By Drew Johnson
Thursday, Feb 13th, 2014 @ 4:57 pm
 

Nissan will use the New York International Auto Show in April to debut the next generation of its Murano midsize crossover.

While few details are currently available, we do know that the 2015 Murano will ride on the same platform as the latest Altima and Pathfinder - underpinnings that will also be used for the next Maxima - and feature roughly the same footprint as the outgoing model.

Nissan feels that it has its three-row crossover bases covered with the Rogue and Pathfinder, so the 2015 Murano will retain the existing two-row configuration, company spokesman Dan Bedore revealed to Edmunds.

The oddball Murano CrossCabriolet, which has never caught on with buyers, will not be redesigned.

Powertrain options are a mystery, but an updated version of the current 3.5-liter V6/CVT combo is likely, and the Pathfinder Hybrid's supercharged 2.5-liter four and electric motor could also make an appearance.

Resonance-inspired styling

Speaking with Edmunds on the sidelines of the Chicago Show, Fed Diaz, Nissan North America's senior vice president of sales, marketing, parts and service, had effusive words of praise for the 2015 Murano's design.

The new crossover "is beautifully styled. The dealers were just foaming at the mouth when I showed them pictures," Diaz said, adding of the interior, "[the dealers] almost fell out of their seats they were so excited."

Official pictures are not yet available, but our spies were able to nab a 2015 Murano prototype back in December, with the photos revealing an exterior influenced by the Resonance Crossover Concept.

Unveiled at the 2013 Detroit auto show, the Resonance concept was believed to be an early styling preview for the next Murano, but it was unclear just how much of the show car's radical styling would actually make it to production. However, our spy shots show that quite a bit of the Resonance's DNA will make it into the new Murano.

Up front it's clear that the 2015 Murano will adopt the Resonance's boomerang-shaped headlights, although the units have been toned down somewhat for production. This prototype also shares its C- and D-pillars, rising beltline and tailight design with the concept.

The Resonance's main design draw was its "floating" rear roof section, and it looks as though that styling element will make the transition to production. Even the wheel design on this prototype bears a striking resemblance to the rollers used on the Resonance concept.

An interior photo reveals a design much more toned down than the car's exterior would suggest.

Watch for official pictures and details to be released closer to the 2015 Murano's Big Apple debut in April.