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Nissan’s new baby sedan set for Australia

Made for China: Nissan's Micra hatch-based sedan will be known as the Sunny in China, where it was unveilled today at the 8th International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou.

Micra-based Sunny sedan unveiled in China ahead of 170-country roll-out

20 Dec 2010

NISSAN has revealed its new global light sedan that will slot between the just-released Micra hatch and the Tiida small car when it arrives in Australia in about 12 months.

Unveiled today at the Guangzhou motor show in China, the Micra-based sedan will be sold under Sunny badges in that country, where it will be made by Nissan’s joint-venture with Dongfeng.

Nissan Australia spokesman Jeff Fisher confirmed the 1.5-litre sedan would be launched in Australia by early 2012 as part of a 170-country global roll out, but said the name to be used in Australia had not been locked down.

However, that name is likely to be one that is already used elsewhere in the Nissan world, he said.

GoAuto understands that the sedan – which was developed under the ‘New Global Sedan’ tag – will be known by up to four names in various markets around the world.

Mr Fisher said the new sedan would be bigger than the K13 Micra, sitting above the Thai-made hatchback in the model range.

This means the new sedan will help to bridge the gap between the Micra and the all-new Pulsar which is expected to move upmarket in both price and stature when it replaces the Tiida in late 2012.

The sedan is built off Nissan’s V platform that spawned the Micra and a still-to-revealed mini people-mover that is not slated for Australian release.

12 center imageTop, from left: China's Nissan Sunny sedan official sketch of Nissan's 'New Global Sedan' released in October Sunny interior.

The new sedan is unlikely to be exported to Australia from China, as Nissan’s plant there is fully committed to supplying the burgeoning local market. Instead, as with the new Micra, Thailand is the most likely source for this country - although India might be an option, as it is reportedly going into production there.

Announcing the Sunny at the Guangzhou motor show, Nissan said the sedan would be powered by Nissan’s proven 1.5-litre HR15DE engine mated with a new-generation Xtronic CVT transmission.

In Micra guise, that four-cylinder engine produces about 75kW of power and 136Nm of torque.

Also like the Micra, the Sunny rides on MacPherson-strut front suspension and torsion-beam rear suspension, which Nissan says makes for “sporty and agile driving at low speeds, and steady and stable driving at higher speeds”.

The unveiling of the Sunny at the Guangzhou show marked the first time Nissan has shown a new global model in China, where the Sunny will be produced in Dongfeng Nissan’s Huadu plant in Guangzhou for a January sales release.

The previous Sunny went into production in China in 2003 as the first locally built car from the Nissan Dongfeng collaboration, helping to establish the brand in the giant Chinese market that this year is expected to top 17 million units.

Nissan, which sold 756,000 units in China last year, expects to top one million vehicle sales in China this year, with the new Sunny helping to push Nissan volumes to 1.15 million next year.

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