Nissan reveals Resonance concept at Detroit auto show

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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If you were disappointed that the current second-generation Murano didn't take the midsize crossover far enough into the future when it debuted in 2009, hardly shaking the market up like the original did when it debuted in 2002, brace yourself for what Nissan has in mind for the next-generation Murano.

Any reference to the sci-fi TV series of the same Next Generation name is purposeful, as the Resonance Concept that debuted in Detroit earlier this week is an otherworldly showstopper. Nissan's "boldly futuristic styling" appears to be about to boldly go where no crossover has gone before, at least if this prototype shows up similarly in production trim.

"When the designers were first working on conceptualizing the Nissan Resonance, they were inspired by amazing scientific advancements in technology and material innovations," said Francois Bancon, Nissan Motor Co. division general manager, Product Strategy and Planning. "They also were inspired by the aspirations of those people who unabashedly embrace innovation and are optimistic about the future. It was about serving those people a concept vehicle that is forward-looking and fuses style with an athletic ride."

Athletic? Behind the "V-Motion" front grille is a gasoline-powered 2.5-litre four-cylinder internal combustion engine conjoined to a single motor-two-clutch electric drive system and lithium-ion battery pack for full-hybrid propulsion. Nissan says the next Murano will be available with this hybrid drivetrain, which means the Toyota Highlander Hybrid will finally have a competitor.

Of course, with such an advanced drivetrain available it would be inane not to include it in other Nissan and even Infiniti products. Nissan has confirmed that such will be the case, which leads us to conjecture that the Murano's platform architecture-sharing seven-passenger JX35 (soon to be renamed QX60) will be the target Infiniti to get this particular hybrid treatment, as will no doubt be its kissing cousin the Nissan Pathfinder for a true seven-passenger Highlander Hybrid rival. We'll start seeing this four-cylinder hybrid hit the market within the coming year.

The current Murano comes as close to premium quality as anything within the mainstream crossover sector, so it would be a shock of the Resonance Concept were to offer anything less than absolute refinement and total technology. Nissan refers to the Resonance interior as a "VIP lounge" with abundant roominess and rich warm natural materials such as premium-stitched leather seats. The instrument panel was designed to appear like it's floating in space, while thin steeply raked A pillars help give the sense that the full-length glass roof above is also floating overhead.

So what do you think? Would you like to see this concept transcend into the future Murano? Boding well for this design's chances, the Resonance was just given the EyesOn Design Award for Best Concept Vehicle at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

While Nissan isn't coming right out and saying that this is a thinly veiled Murano, the automaker is confirming something resembling the Resonance Concept will be built at its Canton, Mississippi assembly plant starting next year. Stay tuned.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, SUV, Nissan, 2013, Murano, Resonance Concept, Midsize,

Geographic location: Detroit

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