Geneva motor show 2008 - Nissan Murano, GT-R and Pivo concept

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At first glance, Nissan's revised Murano 4x4 looks a lot like its predecessor. So look harder.

Why? Because Nissan says every body panel has been changed and the cabin has been enhanced by the use of better materials, particularly in the back.

The 4x4 is powered by a revised version of the current model’s 3.5-litre petrol engine. It now develops 261bhp, which is 30bhp more than before.

Although no figures have been released, Nissan says that engine changes and revisions to the continuously variable transmission system have brought about better fuel economy and lower carbon dioxide emissions.

As an intriguing footnote, the Murano will be the first Nissan to go on sale in Europe with Scratch Shield paint, which is made using an elastic resin coating that automatically repairs any marks or scratches.

The Murano goes on sale in the UK this October.

Other cars on show
The battery-powered Pivo 2 was originally shown at the 2007 Tokyo motor show, but this is the first time that it has been seen in Europe.

Aside from its odd looks, novelties include a cabin that swivels through 360 degrees so that the driver is always facing the direction of travel.

It forms part of what Nissan is calling its Green Program 2010, by which date it has pledged to have electric vehicles on sale in selected markets. In addition, by 2012 it will have a mass-market electric car on sale globally.

Alongside the Pivo 2, the 473bhp GT-R supercar actually looks quite conventional. Its mind-blowing performance ensures that it's not, of course, as does the staring price of £52,900 that was confirmed in Geneva, but UK buyers will have to wait until March 2009 until they find out.

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