Nissan India desperately needs a big selling car, and the Japanese automaker has turned its sights onto one of India’s fastest growing segments – SUVs. Nissan has just teased a new, sub-4 meter B-Segment SUV that will sit below the Kicks in terms of price and positioning, and rival the likes of the Maruti Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Ford EcoSport, Tata Nexon and the Mahindra XUV300.
The new SUV from Nissan is likely to be based on the CMF-A platform that the upcoming Renault sub-4 meter HBC compact SUV will also use. Using the same platform will give Nissan attractive cost benefits through commonalization of both parts and platforms. The Nissan sub-4 meter compact SUV is likely to be unveiled as a concept within a few days, just in time for the 2020 Indian Auto Expo, an event that the Japanese automaker has decided to skip.
Alliance partners Renault and Nissan has clearly noted that they’ll steer away from diesel engined cars for the Indian market as the Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms will make diesel cars significantly pricier than equivalent petrol powered cars. What this also means is, the new sub-4 meter Nissan compact SUV will be petrol powered. A turbocharged 1 liter-3 cylinder petrol engine, which will soon be introduced on the Renault Triber compact MPV, is expected to make it to the new Nissan vehicle. This motor is expected to output about 80-100 Bhp of peak power, with peak torque rated between 150-200 Nm, depending on the state of tune Nissan decides to offer it in. Manual and automated manual transmission options are likely to be on offer. CNG-petrol/LPG-petrol dual fuel options could also be introduced in specific areas of India.
A high amount of localization is a given. With the Hyundai Venue recently changing price dynamics of the sub-4 meter segment with a 6.5 lakh rupee starting price tag, expectations for a super sharp price tag from Nissan will be high. As the CMF-A platform has been designed to build low cost cars for emerging markets, we expect Nissan to pull off a cracker of a price tag. The new SUV will be tech-laden and stylish, and we expect a package that’s as fresh as the Renault Triber, which has proven to be a big winner for Nissan’s French partner. Both pricing and attractive-ness will be two very important factors that make or undo the new SUV’s prospects in India. The new SUV will be key to the brand’s survival in the Indian market as it needs that one big hit to really get it going. Could the new compact SUV be the big break Nissan India has been after for over a decade now? We’ll know soon, as the vehicle will be showcased shortly, followed by a market launch later this year.