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Nissan aims for luxury sector

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NISSAN'S UK executives want to pitch a new executive car against BMW and Lexus in the premium sector.

Company officials are investigating the introduction of a distinctively styled 'crossover' model to Britain next year.

Called Murano (pictured), the luxury car blends saloon bodywork with the high stance of a sports utility vehicle.

##Murano--none##

Originally intended only for the North American market, the four-wheel drive model has proved such a success it is to be engineered in right-hand drive format in the next few months, Nissan's president and chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn announced at the show.

Based on the US Maxima platform, the Murano has a 3.5-litre, 245bhp V6 engine. It will take several months to make the engineering changes and the car is unlikely to reach the Japanese market until late next summer, but a team at Nissan UK has already begun paving the way for importing it to Britain.

A spokesman said: 'Making the Murano a right-hand drive car opens the door for us to drive further into the premium sector.

'Our success with the X-trail and 350Z has proved that British motorists no longer regard us as a sub-£20,000 brand. After selling 10,000 X-trails and getting a fantastic reception for the 350Z in the last few months, it is clear that the Nissan badge is winning new customers who don't mind crossing this price threshold and we are anxious to establish a business case for this car.'

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