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by Tim Beissmann

Spy photos of the 2012 Nissan Tiida have appeared on the internet ahead of the vehicle’s unveiling at Auto Shanghai 2011 and at the 2011 New York International Auto Show later this month.

The images from AUTOinCAR provide us with the first undisguised look at the new Tiida, which could potentially be sold in Australia as the new Nissan Pulsar from next year.

From the front, the lower grille and intakes share styling cues with the Volvo S60, while the headlights are similar to the current Nissan Maxima.

The profile is decidedly sportier than the outgoing Tiida, with a considerably lower window-to-door-panel ratio.

The rear also has a much more cohesive design, with taillights similar to the Nissan Dualis.

Nissan Australia’s Jeff Fisher said there were still many decisions to be made about the local arm’s future small car line-up, and could not confirm whether the vehicle in the image would necessarily come to Australia as a straight replacement for the current Tiida.

The return of the Pulsar nameplate to Australia has been much talked about in recent times, and Mr Fisher admitted it was a name that had a considerable reputation and a certain cachet in Australia.

The Pulsar was sold in Australia between 1978 and 2007 and even manufactured in Clayton South, Victoria, during the 1980s and 1990s. Nissan Australia sold 370,000 Pulsars in the model’s 25 years on sale.

Mr Fisher said a final decision on the local naming of the new small sedan and hatch was still to be made.

“Whether we continue to call it Tiida, there is still some debate about that.”

In 2007, the Tiida achieved Pulsar-like sales of 13,756, but by 2010 that figure had dropped to 5491. In the first quarter of 2011, Nissan has delivered 1092 Tiidas, almost 1000 less than in the same period last year.

Another vehicle in the mix for Australia is the Nissan Sunny, which is effectively a sedan version of the Nissan Micra.

Mr Fisher said Nissan Australia was still investigating this global vehicle, which is set to be sold in around 170 different countries.

If it does come to Australia, the Sunny nameplate is not likely to accompany it, with Nissan Australia likely to distance the new model from the old car from the 1970s and 1980s.

Mr Fisher said that whatever decisions were made about Nissan Australia’s small car future, pricing would be the key.

“It is a dynamic and competitive area of the market. Pricing is cut throat.”

CarAdvice will bring you all the news on the new Nissan Tiida from Shanghai on April 19 and New York on April 22.




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