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by Tim Beissmann

The Datsun Go has been unveiled in India, signalling the return of the iconic Nissan-owned budget brand to the automotive scene.

The city-sized Go hatchback is the first new model from Datsun, which Nissan brought back from the dead last year to give it an entry point into the automotive world’s lucrative developing markets.

The five-door, five-seat Datsun Go will launch in India in early 2014, promising “impressive fuel efficiency and acceleration” and price tag below 400,000 rupees ($7400).

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Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says a range of vehicles will be introduced in the near future, with Datsun to expand to Indonesia, Russia and South Africa before the end of next year.

“We’re bringing it back and giving it a modern shape, with modern technology that is particularly aimed at the high-growth market, addressing the segments where Nissan has no offer,” Ghosn said.

Nissan has revealed few details of the Go hatchback, whose name is inspired by the first Datsun, the DAT-GO, which launched almost a century ago in Japan.

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The 2014 Go will be powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine and employ a five-speed manual transmission to drive its front wheels.

The sparse cabin makes do without electric rear windows and a tachometer, but features a phone docking station on the dashboard in an acknowledgement of the priorities of its youthful target market.

Nissan expects India to be one of Datsun’s most successful markets, with the new budget brand tipped to make up 50 per cent of its total sales in the subcontinent by 2016.

Nissan has no plans to relaunch Datsun in Australia at this stage.

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