Have you heard of a mashup before? It’s like when DJ Danger Mouse took Jay-Z’s Black Album, overlaid the Beatles White Album and created the Grey Album. Take two things – mash them together, and sometimes magic happens. That’s exactly what Nissan was hoping for when they created this – the 2011 Murano CrossCabriolet. Nissan appears to have taken their Murano and mashed it up with their 370z, and quite possible invented a new segment along the way.
Unfortunately – engineering is where most convertible conversions go wrong. They simply chop the top, add a few braces, and call it good. That wasn’t good enough for Nissan. In fact – the only bits shared between the standard Murano and this new convertible are the front clip (engine, hood, fenders, etc) and the instrument cluster. The A-pillars and windscreen are slightly more raked than the hardtop Murano, which both gives it a more sports-car \ less beach buggy look, and helps keep the top-down wind at bay. The front doors have been lengthened by 8 inches, while the rear doors have been shed completely. Nissan worked with the same company that makes the top for their 370z to create a new top for this car – which had to be both long and strong enough to deal with covering four occupants. And yes – even though it’s been turned into a 2-door, you can get four adults in this car. Nissan has kept the Murano’s reliable 3.5L V6, making 265 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque, which gets an EPA estimated 17mpg city, and 22mpg highway.
So, when can you get one? That’s a tough question. According to Nissan – they’ve already taken 900 pre-orders for the Murano CC, but, and here’s the tricky part – they’ve suggested they’re only building 700 to start, and that’s split amongst 1000 dealers. So right now, it looks like unless you’ve got a pre-order on file, it might be tough. However if the car is selling as well as Nissan says it is – I suspect you’ll be able to order one fairly soon…
Here’s a video from MotorTrend: