Nissan India has only managed to send a few ripples in the market with the Micra. But India, as a market, is an ocean and you need to have some kind of presence in every segment. Nissan agrees with this and having ticked off the hatch segment, they are moving in to attack the sedan and MPV markets. The launch of the so called ‘Micra Based’ Sedan is to achieve this objective.
The reason we say it is Micra based is because it is built of the same ‘V’ (read Versatile) platform as the Micra. Testing began soon after the international unveiling in China. Spy shots started flooding the internet and IndianAutosBlog.com has been at the forefront of the action bringing its readers many sets of spy pics and even a video over the last one year.
Finally yesterday, Nissan decided to take the covers off the car and christened it ‘Sunny’. Before you jump to any conclusions, Nissan India has spoken to Bajaj about the brand and they are completely fine with them using the Sunny badge.
So let’s get on with the car.
The V Platform is a successor to the B platform and it is 150 pounds lighter than the predecessor. It has a wheelbase of 102.4-inch wheelbase and a width of 66.7-inch. The reason why it is called the versatile platform is because it can house a hatchback, sedan as well as a compact/mini MPV.
It is also versatile enough to accommodate customer requirements of all global markets whether RHD, LHD, diesel, petrol, Euro 3 to 6, and all worldwide crash test requirements including the US, EU and Japan.
On the design front, the front fascia of the Sunny has a very mature design. One wouldn’t consider it as trend setter or ‘the next leap in car design’, but there are no places you can find fault. It is a plain, honest, simple front. The back is where things start to become a bit dicey. Let’s just say, the Dzire has some company now.
The Sunny will be powered by a 1.5-liter HR15DE engine instead of a 1.6L for higher fuel efficiency. This same move was adopted by Ford India when they launched the Fiesta. The Sunny is already launched in China with the same engine. Over there, it generates 109 hp/148 Nm.
However, in China the Sunny is offered with a CVT gearbox. In India, it will be launched with a manual gearbox. We presume that it will be the same five-speed gearbox of the Micra. The front and rear suspensions are MacPherson struts and torsion beam respectively.
The interiors of the Sunny are also heavily inspired by the Micra. Keeping the music system aside, rest of the components such as the steering wheel, the Air-con controls, the design of the dashboard are lifted from the Micra.
The highlight is that there were rear Air-con vents present both in the XV and XL variants. If they are standard across all variants then it would the first in its segment.
Nissan is not willing to share the exact date for the launch but the strategy is clear - the 1.5 petrol comes first followed by the diesel in early 2012.
Apart from the price, the critical aspect for the Sunny’s success would be the dealerships. Nissan is relatively new in India and does not have many dealerships. For now they have only 40 sales outlets, but they will be expanded to 100 by the end of 2012.
Nissan Sunny Image Gallery
What are your opinions on the Nissan Sunny?