By on April 19, 2011

As I just noted in my comments on the 2012 Nissan Tiida pictures, the US-market Versa is moving up a class in order to make  room for the Nissan Micra, which takes over as Nissan’s subcompact responsibilities by early 2012 at the latest. To celebrate the nameplate’s new importance as a global model, Nissan created this Compact Sport Concept aimed not at the US, but “young customers in emerging countries.” The highlights: it’s a tarted up Micra, rocking the Juke’s lovable 1.6 liter direct-injected, turbocharged engine, making 188 HP, albeit with a CVT transmission. Which is (almost) exactly what I was thinking of when I argued that the marketing-hijacked Juke could have been a “Versa GTI.”

Without the marketers, it’s tempting to believe that Nissan’s engineers would have widened the Versa platform, added the fantastic turbocharged engine, and then decided to simply put a steroidal Versa body on top, creating the king of all B-segment hot hatches.

In the even smaller Micra body, that zesty turbocharged mill must be downright epic. Too bad the Micra will almost certainly never get the engine it has here, having been shown with a super-efficient 1.2 liter three-banger, and touted as a “super green” model for the US. On the other hand, there is reason to believe the new Versa could get this engine. We might just have to make do with that… unless Hyundai’s Veloster starts selling well.

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10 Comments on “This Is Definitely Not The 2012 Nissan Micra… But Shouldn’t It Be?...”

  • avatar

    I like it, from a purely shallow “hey it’s a happy little car” kinda way. It pulls off the smiling, non-aggressive, car look that I find kind of refreshing.

  • avatar

    Nice. Slap some “Toyota”  and “Yaris” badges on it and the cops and the street racers won’t give you a glance.

  • avatar

    As someone who’s 6′-3 and likes to drive knees-up/elbows-down but upright and close to the wheel (think NASCAR driving position),  I’m really digging the top edge of the windshield.

  • avatar

    I’m all up for hot hatches, but what’s with Nissan/Infiniti trying to make some of their designs look porky and so rounded? This car looks like a chubby little girl – cute, but you kinda feel sorry for it.

    • 0 avatar

      This round shape has been a problem with Micras for a long time. In some European markets around 1995 the Micra was arguable the best car in its class, but because of its looks, customers stayed away.

      • 0 avatar

        The 92′ – 03′ Micra was rounded yes, whilst the 03′ onwards was rounded (and bug eyed) – but not lardy looking like this one. This one honestly looks like it has a double chin and a muffin top rear end. It really does look like its been packing away the donuts for a few months.

  • avatar

    Nice. But puleeeeeze, put a real manual transmission in it. If only as an option.

  • avatar

    turbo 1.6 that’s good stuff.  go the nissan!

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    That happy face, complete with dimples, makes the Mazda products look like they need Prozac. So yeah, I like it, and I like the Mazdas too.

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