Nissan's new Micra
3rd March, 2010
Nissan has unveiled the company’s all new Micra, the
fourth generation of the 'city' car, at the 80th Geneva Motor Show.
Boasting breakthrough packaging and small-car engineering, the all-new, fourth generation Nissan
Micra (known as March in Japan) is on course to provide a whole new set of industry standards. Unveiled
at the Geneva Motor Show, in Switzerland, the Micra has won praise and success in Europe, Japan and
other markets, gaining a reputation as a reliable, stylish, accessible compact car enjoyed by a wide
cross-section of customers. The new Nissan Micra has been designed to build on that trend – in 160
“Combine 25 years’ experience of designing compact cars for city driving… with a totally new,
versatile platform and Nissan production know-how… and the result is modern, simple and destined to be
a serious competitor on the world stage,” said Carlos Ghosn (Nissan's CEO), during the car’s
At a glance:
- Spacious interior allied to compact exterior dimensions
- All new 3 cylinder petrol engine including supercharged and direct injection version with
emissions of 95g/km to be added to the line-up later
- New Continuously Variable Transmission with world-first technology
- All new Versatile platform conceived to be light weight
- New Micra to be sold in 160 countries and manufactured in four different plants
Developed and built on Nissan’s all-new V-platform, which was developed under a comprehensive new
production engineering process, the new Micra was designed and tested in Japan to be built in at
least four overseas locations, and fine-tuned to meet the differing tastes and needs of customers in
160 countries worldwide. Breaking with traditions that focussed on launching production in
established markets like Europe and Japan, Nissan will base production of the new Micra at overseas
manufacturing sites such as Thailand, India, Mexico and China.
“The car has to charm a global audience,” comments Makoto Yamane, Associate Product Chief
Designer. “Its face had to look stylish and have an air of sophistication to it..” A unique
design feature of this car – its double-layer integrated grille – meets these requirements. But the
car’s classic shape was also crucial. That’s why it also employs a stylised version of the
distinctive arched side window line, something that is central to the Micra’s heritage, identity and
appeal in Europe and Japan.
Retaining its compact dimensions, the new car is slightly longer and marginally lower, while its
longer wheelbase enables a ‘wheels-at-each-corner’ stance, the main reason behind the Micra’s
roomier interior. The boomerang-shaped grooves on the roof have a clearly defined purpose too,
continues Yamane. Aiming to provide the same sense of exterior style inside the car, Nissan has
employed a ‘connected cocoon’ design featuring a dashboard design which takes on a ‘twin bubble’
theme. This refers to the circular instrumentation binnacle and the similarly shaped glove box
compartment on the passenger side.
All-new Engine and CVT
In Europe, a simple engine line-up sees just two engines options – both are variations on
Nissan’s all-new naturally aspirated HR12 1.2 litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine. Inheriting its 'DNA'
from the HR16 4 cylinder engine powering the Note and Qashqai, the new engine employs valve-timing
control (VTC). Power is rated at 59 kW (80 ps), while torque output is 108 Nm. At only 115 g/km,
CO2 emissions for this version are world-class.
In addition to the new normally aspirated engine, Nissan will also offer a supercharged 1.2
litre direct injection iteration with a start-stop system fitted as standard in Europe. These
technological innovations – stop-start reduces CO2 by six per cent – combine to offer spirited
performance, with outputs of 72 kW (98 PS) and 142 Nm of torque. Emissions will be just 95 g/km,
an exceptional achievement for a petrol engine.
Both engine options in Europe are available with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or Nissan’s
all-new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The wide gear coverage enables the 1.2 litre
engine to achieve the economy of a 1.0 litre as well as brisk acceleration.
Not satisfied merely improving performance levels, engineers excelled in developing ride
and handling characteristics which combine agility, refinement and poise. Mounted onto Nissan's
new V-platform, the suspension has been designed to be both compact, minimising intrusion at
the rear for maximum boot space, but not at the expense of the car's on-road dynamics.
Particular attention has been paid to bump absorption, meaning that the Micra will ride serenely
over challenging road surfaces, not suffer from wallow or float, and cruise effortlessly at
Comfort, function and equipment
In contrast to its high speed capability, the car also has superb visibility and a class-topping
turning radius of 4.5 metres and several new technologies that assist with minimising CO2 emissions
and mileage while at the same time making parking easier.
Globally, equipment levels differ by market, but the new Micra is available with some key
technological innovations which are designed to simplify day-to-day life for its owners.
The new Micra is available with reversing sensors and a new ‘parking space measurement’ (PSM)
device with three skill levels (amateur, normal and expert) to lessen the burden of parking in tight
spaces – a unique feature in this segment, and likely to be a popular innovation in Europe where
‘touch parking’ is a way of life.
It also offers an Intelligent Key, Nissan Connect, Nissan’s accessible touch-screen combined
audio and satellite navigation system, glass roof, automatic wipers, speed sensitive volume on the
audio, a push button start-stop system in addition to a drive computer which supplies drivers with
real time fuel economy information, cruising range and outside temperature. On the security side,
the car is also fitted with a speed-sensitive automatic door locking system.
The incorporation of the V-platform is one major factor contributing to the car's improved impact
safety. The car is designed to absorb the forces of a frontal impact, thanks to the sophisticated
crumple zones, while maintaining cabin integrity due to its highly reinforced body shell. In Europe,
the Micra will be fitted with ABS, dual front airbags, curtain and side airbags, Electronic
Stability Programme (ESP)and pretensioner seatbelts as standard equipment.
Simon Thomas, Nissan’s European Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing, said: “The new
Micra will continue to be the benchmark city car in Europe. Its appeal will be enhanced by its
unique combination of compact exterior dimensions, with roomy interior, small and efficient engines,
and user-friendly technology. Its continued icon status is destined to be be reinforced in its
Sales will begin in Thailand in March, with European sales starting in Q3 2010. Australian sales
are likely to commence in early 2011.