By: Jason Woosey
Paris Motor Show - Usually, even in the most radical redesigns, stylists leave some form of reference to the previous model but in this case we really can't see any resemblance between this bold new Nissan Micra and the rather humdrum hatch that it replaces.
With a striking design and an infusion of new technologies, Nissan's little hatch is taking a bold step upmarket for its fifth generation and it's almost certainly coming to South Africa at some stage. Nissan South Africa is currently in the final stages of studying plans to bring it here and hopes to make an announcement soon.
The new Micra is lower, longer and wider than its predecessor and the design is based around the Sway concept of 2015, from which it inherits some crazy zigzag lineage along the flanks as well as a blacked-out C-pillar and boomerang-shaped taillights. Nissan is also jumping on the funky personalisation bandwagon here by offering 125 different styling variations for customers.
Heart of a Clio
Though Nissan doesn't say it outright, this Micra is evidently based on the Renault Clio, as it's built in the French carmaker's Flins plant in France and powered by the Clio's 66kW 0.9-litre three-cylinder turbopetrol engine - two factors that will allow it to be imported into SA duty-free.
The Nissan will also be offered with the 66kW version of Renault's 1.5 dCi turbodiesel and a normally aspirated 54kW 1-litre petrol motor is also on the cards for a later date.
Bang up to date gadgetry
It goes without saying that the cabin gadgets will be bang up to date and to that end the Micra comes with an 18cm central touch-screen allowing downloadable apps and Apple CarPlay functionality. Sound buffs will be able to order a unique Bose Personal sound system with speakers built into the driver's headrest.
Also available is a glut of driver assistance gadgets, including Intelligent Emergency Braking with pedestrian recognition, Lane Departure Prevention, Around View Monitor and High Beam Assist, among others.
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