| | Nissan to launch Micra NISMO Edition in India
Nissan Micra NISMO Edition lined up for India?
NISMO is the motorsport division of Japanese automaker Nissan. Apart from entering tuned Nissan cars into motorsport events, NISMO also manufactures a range of performance products and sporty body kits for Nissan cars. The Micra NISMO edition is one of the latest additions to the NISMO range of high performance cars.*AutoCarIndia reports that Nissan is contemplating the NISMO edition of the Micra to be a part of the car maker's Indian line up.*
That said, the Micra NISMO hasn't yet been green lighted for India by Nissan Japan although Nissan India is said to be pushing for the same.**While big volumes aren't what the NISMO Micra will bring in for Nissan India, the mere presence of a high-performance hot hatchback in the car maker's range could serve as a brand builder of sorts. Nissan would be hoping that the effect of this brand building will rub off on the sales of the regular variants of the Micra Facelift and the Micra Active.
Coming to the interesting aspects of the NISMO Micra, the car gets a 1.5 liter- 4 cylinder petrol engine that outputs 114 Bhp-156 Nm. This is in sharp contrast to the 74 Bhp-104 Nm output of the regular Micra's 1.2 liter motor.*The more powerful engine will be mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox, while a CVT automatic transmission is offered as an option. The car gets a sporty body kit in keeping with the higher performance on tap. On the inside, changes include a sporty steering, all-black interiors, revised instrumentation and contrast stitching for the sporty seats.*
The car's suspension and steering get revamped to deliver sportier handling while the alloy wheels are 16 inch units shod with Bridgestone Potenzas. In the braking department, the car gets bigger discs to handle the higher performance. Aerodynamically, the NISMO Micra is said to have been tuned to stick to the road, thereby offering high grip levels. For the Indian car market, some of these features could be eliminated from the NISMO Micra in the interests of driving down costs.*
In India, launches in the hot hatchback segment have been few and far in between. While the likes of the Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX and the Chevrolet SR-V did their bits to infuse some much needed excitement in the hatchback scene of India, poor sales saw both models meeting early demises. Currently, the likes of the Fiat Punto 90 HP, the Polo 1.2 TSI and the Toyota Liva 1.5 TRD are the few cars that are keeping the hot (or rather warm?) hatch segment alive.*
In the coming months, Abarth (Fiat's performance brand) is expected to launch a Punto Abarth edition, a genuine high performance hatchback in India. With the rumoured news of Nissan India mulling the NISMO Micra, winds of change seem to be finally blowing across the Indian motoring landscape, even as more and more car buyers, aided by growing disposable incomes, make the shift from mere commuting to involved driving.*