Nissan brand outlook - on a new line

Visually, the new Nissan Micra is closely aligned with the Sway study

When it comes to the best design among the Japanese automakers drives Nissan certainly not at the top. The most exciting lines currently pressed Mazda probably his production models in the plate. But now Nissan strikes back and first turns over the Micra. At the Paris Motor Show, the small car celebrates its world premiere at the end of the month.

The inconspicuous mini in the mainstream look is becoming a chic and sporty compact model and is becoming significantly larger. Visually, you orientate yourself closely to the Sway study. For the Micra, the grade could fall out of the portfolio. Internal circles say that both models are too close together. As before, the new Micra will no longer be built in India, but for production reasons (platform strategy) it will roll off the production lines for the first time in France at the sister company Renault in Flins.

The same chassis uses the 2018 (debut yet 2017) upcoming Juke. Also in the second generation, this crossover retains its extrovert appearance and wants to polarize the design. Nissan has not done badly so far. The Juke sold to today alone in Europe over 700.000 times (world-wide 1,2 million) and ranks in Germany in the internal hit list second place behind the bestseller Qashqai.

Its model revision is on the plan for 2017. Likewise the facelift of the largest Nissan in Western Europe, the X-Trail. Both models can then optionally be equipped with the Pro Pilot. The electronic assistance system allows semi-autonomous driving. 2018 should already be able to overtake Pro Pilot on highways independently. 2020 will then follow version 3.0, where the system will be suitable for the city. Nissan had presented the autonomous capabilities of Pro Pilot a few weeks ago in Japan in a Serena.

A new diesel engine is also being prepared for the X-Trail. The two-liter four-cylinder comes from the Renault development and makes 170 hp. For many customers, the small 1.6 dCi with 130 hp is too weak.

With the recently ended Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro Nissan has introduced in Brazil with great fuss about the clicks, a compact SUV, the dimensions (4,30 m) ranks exactly between Juke and Qashqai and also in Europe quite a good figure would give up. However, Nissan has not given the green light, but this can change at any time. The clicks built in Mexico should be limited to the South American market for the time being. Let's wait.

The same applies to the Leaf, still the best-selling electric car in the world. For 2018, the second generation is on the plan. The leaf is supposed to put off its somewhat chubby form and come along much sportier. And you do not need a Nobel Prize in electrochemistry to guess that the Leaf will benefit from the progressively better battery technology. Capacities are in the discussion of first 40 and later up to 60 kWh. The latter would correspond to a range of more than 500 kilometers.

Obviously, Nissan relies on pure battery vehicles rather than Prius-style full hybrids or plug-in hybrids, though the latter would be readily available through Mitsubishi involvement. The topic of hydrogen / fuel cell does not slumber. Also in Rio, Nissan presented in the NV200 small delivery van a fuel cell with bio-ethanol, tailored to the sugar cane distillate available at every Brazilian filling station. On board sits a reformer who splits off the hydrogen from the alcohol.

And that it does not remain with the two e-models Leaf and e-NV200, points to, for example, the electric racer named BladeGlider, with the Nissan wants to redefine the eco-sports car. The strategists in the Japanese corporate headquarters want to merge soon also the core competencies of the brand together: electric mobility and crossover. Such a model could already be 2019 on the road. (Michael Specht / SP-X)

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