Though it may look like a vehicle straight out of a science-fiction flick, the futuristic Nissan Resonance concept likely previews the next-gen Murano. With all-wheel drive and a hybrid drivetrain, the Resonance concept explores new possibilities for crossover design as it sits pretty at Nissan’s 2013 North American International Auto Show stand.
Nissan's goal with the Resonance concept's design was to design an edgy-looking crossover that "drew inspiration from the futuristic allure of hypersonic travel." While we have our doubts that this Nissan will ever go that fast, the design does convey speed. The V-shaped front grille is a further evolution of the current Murano and Pathfinder grille; the V-shape flows up into the Maxima-like headlights, swoops up toward the A-pillars before creating a straight, sharp crease across the Resonance's flanks. Other key exterior features include the "floating" roof (thanks to blacked-out B- and C-pillars), a full-length glass roof, 22-inch wheels, and Juke-esque taillights.
Inside, Nissan aimed to make the design and upholstery just as futuristic as the exterior with a first-class space travel theme. The resulting "VIP Lounge" is filled with a holographic instrument panel that organizes infotainment and communications functions in order of perceived importance, leather seats, and a natural wood pattern.
A concept this "futuristic" ought to have an advanced drivetrain, and the Resonance doesn't disappoint. The Resonance concept is powered by a 2.5-liter I-4 and electric motor combo, using Nissan's one-motor/two-clutch hybrid technology. All four wheels are driven through a CVT. Battery storage comes courtesy of a compact laminated lithium-ion battery.
As we mentioned, the Nissan Resonance concept may be our first preview of the next-generation U.S.-built Murano, which may offer the hybrid four-cylinder along with a V-6 model. Though the Resonance is much wider than the 2013 Nissan Murano, the concept is less than an inch longer than the production crossover, with a wheelbase that's two inches longer. The next Murano will likely debut in 2014 as a 2015 model.
The Resonance Concept wasn't the only green vehicle at Nissan's stand; the Detroit show marks the North American debut of the updated 2013 Leaf and Versa Note four-door hatchback. Now built in the good ol' U.S.A., the refreshed Leaf sports a new entry-level trim (Leaf S); a new, faster charger; and a modest bump in range. As we've previously reported, other changes include a more efficient heating system, a new engine-braking mode, and an updated navigation system with Google Maps.