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Murano design process result of tunnel vision

Swoopy style returns in third generation

Published: May 10, 2014, 11:00 PM

2015 Murano potential design

Nissan is building a little buzz for its third-generation Nissan Murano with the release of some pics of a clay model and a few details about the design process. Yes, slow news day, but also we like the Murano and really like playing with clay.

To achieve the low drag co-efficient and swoopy looks they wanted for the crossover, designers subjected the model to three times the normal wind-tunnel testing, eventually achieving a 0.31 coefficient of drag, projected to be "among" the best in its segment. It should be - it's about the same as last year's C6 Z06 Corvette.

They've described the look as "energetic" and "aero" and say they sought to retain the original's "strong sculptural qualities."

Three-dimensional modelling was used as a complement to their traditional sketch and computer rendering process, including miniature clay models used early in and throughout the design process. Designers stretched and slimmed the boomerang headlights and taillights that originally appeared on the 370Z and created D-pillars inspired by a jet. A wide stance for the lower body is meant to convey ruggedness, maintaining crossover functionality while still matching the fluidity of the upper body.

Mission accomplished?

"At Nissan, design is our brand promise, a promise that pulls people into our vehicles where they will be treated to an exciting driving experience," said Nissan senior vice-president and chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura. "As the first of our new concept-based production vehicles coming to market, Murano sets our new standard."

The 2015 Murano made its debut in April at the New York Auto Show.