How long is it since we spoke about Nissan announcing the display of its new car Micra in showrooms across India? It was on the 24th of May, 2010.
The bookings started side by side and lo! Nissan India has told reporters that it has already received 400 confirmed bookings for its first made-in-India car. Can you believe that? So many booking in just 12 days! Nissan must be jumping with joy. What’s the magic Nissan? Nissan has now chosen the Saawariya boy Ranbir Kapoor to endorse its cars in India. Let’s see how high the brand image reaches.
Ever since the Micra was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, Nissan’s phone lines were getting jammed as people were eager to know more about the newcomer. After carefully weighing the exceptional response received, Nissan finally decided to start off the pre-order bookings for the Micra at all its showrooms.
Nissan India is hurrying up as it has promised to begin delivery of the Micra on 15th of July 2010 and has plans of rolling out 80,000 units this financial year. Besides, as of now, the car maker has chosen its dealers in 11 cities of India in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Cochin, Pune and Ludhiana and will soon be expanding the network in phases.
The Micra’s wheels will be powered by a 1.2-litre DOHC 12-Valve 3-cylinder petrol engine which will spew out 75 bhp at 6,000 rpm and the maximum torque is going to be 104 Nm at 4,000 rpm. With a Bore and Stroke of 78 x 83.6, ARAI says that the engine will give a 18.6 km/litre mileage. The engine is coupled with a five-speed manual gearbox.
The new car will make its entry in four variants: XE, XE Plus (that’s XE + a few factory-fitted accessories), XL, and the high-end XV. It will be available in six cool colours: Sunlight Orange, Blade Silver, Storm White, Pacific Blue, Onyx Black and Brick Red.
The new hatchback car will carry tags ranging from Rs. 3.95 Lakh through Rs. 5.25 Lakh (ex-showroom).4.65 metre would be enough for the car to rotate and the wheelbase of the model is 2,450 mm. A MacPherson strut in front and the torsion beam suspension at the rear absorb the shocks. Features like roof antenna, Drive Computer, manual AC, electric power assisted rack & pinion steering with tilt adjustment, engine immobilizer, and driver side airbags come standard in the Micra.
The higher end XV variant, however, flaunts additional features like electric park and fold mirror, door mirror electric adjustment, auto AC, Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, front passenger side airbag, ABS + EBD + BA, front fog lamps and security alarm. That said, will the Micra be the winner among India’s small cars? Don’t you think the Ford Figo and Volkswagen Polo are doing pretty well? But the 400 bookings in 12 days answer all questions at the moment.
Hyundai still boasts about the 5-Star EURO NCAP rating for its i20 hatch. But with the implementation of the new regulations small cars will find it very difficult to achieve the same rating. Aiming for the stars will make production costlier. Vincent Cobee, project director on the new Nissan Micra said: ‘We want to be competitive on safety, but to achieve the new five-star rating becomes outrageous.
‘We are making no definitive statement on the rating we expect, but let us say that three stars would not put us in the right competitive set.’ Yes, we got it! The current version of the Micra maintains a four star rating and the new Micra will maintain the same rating. A job well done, Nissan!