NASHVILLE--Nissan's admittedly unusual new convertible--the drop-top Murano CrossCabriolet--has an equally unusual aspiration.
Nissan Division anticipates the vehicle will draw buyers not from the brand's normal mass-market competitors, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai, but from the luxury world of BMW, Audi, and Volvo.
The convertible crossover, which will retail for $47,300 with shipping when it goes on sale next month, hopes to woo buyers of the Lexus RX crossover, BMW 3 series, and Audi A4. Nissan's strategy is that the CrossCabriolet is already in the price range of the higher-end products and offers luxury buyers a convertible alternative that doesn't exist elsewhere.
Those are normally the hunting grounds of Nissan's luxury sister brand, Infiniti. But there is little that's normal about the new Nissan model.
Nissan Motor designers altered the Murano's four-door body into a two-door body to give it adequate rigidity to sport a convertible top. The result is a stylishly large four-passenger convertible with standard leather seats.
Unlike a low-to-the-ground convertible roadster, the Murano is 66.2 inches tall with its top up. With 20-inch wheels, it has a step-in height of nearly 16 inches.
"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."
(Source: Automotive News)