The carmaker’s Kicks SUV will be launched in India in the third quarter of 2018. Though the model was released globally in 2016 in Brazil, the Indian version will be tweaked for our local market.
Unlike the South American model, which borrows much from Nissan’s V-platform, the Indian Kicks will be based on the upcoming Renault Kaptur’s (code: HHA) platform. Codenamed PB1D, the new model is a refurbished version of Renault’s M0 platform (that underpins cars such as the Duster and Lodgy, vehicles known for their solid mechanicals). This M0 platform is built to serve to the higher-end needs in the market. The platform is an important aspect of the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s platform strategy in India. The CMF-B platform, European-spec, was also considered but deemed too expensive for Indian demands.
Initially created as part for its Dacia sub-brand years ago, Renault will have first rights to all products of this new platform and thus, like the Nissan Terrano which followed the Renault Duster, the Nissan Kicks too will follow the Renault Kaptur to India albeit a year later. The design style will be changed for the new Kicks, taking inspiration from the South American model. The sleek design will be further accentuated by the floating roof, massive wheel arches and a wraparound visor. But the unique styling cuts no corners when it comes to practicality.
Cars of the M0 platform will have a choice of just two engines, a 1.6 petrol and the venerable 1.5 K9K diesel, and will likely be found in the Kicks as well, but expect a little more power and torque. Nissan plans to produce a lofty number of 30,000 cars in its first year plus an additional 20,000 units for export. The price will be a crucial factor in deciding the market’s response to the new car.