The MINI has ruled the city ring road for too long. From this summer, there’ll be a new challenger. It’s distinctively a Nissan Micra. But this one will be called ‘Street Racer’ … or SR for short. And it will go like no Micra before it.
Its new, revy, 110PS 1.6-litre engine gives the SR a better power to weight ratio than the Citroen C2 VTR, Ford Fiesta Zetec-S and MINI ONE - no performance figures yet, before you ask. Meanwhile the same team who gave you the Euro-spec 350Z has reworked the Micra’s acclaimed chassis and added new, graphite finished 16" alloys. Talking of wheels, the steering gets a meatier feel for more feedback but the Micra’s tight turning circle remains so, combined with the chassis mods, the SR should be handier around the city than a fully loaded iPod.
Up front, the SR gets a deep front spoiler with integrated projector fog lamps and the headlamps are dark tinted. There are more spoilers along the door sills. And the one on the tailgate is colour coded. The pimping might sound mild but the result is a Micra that looks like it’s had a testosterone injection up its exhaust pipe. It’ll be shaving next.
Inside the seats grip you harder, the pedals are aluminium and the instruments are whited out. But despite the driving focus, Nissan has ensured the customary Micra convenience features stay in the mix. So the SR keeps auto wipers and lighting, the Intelligent Key, a six speaker CD music system, aircon and numerous storage areas.
The dashboard is just as quirky, too. And the price? Nissan’s not saying yet … except that it’ll be less than the three competitors mentioned above. The race will soon be on.Published 3 April 2005