Audi showed a convertible crossover at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show with its Cross Cabriolet Concept, but no automaker has yet put such a vehicle into production. That is rumored to change sometime next year when Nissan introduces a convertible version of its Murano crossover.
While some have called the Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible a convertible crossover, it lacked the ride height of true crossovers. Nissan's Murano, however, truly fits the crossover bill. According to Automotive News, the convertible was shown to dealers at a meeting in Las Vegas earlier this month to mixed reviews.
The convertible Murano is set to lose two of its doors in the conversion, and will be fitted with a folding soft-top. According to one dealer at the meeting, the design is "kind of unusual." Given the four-door, hard-top Murano's design, we can only imagine what that means.
"It actually looks better with the top down than up," the anonymous dealer told AN.
Because of its unusual design, Nissan aims to make the Murano convertible an image car to draw people in to the brand. It will likely polarize consumers into love-it-or-hate-it groups, which will draw more attention to the Japanese brand.
"It's not going to be a volume car," Brian Carolin, senior vice president for sales and marketing, told AN. "But there's a degree of bravery for us to bring out a car like that right now. It will surprise a lot of people."
It's not exactly clear when the Murano convertible will hit dealerships, but it's expected sometime next year. What do you think about the idea of a crossover convertible? Is it a new, worthwhile niche market for other automakers to begin to explore?
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)