Nissan, the official sponsor of the Rio 2016 Olympics, has revealed a bit more of its new Kicks compact SUV, ahead of the games. The Kicks is going to be the official car of the event, and will have its global unveiling on May 3rd, initially going on sale in Brazil. The Kicks is an interesting proposition because rumour has it that Nissan is going launch in it India too, probably in a year. The Indian compact SUV market has exploded with the Hyundai Creta at higher end of the market and the Maruti Vitara Brezza at the lower end. Nissan will do well to position the Kicks somewhere in between those two.
The Kicks is going to be based on Nissan’s modular ‘V’ platform, which also underpins the Sunny in India. While the concept looks like a hatchback placed on a SUV platform, with huge ground clearance, wheels kicked out to every corner and flared wheel arches, the final production vehicle, at least in outline, seems to have retained the same profile but with toned down design elements, and sits lower. What has been revealed till now is the strong ‘V’ grille, which is a the Nissan signature design, conventional headlights with LED DRLs and the same blacked out A-pillar – floating roof C-pillar design as of the Vitara Brezza along with a dual tone paintjob.
When it goes on sale in Brazil, the Kicks will be available with a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a manual or the X-tronic CVT gearbox. In its concept form, when it was shown to the public two years back at the Sao Paulo motor show, the Kicks measured 4300 mm in length, close to the size of the Creta but outside Indian government’s 4 metre rule to enjoy tax rebates. The Kicks is currently manufactured in Mexico and Brazil, which means that the company can afford to price it lower than the Duster despite it being of a similar size. It isn’t clear yet whether Nissan will be able to follow a similar strategy for the Indian market.