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The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

New Tiida shakes rental image

2011-04-07 07:41

TA-TA UGLY TIIDA: Infinitely better looking than the current car, the new Tiida won’t have independent rear suspension (thank the Renault platform for that) but could boast interesting turbo power.

Nissan has a problem. The company’s car offering is seriously lacking.

Nissan produces an outstanding range of bakkies and crossovers (even a supercar, the GT-R), but there is very little traditional C-segment four-door sedan/hatch family motoring fare available in its product portfolio; most South Africans regard the Tiida as little more than an airport rental alternative.

But wait, there's a new one in the works and it could alter perceptions of Nissan’s rather staid hatchback image.

STYLING HARMONY - FINALLY

The car is aimed at the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo hatchback segment and an undisguised homologation version of the new Tiida has been spotted undergoing testing in China – and it looks immeasurably better than the current car.

It has Nissan’s new and gaping grille and oversized headlights and embraces the company’s newfangled design aesthetic initiated by vehicles such as the 370Z and Juke crossover.

The glass/metal ratio is also much lower than before, conferring less of the current Tiida’s bread-van look upon the hatchback profile.

Powering the new Tiida will be a range of 1.6-litre petrol engines. With a direct-injection turbocharged version of the 1.6 currently on offer in the Nissan’s Juke, where it produces 132kW and 230Nm, there could be a proper Tiida hot hatch in the works too. Not quite a Sunny GTI-R, but still possibly a credible compact hot hatch none the less.

The new Tiida hatchback is to be officially revealed, with all accompanying technical details, at the 2011 Shanghai auto show on April 21.

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