Datsun has revealed sketches of its first model in 32 years that will make its world debut on July 15th in New Delhi. This debut also marks the return of the Datsun brand which Nissan is re-launching after it was axed in 1986.
The first new-generation Datsun is a five-seater hatchback designed for markets like India, Russia, Indonesia and South Africa and aimed at a highly aspirational middle class that is fast embracing car ownership.
The first Datsun has been designed and developed using Nissan’s global resources to suit local tastes and needs. The sketches reveal that this Datsun hatchback (known internally by its codename K2) is quite robust looking with some very strong and distinctive design elements. The chrome-lined hexagonal grille and superbly detailed headlights certainly stand out to give this budget hatchback an upmarket look. And it looks tough too, thanks to the strong creases on the bulging bonnet and a prominent shoulder line. But what really enhances the beefy stance of this hatch is the bulging character line on the car’s rear haunches, which exaggerates the width of the car. In fact, this also serves to highlight one of the car’s weaknesses – the weedy 155/ 70 R 13 tyres, which look out of place on this big hatch. Whilst its easy to upgrade to larger rubber, Datsun does not want to compromise on fuel efficiency or ride comfort and hence is sticking to a relatively small size of footwear. In fact, fuel efficiency is expected to be the best in class thanks to smart gearing, a low kerb weight and torque engine.
The interiors, which have not been revealed yet are expected to extremely practical. Nissan has moved the gear lever and hand brake to the centre console to free up lots of space between the front buckets. This will particularly suit lady driver’s who can simply dump their handbags between the seats.
Storage space is expected to be class leading again with lots of space inside the cabin to keep small things. The boot again is expected to be quite spacious thanks to an extended floor which will allow large bags to be kept flat rather than vertical.
The car will be powered by the Micra’s XH5 1.2 litre three-cylinder engine but in a different state of tune. Datsun has focused on driveability and low-end performance to make the K2 easy to drive.
Aimed squarely against the Hyundai i10 and Maruti Wagon R, this Datsun hatch is expected with a sticker price of around Rs. 3.2 lakh when it goes on sale in mid-2014