Nissan touts the Murano CrossCabriolet as the world's first AWD crossover convertible. The model goes on sale in the United States in early 2011.

We're not sure we've ever really seen something like this, particularly directly from the automaker itself.

But here it is: a cabriolet/convertible SUV. It's called the 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet and it's going to production.

Nissan touts Murano CrossCabriolet as the world's first all-wheel drive crossover convertible. It is a 2-door, open top variant of the 4-door Murano SUV/crossover. It comes with a 3.5 liter V6 doling out 265 bhp (198 kW) and 248 lb-ft (336 Nm) of torque coupled to an Xtronic CVT transmission.

The cabrio's top is hydraulically operated with an automated latch/unlatch function. Trunk space with the top down is 7.6 cubic feet (0.2 cubic meters). Other technology includes the High Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-xenon headlights and the LED taillights similar to those on the Nissan 370Z.

"This new Murano CrossCabriolet adds an unexpected...element, the ability to make everyday activities more exciting with open air driving," said Nissan's North American vice president and general manager, Al Castignetti, in the press release.

Nissan believes the Murano CrossCabriolet provides all the advantages of a convertible without any of the drawbacks such as a lack of flexible usage and too little trunk space.

Now, they call such models crossovers in the North American market because their construction is car-based. But there's probably more than a few critics who would argue, SUV or crossover, chopping the top off of either doesn't make for the most appealing vehicle to look at.

The Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet goes on sale in the United States in early 2011.

Gallery: 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet unveiled

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