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2015 Nissan Murano sets new airstream standards for the segment

The new 2015 Murano spent more time in the wind tunnel than any previous rendition of the vehicle or any similar vehicle in Nissan's lineup. And it paid off.

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Nissan says that they subjected the 2015 Murano to about three times the wind tunnel testing they normally do for a vehicle, creating a crossover with a likely class-leading coefficient of drag (Cd) rating that is equivalent to many sports cars.

Designers wanted to retain the strong sculptural qualities of the original Murano design rather than replace them, but the improved aerodynamics meant many changes to the body's size and shape were necessary to achieve their drag-reduction goals. Clay models began to take precedence in the design process as they were easily subjected to changes in shape while being able to be physically tested in the wind tunnel for improvement.

Between computer modeling and clay design, the 2015 Murano began to take shape as a design as artists began combining the sharp edges and flowing curves that make up the new-generation Murano. Much of the new look was literally shaped by the wind.

Changes like the removal of the D-pillars from sight, the "fast-back" hatch, smoother fenders, and small vortex-creators come together to give the 2015 Nissan Murano a Cd of just 0.31 - on par with some of the world's priciest and most acclaimed sports cars. That's a better drag coefficient than the current Porsche 997 GT2 and equivalent to the drag of the Audi A5, a 1990s Lamborghini Diablo, and even the beautiful Infiniti Q60 coupe.

Yes, that's a midsized crossover beating a sizable list of sports cars in their current-generation. Impressed?

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