Official rendering hints at the new face of Datsun.
Official rendering hints at the new face of Datsun.

Following Nissan's recent announcement that Datsun would be returning to South Africa as a budget brand, the company has released a teaser sketch, giving us our first indication of the design language that the cars will follow.

Meanwhile Business Report has reported that the first model, due here toward the end of 2014, will be priced at less the R100 000 - allowing it to fight the Chinese models at the very bottom end of the market.

Late last year, a Nissan executive in Europe said that the Datsun models will share a platform with the Lada Kalina. From next year, the aforementioned Russian brand will form part of the Renault-Nissan alliance and the vehicles will share numerous mechanical components, although they have reassured us that the Datsuns will have different exterior and interior styling.

As the accompanying sketch shows, the first Datsuns will have a narrow but relatively bold grille with a honeycomb inner cover and a chrome surround.

Although the first South African cars are likely to be full imports, Nissan SA has hinted that Datsun vehicles could be built at the company's Rosslyn plant in Gauteng from a later date.

No doubt Datsun will form an important part of Nissan SA's ambition to grow its local market share from 9.8 percent to 16 percent in the next four years.

That said, and given the brand's budget orientation, we're not holding our breath for spiritual successors to those iconic SSS models that made the brand famous back in the '70s.

The first models will reportedly be based on the Lada Kalina (pictured left), although the Datsun will have different styling.