New Nissan Micra

The new generation Micra confirms Nissan's direction of creating cars that combine clever design and advanced, purposeful technology.

Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., will present the bold, all-new Micra at the Mondial de L'Automobile 2002 (Paris Motor Show, 28 September – 13 October). Underlining the company’s product-led renaissance, the latest Micra will be the third all-new Nissan to be launched in just 12 months, and will continue to be Nissan's biggest volume seller in Europe. It joins the acclaimed new Primera and strong selling X-TRAIL to spearhead Nissan’s resurgence in Europe.

But although the new Micra will be the focus of attention at the Paris Salon, it won’t be the only new Nissan compact on display. Sharing some of the limelight will be a stunning Micra-based concept car, the Micra C+C.

Micra, designed in both Japan and Europe and to be built at Nissan's Sunderland plant in the UK, combines a dramatic new look with clever design and intelligent, easy-to-use technology.

Described by Shiro Nakamura, Nissan’s Senior Vice President of Design, as a ‘revolutionary evolution’ of the current Micra – the first Japanese-badged car to win the coveted European Car of the Year award – the new generation Micra, while keeping the friendly allure of the current model shows a more assertive character. The design language involves the use of well defined volumes and arched lines, resulting in a muscular but reassuring and cosy car.

Principle ‘arch’ design cues include a dominant shoulder line which is echoed in the Micra’s rounded roofline. The car’s highly individual ‘face’ also incorporates thoughtful and practical features such as the ellipsoid headlamps which integrate wing-top sights to ease parking and the placing of the car in traffic.

New Micra's compact exterior dimensions – a positive boon in crowded cities such as Paris – belie a 72mm increase in wheelbase that offers more room for passengers and their luggage, and is amongst the most spacious vehicles in the compact sector. Space is increased further through a sliding rear seat, which provides the flexibility of either the rear leg room or the luggage volume offered by larger cars in the class above.

The new Micra is bristling with state-of-the art features and practical solutions designed to be both easy to use and relevant to everyday needs, such as automatic wipers, automatic air conditioning and for the first time, a unique Intelligent Key.

The Intelligent Key allows the doors and tailgate to be locked and unlocked, and the engine started without having to insert either a key or a card into the vehicle. This 'smart' system allows the vehicle to detect when the Intelligent Key approaches within 80cm of the car - the doors are then locked and unlocked by simply pressing a button mounted on the door handle mechanism. In the same way, once Micra detects the presence of the key inside the car, the engine may be started simply by turning the ignition switch. The owner may therefore complete a shopping trip for example without once having to taking the key out of a pocket or bag.

Ease of use was also the priority for the dynamics: with a new chassis designed to be agile, new engines, and class leading turning circle of under nine metres, the new Micra is as user-friendly on the road as it is in the cabin.

Alongside the Micra will be an innovative concept car based on the new generation Micra. The Micra C+C – which stands for Coupe + Convertible – is designed for people who like to express their personalities and combines the pleasures of open top motoring with the security, utility, winter comfort and emotional appeal of a hard top coupe.

There will be more to the Nissan stand at Paris however.

Completing its launch phase in Paris, X-TRAIL's new 2.5-litre petrol engine combined with the class leading electronically controlled ALL MODE 4x4 system takes it to the top of its segment in terms of dynamic technology and all round performance. This third and most powerful of the engine range consolidates both X-TRAIL's position as the reference in the crossover class, and Nissan's 4x4 leadership in Europe.

Paris also marks the public debut of a revised Almera range, designed to strengthen its appeal in its market segment. As well as a new look front, revised rear styling and a new style of alloy wheel, the interior ambience of the car has been improved with new colours and fabrics.

The new Almera also adopts the N-Form system, pioneered in the new Primera. For Almera, the N-Form system includes a centrally mounted seven-inch colour monitor for the DVD-based satellite navigation system. The screen also doubles as a display for the fully automatic air conditioning, telephone integration and integrated hi-fi system helping to make the controls among the most user-friendly on the market. The latest generation Almera goes on sale across Europe in October.

All of these new models underline Nissan’s focus on exciting, individual and distinctive design with the added benefit of intelligent technology that is, above all, useful.

Published : 17/09/02 Author : Melanie Carter

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