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Japanese Students Give Murano SUV a Nissan Z Makeover, and It Kinda Rocks

Who expected the Z styling tropes would work on a crossover?

A group of Japanese students has transplanted the Nissan Z’s looks onto a crossover, with exciting results.

As covered by Jalopnik, the build is the work of students from Nissan Gakuen, a technical college run by Nissan in Japan. Based on a second-gen Nissan Murano, it features the front grille, hood, and headlights from the new Nissan Z. The crossover also scored Z taillights at the rear and a smattering of Z badges, too. The car is known as the Fairlady X, a reference to the Nissan sportscar’s Japanese moniker of Fairlady Z.

The combination works surprisingly well, particularly from the frontal aspect. As much as some enthusiasts decry the rise of sports crossovers, Nissan could certainly do worse than building something like this in the future. In particular, the two-tone finish with the black roof and mirrors adds a lot to the overall aesthetic. The exquisite Rays G025 wheels help complete the performance look, and the Nissan GT-R door handles are an excellent touch, too.

The look is a little more polarizing when viewed from the side, however. The integration of the Z’s taillight assembly and swoopy trunk lid spoiler gives the car a bit of a booty. It’s reminiscent of the second-generation Renault Megane, in the way the body sticks out at the bottom of the hatch.

The team doesn’t report any engine or performance mods, other than the new wheels and a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. With only 265 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque from its 3.5-liter V6 engine, it’s not going to light the world on fire. If so desired, though, the team could readily freshen up the VQ engine with the wide range of aftermarket parts available.

In a progress video posted earlier this year, we get to see just how much work is going into the build. Students are seen hard at work shaping the body, with foam and filler used to craft the pumped guards and redesigned rear end. As for the interior, it appears to be very much a work in progress. Expect to get a better look at the finished vehicle soon, though. The car is set to make its proper debut at Tokyo Auto Salon early next year.

It turns out a decent sporty bodykit really dresses up the second-gen Murano. If mass-market automakers one day follow luxury manufacturers into the performance SUV craze, Nissan could certainly use this build as an excellent starting point, booty and all.

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