Nissan India is said to be readying up a Ford EcoSport rivaling compact SUV for a 2016 Indian Auto Expo debut. Notably, the new sub-4 meter SUV will sit below the Terrano in terms of price and positioning. To be based on the Nissan Kicks concept that was unveiled at the Sau Paulo Motor Show last year, the new SUV is expected to use the V-Platform, which is also used by the likes of the Nissan Micra and Sunny. Using the V-Platform will give the Japanese automaker volumes of scale in the India, a highly cost conscious market. Also, the automaker has invested heavily on this platform at the Renault-Nissan joint manufacturing facility at Oragadam, off Chennai.
The 1.5 liter-4 cylinder K9K turbo diesel engine is said to power the new Nissan compact SUV. A staple across many Nissan and Renault cars and SUVs, the K9K motor is also manufactured in India, with local content to boot. What remains to be seen is the state of tune in which this motor will be used on the new Nissan SUV. The 84 Bhp-200 Nm state of tune, with the fixed geometry turbocharger is likely to make it to the new vehicle, as the higher 108 Bhp-245 Nm state of tune powers a costlier SUV – the Terrano. A front wheel drive layout and a monocoque body design are two other aspects that will be standard on the new Nissan SUV.
In terms of design, the Kicks SUV concept uses Nissan’s new global design language, with the prominent V grille up front. This styling is expected to be carried over to the sub-4 meter production version as well. Nissan India has been struggling at the hustings and the Japanese automaker needs a strong selling vehicle soon. The compact SUV is expected to be that vehicle. Additional details are likely to surface in the coming months. For now though, all eyes will be on what Nissan brings to the 2016 Indian Auto Expo. Since Renault and Nissan have eschewed the badge engineering approach, the new compact SUV from Nissan is unlikely to see a Renault badged version.