2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

Adding a new meaning to the word crossover

It must have been an interesting brainstorming session where someone said, ?Let?s make a convertible version of the Murano.?? Frankly that?s about the last thing we could have expected?but it works, and we like it.

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.

?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.?

The transformation of the Murano body from Crossover to CrossCabriolet and from 4-door to 2-door required 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.

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. ?Every CrossCabriolet also comes with a standard Nissan Hard-Drive Navigation System with 9.3GB Music Box? hard drive and XM NavTraffic?, Bluetooth? Hands-free Phone System, HomeLink? Universal Transceiver and RearView Monitor.

?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.?

The drivetrain is the same as the all-wheel drive hardtop with a 265-hp 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC V-6 engine mated to the second-generation Xtronic CVT? with Adaptive Shift Control. ?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.

The 2011 Murano CrossCabriolet will go on sale early in 2011with one fully equipped model priced at $46,390.

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