - the world's first all-wheel-drive crossover convertible (a segment that few carmakers are rushing to fill).

“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,” Al Castignetti, Nissan North America's Vice President said.

“The Murano CrossCabriolet is the reinvention of versatility, encouraging people to rethink what a convertible can be.”

Transforming the Murano SUV from a five-door hardtop to a two-door convertible meant creating new 200mm longer front doors, eliminating the B-pillars and reinforcing the structure behind the A-pillars to maintain rigidity.

The hydraulically-operated cloth convertible top also includes a rear glass skylight, and dual pop-up Roll Bars are also standard.

Impressively, the coefficient of drag remains close to that of the hardtop Murano: 0.39 Cd versus 0.37 Cd.

The Murano CrossCabriolet is powered by the same 3.5 litre petrol engine that drives the regular Murano, producing 191kW and 336Nm of torque and mated to a CVT automatic transmission.

Speaking with US industry paper Automotive News, Nissan of America's Brian Corolin, the company's Senior Vice-President for Sales and Marketing described the convertible Murano as an "image vehicle" for the brand.

"It's not going to be a volume car, but there's a degree of bravery for us to bring out a car like that right now," Carolin said. "It will surprise a lot of people."



If only because of the limited numbers and likely left-hand-drive-only specification, the Murano CrossCabriolet is unlikely to make its way to the Australian market.


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