These spy shots were sent in to sister publication Motor Trend by forum poster Harvey-, who spied this interesting-looking Nissan Murano driving around town. The crossover already received an update in model year 2011, so what's the deal with the black tape covering the grille and badges? Look closely, and you'll see that there's only one tailpipe hanging from the CUV's bumperless rear end, which could be a clue that this model is powered by a four-banger.
In the U.S., Nissan currently offers Murano exclusively with a 3.5-liter V-6 (a diesel is offered in Europe). Its rated at 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque in the Murano SUV and a slightly-higher 265 hp and 248 lb-ft in the oddball CrossCabriolet. Harvey-, however, noted that this Murano sounded more like a four-cylinder. Additonally, it has just one exhaust pipe while the production Murano comes with two. Seeing as so many other automakers are embracing engine downsizing and offering four-cylinder options in bigger models, including direct Murano competitors like the Ford Edge and Toyota Venza, it wouldn't surprise us if Nissan also went that way with its midsize CUV. Especially taking into account today's high gas prices.
What does Nissan have in store for the Murano, then? One possibility is an updated version of Nissan's current 2.5-liter gasoline I-4, which powers the Rogue, Sentra, and four-cylinder Altima. Another is a variant of the Juke's 188-hp, 177-lb-ft turbocharged 1.6-liter. Right now, your guess is as good as ours. Stay tuned.