Nissan has been making changes to the production line in order to acclimatise the upcoming Datsun SUV
Nissan India, parent brand of Datsun, has shifted production of Micra hatchback from the alliance’s facility near Chennai to France in an aim to concentrate on upcoming vehicles. Datsun’s stand in India is significant for Nissan and therefore the forthcoming facelifted Go and Go+ will have their roles to play but in order to cause a major stir in the market, we suspect this product will make a big impact.
Datsun appears to be preparing a brand new SUV based on the Go Cross concept and is expected to bow in India sometime next year, as the updated Go and Go+ are more likely launching in late 2018. The new compact SUV has its obvious resemblance to the concept version and has a premium interior with touchscreen infotainment system. The interior upgrades due on the Go and Go+ will give idea of how the Cross’ cabin look like when it enters local sales.
Displayed as a concept study at the 2016 Delhi Auto Expo, the production version will more likely compete against Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport, Tata Nexon and Honda WR-V. The budget car brand is said to be focussing on pricing the SUV very aggressively in a similar fashion to its siblings that always undercut the rivals.
The upcoming SUV may well be an India-specific model in the beginning and follow the same strategy of Renault Kwid by offering a VFM package in highly accessible price range. It could become the ace product for Datsun since coming out of hibernation as the sales of SUVs and crossovers are booming by multiple folds. Amidst being on the same lines of Go and Go+, the new SUV is expected to have its front fascia almost identical to the concept.
It should boast a muscular stance while sporting sharp headlamps with projector units, integrated LED Daytime Running lights, hexagon shaped front grille with chrome garnishing, a sporty front bumper, silver skid plates, etc going by latest design theme of Datsun. The side profile may adorn a thick chunky black cladding, 15-inch alloy wheels, black wheel arches, turn indicator integrated ORVMs and chunky roof rail.
The rear end could get a wraparound tail lights with LED inserts and muscular bumper. It will be the most premium Datsun till date as evident from the features sold elsewhere in the latest Cross seven-seater. We expect it to compose a 6.75-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, electrically adjustable wing mirrors, power windows, automatic climate control, rear parking sensor, upmarket seat upholstery and so on.
The upcoming SUV may boast around 200 mm ground clearance and features dual airbags, ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) and VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control). It could be powered by the same 1.2-litre engine used in the Go hatchback and Go+ MPV making 69 PS maximum power at 5,000 rpm and 104 Nm peak torque at 4,000 rpm in India.
While Indonesia gets a CVT option in some models, we can expect standard five-speed manual at least initially. With a highly aggressive starting price of around Rs. 6 lakh (ex-showroom), the all-new SUV could turn the tables around for Datsun in India. What are your thoughts on its future in the domestic market? Have your say below!