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Detroit show: Nissan pumps up ‘Murano’

Hot grille: Nissan’s designers have pushed the boundaries with the Resonance concept that hints at the next Murano.

Muscular Nissan Resonance concept aims to shake cobwebs from crossover design

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Nissan logo16 Jan 2013

By RON HAMMERTON

NISSAN has unveiled what it calls a “provocative, energetic and engaging – even polarising” crossover concept at the Detroit motor show, saying it signals the future direction of the company’s crossover vehicle design.

Looking like a Dualis on steroids, the five-seat all-wheel-drive hybrid Resonance is thought to preview the next-generation Murano that is due to hit showrooms in about 2014.

The nose is dominated by a new interpretation of Nissan’s large metallic-finished V-shaped grille, called V-Motion. Lines formed by the grille continue across the bonnet, ending in exterior rear-vision cameras at the A pillars.

Resonance’s grille is lit from within, throwing a blue hue over the front of the vehicle.

The concept is roughly the same size as the current Murano, although it sits on a 50mm-longer wheelbase, at 2825mm, and is slightly longer and wider at 4841mm and 2000mm respectively.

No power, torque or performance figures have been offered, but the petrol-electric powertrain is based around a 2.5-litre engine – probably the Altima’s four-cylinder unit – and an electric motor driving all four wheels via dual clutches and a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The current second-generation Murano that was launched in 2009 is powered exclusively by Nissan’s VQ 3.5-litre V6 that pumps out 191kW of power and 336Nm of torque and connects to all four wheels via a CVT.

Nissan says the Resonance concept aims to present an intelligent, fresh alternative for US consumers.

Nissan product strategy and planning division general manager Francois Bancon said the “edgy yet sophisticated design” provided a “clear, exciting view into the future of crossover innovation”.

“This design is not meant to appeal to traditional two-box SUV shoppers, but rather to those whose fashion and design choices make a statement.”

The Resonance boasts a hi-tech dashboard with a large blue-hued touchscreen in the centre.

The seats, steering wheel, console and door trims are swathed in white leather, with wood inserts in the dash, doors and console.

A panoramic glass roof lets in the light.

Mr Bancon said the Resonance’s interior “reflects the enlightened modernity of today’s crossover buyer”.

The LED headlights and tail-lights are shaped like boomerangs, with the rear light cluster flowing up the steeply sloped rear pillars.

The rear of the roof appears to float above the car, courtesy of blacked-out C pillars behind the side glass.

The Resonance sits on gigantic 22-inch alloy wheels – four inches bigger than the 18-inch wheels on the current model, and likely just for show.

Sales of Murano have been steady in Australia, with 2145 vehicles departing showrooms in 2012, down 4.5 per cent on the previous year.

However, rivals such as the Ford Territory (14,646 units) and Toyota Kluger (13,239) comfortably outsell it.

This year, Nissan is expected to boost its SUV stocks with the arrival of the British-made Juke compact crossover and new-generation Pathfinder large SUV.

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