2012 Tokyo Auto Salon: Nissan unveils sporty Micra Nismo Concept

Article by Christian A., on January 14, 2012

At the annual Tokyo Auto Salon, Nissan’s Nismo unveiled a performance tuned concept based on the Nissan Micra minicar that’s available overseas. This event is attended by the popular tuning firms like HKS, GReddy and Veilside. Recently, the in-house tuners of major automakers like Nismo, Mugen and TRD have showed various modified cars and concepts at recent shows. This model is the third sports compact that Nismo released.

It follows on the Juke Nismo Concept and the Leaf Nismo Concept to reiterate Nismo’s expansion plans to be a real competitor to well-known performance brands such as BMW’s M Division and Mercedes-Benz AMG.

The exterior of this newest Micra concept comes with a lower stance and more aggressive styling from a modified front grille design and the use of purposeful, efficiency-improving aeroparts that were being developed as part of Nismo's racing technology.

Furthermore, the door mirror design was tailored and a rear lip spoiler was added to boost the aerodynamic performance of this car even further. The interior of the Nismo comes with seats and a custom steering wheel designed to make the car have a sporty feel.

Just like other Nismo models, this Micra would also offer serious performance parts. In particular, the new Micra Nismo Concept has a suspension setup that’s much tighter. It also gets light alloy wheels and some performance tires.

Nissan will be selling the new Micra in around 160 countries around the world. The carmaker gave the Micra a design that appeals to customers around the world, whether they are in Japan, China or in France.

Koji Nagano, Design Director for the Nissan brand, noted that in designing the new Micra, designers were challenged to create a car that targets a very broad spectrum of customers around the world, which means that it should be able to satisfy a multitude of needs in a single package.

Nagano added that designers were also challenged to deliver a class-leading quality level, both inside and out. He noted that a compact car doesn't mean lower standards of quality are acceptable to Nissan’s customers, who expect nothing but the best. Nagano added that their job was to set the standards on quality higher while achieving its third challenge, which is to create a compact car boasting of a special touch of design flair.

Interestingly, several of Nissan Micra's rivals around 15 years ago have grown in size, to the point they now compete in a sub-segment higher. However, the new Micra remained faithful to its true city car heritage, with a size about the same as its immediate predecessor. This allows the new Micra to remain a perfect European compact city car. In terms of dimensions, the new Nissan Micra is just a bit longer, wider and lower than the outgoing model.

The profile of the new Nissan Micra, especially its arched side window graphic, essentially defines its character. This arched side window graphic has proven to be a well-admired styling feature among customers in Japan and Europe. On the latest Micra, this feature continues to live and is now accentuated by a more prominent rear spoiler integrated into the roof.

Compared to the previous mode, the overall shape of the new Micra is bolder, as marked by a strong rounded waistline as well as characteristic crease above the sills. In addition, the new Micra comes with front and rear treatments different from its predecessor.

Despite the new design, the new Nissan Micra retained its all-round visibility, an element that is considered as key to easy, stress-free city driving. Just like its predecessors, the new Micra gives the driver a commanding view of the road and extremities, which gives him or her the ability to maneuver with confidence even in tight spaces.

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