ROSSLYN - The latest-generation Nissan Micra is fairly easy to sum up - it’s a stylish car with a classy cabin and good all-round refinement, but the 900cc turbopetrol engine has a narrow power band, and could use a few extra ponies.

That solution is just about to land, with Nissan South Africa announcing that a new version of the fifth-gen Micra, simply called the 1.0t, is arriving shortly.

Most of the details, as well as pricing, are still under wraps, but we do know that the range addition will be powered by Nissan’s new 1-litre DIG-T turbopetrol engine, which produces 86kW and 180Nm, with an additional 20Nm available on overboost. That’s 20kW and 40Nm more than the 900cc turbopetrol unit fitted across the current Micra range.

It’s a more sophisticated engine in many respects, the DIG-T unit boasting direct fuel injection, with injectors mounted centrally in the combustion chamber to create a more targeted fuel spray pattern. The engine is likely to be paired with a six-speed manual transmission as per overseas models.

According to Nissan SA, the Micra 1.0t will also feature lowered suspension and a Bose sound system.

But will the lesser models also get a boost?

That remains to be seen, but earlier this year Nissan did announce a new 1-litre IG-T motor for European markets, and this could make perfect sense for our market too. The IG-T doesn’t feature direct injection, but with outputs of 74kW and 160Nm, it is still a bit perkier than the current 0.9T, and with electric turbo actuators fitted, it should be somewhat more responsive too.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

IOL Motoring