Retaining its compact dimensions, the new car is slightly longer and marginally lower, while its longer wheelbase enables a 'wheels-at-each-corner' stance, the main reason behind the Micra's roomier interior. Aiming to create the same sense of exterior style inside the car, Nissan has employed a 'connected cocoon' design featuring a dashboard design which takes on a 'twin bubble' theme. This refers to the circular instrumentation binnacle and the similarly shaped glovebox compartment on the passenger side.
In Europe, a simple engine line-up sees just two engines options, both are variations on Nissan's all-new naturally aspirated HR12 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine. Inheriting its DNA from the HR16 4-cylinder engine powering the Note and Qashqai, the new engine employs valve-timing control (VTC). Power is rated at 59kW (80ps, while torque output is 108Nm. At only 115g/km, CO2 emissions for this version are world-class.
In addition to the new normally aspirated engine, Nissan will also offer a supercharged 1.2-litre direct injection iteration with a start-stop system fitted as standard in Europe. These technological innovations (stop-start reduces CO2 by six per cent) combine to offer spirited performance, with outputs of 72kW (98PS) and 142Nm of torque. Emissions will be just 95 g/km.
Both engine options in Europe are available with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or Nissan's all-new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The wide gear coverage enables the 1.2-litre engine to achieve the economy of a 1.0-litre as well as brisk acceleration.
Mounted onto Nissan's new signature V-platform, the suspension has been designed to be both compact, minimising intrusion at the rear for maximum trunk space, but not at the expense of the car's on-road dynamics.
The new Micra is available with reversing sensors and a new 'parking space measurement' (PSM) device with three skill levels (amateur, normal and expert) to lessen the burden of parking in tight spaces. It also offers an Intelligent Key, Nissan Connect, Nissan's accessible touch-screen combined audio and satellite navigation system, glass roof, automatic wipers, speed sensitive volume on the audio, a push button start-stop system in addition to a drive computer which supplies drivers with real time fuel economy information, cruising range and outside temperature. On the security side, the car is also fitted with a speed-sensitive automatic door locking system.
The incorporation of the V-platform is one major factor contributing to the car's improved impact safety. The car is designed to absorb the forces of a frontal impact, thanks to the sophisticated crumple zones, while maintaining cabin integrity due to its highly reinforced body shell. In Europe, the Micra will be fitted with ABS, dual front airbags, curtain and side airbags, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) and pretensioner seatbelts as standard equipment.
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