The new Nissan Micra
At the Geneva Motor Show Nissan has introduced the fourth-generation of its Micra compact model. Called "March" in the Japanese market, the new model features body-coloured mouldings, larger front bumper with one-piece radiator grille, and a flatter rear end.
Developed and built on Nissan’s all-new V-platform, which was developed under a comprehensive new production engineering process, the new Micra was designed and tested in Japan to be built in at least four overseas locations, and fine-tuned to meet the differing tastes and needs of customers in 160 countries worldwide.
Of importance to Nissan was not just the recreation of a useful urban car, but also to give the car an appealing look for a wide customer base.
Breaking with traditions that focused on launching production in established markets like Europe and Japan, Nissan will base production of the new Micra at overseas manufacturing sites such as Thailand, India, Mexico and China.
In Europe, the Micra will be fitted with ABS, dual front airbags, curtain and side airbags, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) and pretensioner seatbelts as standard equipment.
The same general shape was carried over from the last version of the car, a facelifted edition of the third generation Micra introduced in 2007.
Nissan chose to make more subtle changes, by making the car “slightly longer and marginally lower” which now makes room for an extended wheelbase.
The new Micra is available with reversing sensors and a new ‘Parking Space Measurement’‘ (PSM) device with three skill levels (amateur, normal and expert) to lessen the burden of parking in tight spaces.
It also offers an Intelligent Key, Nissan Connect, Nissan’s accessible touch-screen combined audio and satellite navigation system, glass roof, automatic wipers, speed sensitive volume on the audio, a push button start-stop system in addition to a drive computer which supplies drivers with real time fuel economy information, cruising range and outside temperature.
In Europe, a simple engine line-up sees just two engines options – both are variations on Nissan’s all-new naturally aspirated HR12 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine.
Inheriting its DNA from the HR16 4-cylinder engine powering the Note and Qashqai, the new engine employs valve-timing control (VTC). Power is rated at 59kW (80ps, while torque output is 108Nm. At only 115g/km, CO2 emissions for this version are world-class.
In addition to the new normally aspirated engine, Nissan will also offer a supercharged 1.2-litre direct injection iteration with a start-stop system fitted as standard in Europe
These technological innovations – stop-start reduces CO2 by six per cent – combine to offer spirited performance, with outputs of 72kW (98PS) and 142Nm of torque. Emissions will be just 95g/km, as achievement for this petrol engine.
Both engine options in Europe are available with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or Nissan’s all-new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The wide gear coverage enables the 1.2-litre engine to achieve the economy of a 1.0-litre as well as brisk acceleration.
Sales will begin in Thailand in March, with European sales starting in the autumn.