The 2003 Murano sport wagon, a fresh attempt by Nissan Division to adopt more striking design, goes on sale this fall.
"Rather than being confined to a conventional two-box-on-four-wheels, the Nissan Murano's designers had free reign to create a more dynamic and dramatic exterior," said Bill Kirrane, Nissan Division general manager.
The Murano features vertical headlights, D-pillars that sweep inward toward the roof and a rounded tailgate. Nissan calls the look part of its "sculpture in motion" theme.
With a length of 187.6 inches, the Murano seats five. It will be powered by a 3.5-liter, DOHC V-6 engine that generates more than 240 hp. The engine, which is in the same family as the engine in the Altima and 350Z, will be attached to a continuously variable transmission, Nissan's first for the U.S. market. It will come in front-wheel-
drive and all-wheel-drive versions.
The Murano also shares the FFL platform - the name indicating "front engine, front drive" - with the Altima and 350Z coupe. The 350Z arrives this summer.
Jed Connelly, Nissan senior vice president of sales and marketing, said the division hopes to sell about 55,000 units of the truck in its first year.
Connelly declined to give an estimate of the vehicle's sticker price or targeted competitors.