Datsun's new SA-bound hatch revealed
Datsun's much headlined resurrection is well underway and today the world gets to see the first official pictures of the Japanese brand's first modern-age baby, the Datsun Go.
Ready to put up a fight in our entry-level market, the Go is expected to reach South African shores during the second half of 2014, its introduction forming part brand's ambition to capitalise on developing markets with products that are "accessible, reliable and modern."
Of course it's far too early to report on a definitive price tag, but earlier this year there were reports that the first product would start below R100 000.
The Go will be built in India where it'll go on sale early next year at a price of less than 400 000 rupees (R66 000) and it will offer a competitive overall cost of ownership, Datsun promises.
The compact hatch appears to be based on the Nissan Micra, with which it shares a wheelbase measurement of 2450mm and its width (1635mm) and length (3785mm) are in the same ballpark too.
The Go also has a more adventurous exterior design than its Nissan cousin, although the Datsun has faced some cost-cutting measures. There's no glovebox on the dashboard, for instance, and the front seats are of a one-piece design.
That's not to say that it skimps on modern gadgetry as the Datsun will offer the option of a Mobile Docking Station that connects to modern smart-phones.
Initially it'll be available as a five-door hatchback only, powered by a 1.2-litre engine that's mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. No output or performance figures have been released as yet.
Though the actual styling work on the Datsun Go took place at Nissan's global design centre in Japan, much of the project's engineering and R&D work took place in India, in collaboration with local suppliers, in order to keep costs down.
As for the name? That was inspired by the very first Datsun - the Dat-Go, which saw light of day almost 100 years ago.
Whereas the Datsun name was used to brand Nissans outside of Japan until 1981, Datsun will now run as a standalone 'cheapie' brand alongside Nissan and Infiniti.
Datsun boss Vincent Cobee explains what the brand aims to achieve:
"When a customer buys his first new car in countries like India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa, first he dreams about it. To realize the dream, customers need to have access, feel a sense of belonging towards the Brand.
"Also, as this purchase will represent a significant part of their disposal income, it is important for them to have full trust in the brand and the product. So Dream, Access and Trust are key values for which the Datsun brand stands now."
But satisfying South Africa's entry-level car buyers is no easy task. Do these first pictures inspire you to Go for a test drive?