Three-year wait for next-gen Nis­san

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE -

At that time, Nis­san Aus­tralia said there were ‘‘no plans’’ to fol­low through. But things are chang­ing, al­beit slowly.

Nis­san Aus­tralia is al­ready com­mit­ted to the new Pul­sar sedan (launched last month) and an­nounced the re­lease of a hatch­back ver­sion in May.

The hatch range will in­clude a hot SSS vari­ant with a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol en­gine.

Thai-built Pul­sars could re­main in the mar­ket un­til the pro­duc­tion ver­sion of the more edgy In­vi­ta­tion con­cept starts its ex­port pro­gram.

In Aus­tralia, Nis­san spokesman Peter Fadeyev says it’s early days for an­other hatch. He says the Pul­sar sedan is im­ported from Thai­land but that ‘‘source de­tails for the Pul­sar hatch will be an­nounced at the launch’’ around May.

‘‘But it’s not ex­pected to be from Spain,’’ he says.

The time­frame of a pro­duc­tion In­vi­ta­tion pushes the launch out to the thirdquar­ter of 2014 mean­ing that it wouldn’t be seen in Aus­tralia — if at all — un­til early 2015. That may suit the end of the model life of the Pul­sar hatch.

The late 2014 or early 2015 tim­ing also suits the ex­pected launch date of the next Dualis and X-Trail com­pact SUVs.

Some Nis­san Aus­tralia deal­ers have seen nearpro­duc­tion draw­ings of the two SUVs, which one says is ‘‘dra­matic’’.

Nis­san last year showed two SUV con­cepts, the HiCross and the Ex­trem, which are pos­si­ble styling di­rec­tions for the com­pany.

Nis­san last week said it would build a C-seg­ment (think Volk­swa­gen Golf) hatch in Spain start­ing in July 2014, with plans for an­nual ca­pac­ity of 80,000 units.

It orig­i­nally planned for the small hatch to be built in its UK fac­tory but that was since al­lo­cated to pro­duce a small model for its 2015 In­finiti pre­mium car di­vi­sion.

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