Nissan Micra gets global facelift at Geneva

Japanese carmaker Nissan has global ambitions for the new Micra compact car, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on March 2.

The new Micra will be sold in 160 countries around the world, beginning in Thailand in March, before a European introduction in autumn 2010. The fourth-generation vehicle was officially unveiled by Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn, who described the new model as "modern, simple and destined to be a serious competitor on the world stage."

Just two 1.2 gas engines will be offered for the car in Europe, one a start-stop model that reduces emissions to 95g/km. Designed to appeal predominantly to urban drivers, the Micra will also offer a turning radius of 4.5 meters and will be available with reversing sensors linked to a "parking space measurement" device with three skill levels (amateur, normal and expert) to lessen the burden of parking in tight spaces.

The new Micra is built on Nissan's V platform, a lightweight design aimed to increase the firm's competitiveness in developing markets where roads can be more challenging. Breaking with a tradition that focused on production in established markets like Europe and Japan, Nissan will base production of the new Micra at overseas sites such as Thailand, India, Mexico and China. Global pricing is unconfirmed.

Nissan unveiled the Micra alongside Juke, first announced in February, the company's third crossover SUV destined for Japan, Europe and North America.