When the next versions of the Nissan Maxima sedan and Murano crossover debut in two years’ time, they will have much more interesting designs that will take the industry by surprise. That’s the promise of Nissan global design chief Shiro Nakamura, who told Automotive News that both the new models will have dramatic designs.
“When we did the first Murano [in 2002], we shocked people,” Nakamura told Automotive News. “We’d like to make another shock.”
Nissan is said to be taking design inspiration for the third-generation Murano from the Terra concept. Scheduled to debut at the Paris Motor Show, the Terra is a wild fuel-cell concept car with elevated ground clearance, a chopped roofline, and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. While the outlandish vehicle won’t ever hit showrooms, some of its styling will inform the design of the new Murano.
A new version of the Nissan Murano is expected to debut in 2014, at which time production of U.S.-spec versions will shift from Japan to Tennessee. Building the popular model on American soil will help Nissan keep profits higher than if the car were exported from Japan. The first Nissan Murano debuted in 2002, and a new version was introduced in 2009.
Designer Nakamura also told AN that the next Maxima sedan would have a significantly more interesting appearance. A new Maxima is expected in 2014 or 2015, and will be lighter and more fuel-efficient than the current model. The current Nissan Maxima has been on sale since 2009.
“The market is becoming very competitive in that segment. The next Maxima will be very aggressive,” Nakamura said.
Of course, we’ve heard Nissan over-promise exciting design several times before. Back in 2009 we were told the Maxima would return to its sporty past and have an aggressive, four-door coupe design. Instead, the current Maxima turned out to be a stretched, engorged version of the Altima. Its creased and rippling sheetmetal was certainly alluring, but far less exciting than what we expected from Nissan’s promises.
Source: Automotive News