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New Micra Goes Coupe Cabriolet

Tue, 17 Sep 2002
In launching the 2003 Micra at The Paris Motor Show on 26th September, Nissan will also unveil a folding roof coupe cabriolet version.

The latest Micra will be the third all-new Nissan to be launched in just 12 months, and will continue to be Nissan's biggest volume seller in Europe. It joins the radical new Primera and excellent X-TRAIL to spearhead Nissan’s resurgence in Europe.

So far, all Nissan is saying is that the Micra C+C will be an attention-grabbing concept car with a folding steel top like the Mercedes SLK and Peugeot CCs. The main emphasis will be on the 3-door and 5-door hatchbacks already on sale in Japan.

Described by Shiro Nakamura, Nissan’s Senior Vice President of Design, as a ‘revolutionary evolution’ of the current Micra the new Micra, apparently keeps “the friendly allure of the current model”, but “shows a more assertive character”. The design “involves the use of well defined volumes and arched lines, resulting in a muscular but reassuring and cosy car”.

“Principle ‘arch’ design cues include a dominant shoulder line which is echoed in the Micra’s rounded roofline. The car’s highly individual ‘face’ also incorporates thoughtful and practical features such as the ellipsoid headlamps which integrate wing-top sights to ease parking and the placing of the car in traffic.”

“Compact exterior dimensions belie a 72mm increase in wheelbase that offers more room for passengers and their luggage, and is amongst the most spacious vehicles in the compact sector. Space is increased further through a sliding rear seat, which provides the flexibility of either the rear leg room or the luggage volume offered by larger cars in the class above.”

The new Micra bristles with practical solutions designed to be both easy to use and relevant to everyday needs, such as automatic wipers, automatic air conditioning and for the first time, a unique Intelligent Key.

Like Mercedes Benz keycard, the Intelligent Key allows the doors and tailgate to be locked and unlocked, and the engine started without having to insert either a key or a card into the vehicle.

This 'smart' system allows the vehicle to detect when the Intelligent Key approaches within 80cm of the car. The doors are then locked and unlocked by simply pressing a button mounted on the door handle mechanism. In the same way, once Micra detects the presence of the key inside the car, the engine may be started simply by turning the ignition switch. The owner may therefore complete a shopping trip for example without once having to taking the key out of a pocket or bag.
Ease of use was also the priority for the dynamics: with a new chassis designed to be agile, new engines, and class leading turning circle of under nine metres, the new Micra is as user-friendly on the road as it is in the cabin.

Paris also sees the launch of a 2.5 litre petrol engined version of the X-Trail, and of the revised Almera range which we are testing today.

The new Almera adopts the N-Form system, pioneered in the new Primera. This includes a centrally mounted seven-inch colour monitor for the DVD-based satellite navigation system. The screen also doubles as a display for the fully automatic air conditioning, telephone integration and integrated hi-fi system helping to make the controls among the most user-friendly on the market. The latest generation Almera goes on sale across Europe in October.

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