By Steve & Tamami Laser
The new Nissan Kicks e-POWER made its global debut this week in Thailand during a regional launch event. With its bold new look and electrified e-POWER technology, the latest Kicks crossover will be built in Thailand and go on sale there starting next month.
Nissan says Thailand will become the first country to produce its e-POWER technology following Japan. The system provides “a bridge for customers towards EV adoption by consuming less energy, with better fuel economy, yet strong performance and acceleration.”
The e-POWER system has become a popular choice on the Nissan Note and Serena models in Japan. Like a hybrid, e-POWER employs an electric motor and a gas engine. However, the motor alone powers the front drive wheels, while the gas engine is used to charge the battery pack. Since it’s a self-charging system, there’s no need to plug it in.
Advancing Nissan’s Emotional Geometry design, Kicks e-POWER receives a new, larger V-Motion grille, standard LED headlights, boomerang-style LED signal lights, LED Daytime Running Lights, and LED taillights. (We really like this new look and hope that Nissan applies it to the U.S. market Kicks.)
Under the hood, Kicks e-POWER employs an EM56 electric motor, a generator, and an inverter that generates electricity from the 1.2-liter DOHC 3-cylinder gas engine. Nissan says Kicks e-POWER produces maximum output of 95 kW (129 PS), maximum torque of 260 Nm, and features a 1.57 kWh lithium-ion battery with four modules.
Like Nissan’s Leaf, Kicks e-POWER offers one-pedal technology, allowing the driver to launch, accelerate, decelerate, or stop the vehicle using the accelerator pedal. The driver can also select from four driving modes including Normal, S, Eco and EV.
Inside, Kicks e-POWER receives a “Gliding Wing” styled instrument panel, a new infotainment screen, a new steering wheel, by-wire gear selector, and new seats. The lineup for Thailand includes four models: Kicks e-POWER S, E, V and VL grades.
Available features include Nissan Connect with 8-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay™. Driver Assist technologies include Intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, and Intelligent Rearview Mirror.
Nissan Kicks made its original debut in Brazil where sales started in 2016. The production model retained its basic design cues from the Kicks Concept that was first shown at the Sao Paulo Auto Show two years earlier. As a global product, Kicks is produced in Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, and other locations.
Kicks went on sale in the U.S. in 2018. While it would be great to see e-POWER added to the Kicks lineup, we don’t know if its slated to join the North American market. Meanwhile, an all-new, larger battery electric vehicle (BEV), based on the Nissan Ariya concept that made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show last year, is expected to become a new crossover sibling for the Leaf.
Note: Vehicle specifications, features, and launch timing for Thailand market models is subject to change without notice
News sources and photos courtesy of Nissan Motor Corp., and Nissan Motor (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
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