By Steve & Tamami Laser
There’s big news from Nissan in Brazil today with the all-new Kicks compact crossover making its global premiere. Nissan has big plans for the Kicks with sales slated to start first in Brazil this August, followed by Latin American left-hand drive markets later in 2016, and eventually introduced in more than 80 global markets.
How does it fit into Nissan’s global crossover lineup? We checked the specs and discovered that Kicks is larger than the Nissan Juke yet a bit smaller than the Qashqai. While there’s no official word regarding a North American launch, it seems like it would fit nicely between Juke and Rogue.
To meet initial Brazilian demand, Nissan says Kicks will be produced at its plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Ramp-up to full production is targeted to begin later in FY2016 at the Nissan facility in Resende, Rio de Janeiro, the site of a $192 million (R$750 million) investment to prepare for Kicks.
Check out the new Nissan Kicks in this video that covers the design development of the all-new crossover. (video: Nissan)
The production Nissan Kicks retains the basic design cues from the Kicks Concept first shown at the Sao Paulo Motor Show in 2014. It’s a stylish crossover “built for busy city-dwellers to tackle everything the city can throw at it.”
This video highlights Kicks’ press conference reveal in Rio. José Luis Valls, Chairman of Nissan Latin America, says that Kicks “has a big impact, not only in Brazil but in the region.” (video: Nissan)
During the engineering development process for Kicks, Nissan says attention was paid to the crossover’s aerodynamics to benefit performance and help reduce wind noise.
“Kicks has an expressive and unique design,” says Mamoru Aoki, Nissan Motor Corp. Executive Design Director. “Our signature V-motion grille and floating roof, boomerang headlights and taillights make it distinctively a Nissan. The dynamic flow and voluminous body shape contrast strongly with sharp edges and details. We call this ’emotional geometry.'”
Nissan do Brasil is an Official Sponsor of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In addition to backing the leading international sporting event, Nissan is sponsoring the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relay and the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
“Like Team Nissan athletes, the brand’s team has been preparing for the Rio games over the last couple of years,” said Francois Dossa (below), president of Nissan Brazil. “With only 100 days until its opening, Nissan joins Brazilians as we prepare to host one of the biggest sports events in the world.”
Leading up to today’s launch, Dossa said, “In the coming days, we will host the global premiere of the new Nissan Kicks, the Official Car of the Olympics, the first time Nissan has launched a vehicle first in Latin America. We will lead the Olympic torch through 328 cities from May to August and we will energetically support Brazilian Olympic hopefuls of Team Nissan. Over the next several months and during the Games, you can expect great performances from Team Nissan inside and outside competition arenas.”
Shifting our focus to the cabin, Nissan’s designers developed an upscale, sporty look. “Kicks’ stylish interior was designed with comfort in mind,” says Aoki. “The ‘gliding wing’ dashboard is equipped with attractive gauges giving it a high-class, futuristic feel. This new crossover’s outstanding look is definitely a crowd pleaser.”
Front seat occupants are treated to the latest version of Nissan’s centrally mounted seven-inch full-color display housing a comprehensive infotainment system with Smartphone connectivity.
Kicks will offer the Around View Monitor and Moving Object Detection, which uses four cameras to display an overhead view of the vehicle on the screen and to warn the driver of unseen hazards. We also admire the flat-bottom steering wheel that adds another sporty touch.
So what’s under the hood? We’ll have to wait a bit for that. Nissan says full details including prices, specifications and equipment for Brazilian market models will be released closer to its on-sale date.
News source, photos and videos from Nissan do Brasil, and Nissan Motor Corp.
Story © 2016 CarNichiWa.com