Predicting the L.A. show buzz: the convertible Nissan Murano

Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News
I'm putting myself out on a limb here, predicting the most talked about vehicle at next month's Los Angeles auto show.

Forget about hybrids, fuel cells and electric-powered vehicles. Ditto for cars with eight-speed or dual clutch transmissions. As for grilles with electrically powered, movable shutters, well, that technology is so yesterday.

Nissan plans to offer the Murano crossover as a two-door with a droptop. The existing model is pictured. A dealer says the CrossCabiolet Murano looks “kind of unusual.”
The buzz will be about the 2011 Nissan Murano, and here's the attention-getting term: CrossCabriolet. That's two-door convertible, as in first crossover convertible. Yes, this is a production vehicle, not some concept or experiment.

It's a bold move by Nissan to draw attention to Murano and hopefully add more than incremental sales.

The hurdle for Nissan is that the styling of today's Murano is polarizing.

We haven't seen any pictures of this vehicle yet and we probably won't until the show. But one Nissan dealer, who saw the CrossCabiolet and asked not to be identified, told Automotive News in August that the design is “kind of unusual.” He added: “It actually looks better with the top down than up.”

Love it or hate it, the Murano CrossCabioletwill be turning heads.

But will it make a dramatic difference in sales?