If the automotive industry thought that the Nissan Juke was a risky vehicle for Nissan, its latest model set to be unveiled this week at the 2010 Los Angeles International Auto Show should be even more daring. Nissan had previously announced that the all-new 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet would be unveiled, but it released its first picture of the mid-size crossover convertible ahead of the official debut. Nissan's short press release didn't say whether the new model used a soft top or a retractable hard top, but it did say that the new Murano model would go on sale in early 2011.
In addition to the retractable roof, the Murano CrossCabriolet sports a unique exterior styling from the A-pillars back. For easier access to the rear seat, the front doors are longer which should help give the Murano a sporty, coupe-like profile with the top up, but the only picture Nissan released was the CrossCabriolet with the top lowered. The new styling will undoubtedly receive a similar mixed reception as the styling on the Juke and Nissan Leaf, but it is good to see Nissan is still pushing the limits in terms of vehicle design.
The second-generation Murano has always had a sporty look, and now the rear styling has been significantly changed to include the 370Z-inspired boomerang taillights and stylish shoulder lines that help mimic a C-pillar even with the top down. Nissan obviously worked hard to make sure that the Murano CrossCabriolet looked nothing like a roofless, two-door Murano. Even better, the clean lines are aided by the fact that the top hides completely beneath a hard tonneau cover.
The added space required to help swallow up that top now results in a four-passenger seating capacity and eliminates the conventional cargo area, but Nissan still says that the trunk has 'space for golf bags or luggage'? with the top lowered. Judging by our recent road test and review of the 2010 Nissan Murano and the image Nissan released, the rear seat should continue to deliver plenty of comfort for passengers.
Like all current Murano models, the Murano CrossCabriolet should continue to use the same 260-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 paired with the continuously variable transmission (CVT), but it isn't clear how much weight the top will add and how much that it will affect performance. It is possible that the Murano convertible could tip the scales at more than 4,500 pounds, though, with the weights of the current 2011 model ranging from 3,877 up to 4,209.
The 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet will make its official debut on Nov. 17 at which time more of the details, images and possibly even pricing will be announced.