Nissan has been working hard to spruce up its Micra brand in India. The hatchback has not set the sales charts on fire since its launch in 2010 and some of that had to do with the car’s soft styling, which may have put male buyers off.
To rectify this, the company made sure it launched the far more characterful facelifted version here immediately after its international debut, even adding a CVT automatic option to widen the appeal. It also relaunched the previous Micra as a more affordable offering, called the Micra Active, thereby also targeting a segment lower.
With these bases covered, Nissan is now looking at building the brand further by introducing a sporty Nismo (the company’s in-house motorsport and performance division) version of the hatchback. Revealed internationally soon after the standard car’s facelift, the Nismo Micra (or March, as it’s called in Japan) gets sporty interior and exterior styling upgrades, including bumpers, skirts and wheels, lined with Nismo’s trademark red accents. The international version also gets a different exhaust, stiffer suspension and bigger brakes, but for India these could be left out to save on costs. What is a closer possibility, however, is that it will use the international model’s 114bhp, 16kgm, 1.5-litre petrol engine.
The Micra Nismo has not been green-lighted for India by Nissan’s global HQ, but Nissan India is working hard to make it happen. This move, if Nissan goes through with it, will be similar to what Toyota has done with the Etios TRD hatchback, and if it does go on sale, expect the car to cost in the region of Rs. 8-9 lakh.