Datsun, the reborn Nissan brand now focused on emerging markets, has revealed a preview of what could be its first SUV model – and a sign of significant expansion into new markets.
There is little about the Go-Cross concept’s styling that could not transition easily to production, although certain elements – such as the slimline wing mirrors and bold LED headlights would likely be switched out for more conventional units to suit the Datsun brand’s budget-friendly market position.
Mechanical details for the concept have not been revealed, but it is likely that power is provided by the same 1.2-litre petrol engine and five-speed manual combination that features in the Datsun Go+.
Production for the Go-Cross has not been locked in, although Datsun says it will introduce an all-new model in 2016 built on the Renault-Nissan CMF-A platform – the same architecture that underpins the cheap Renault Kwid offered in India.
The Go-Cross will be the first ‘Nissan’ model built on the platform.
“This is a significant day for Datsun. We have successfully completed the first phase of our return, and feel proud that through our vehicles more than 100,000 customers have been able to make their dream of personal mobility a reality,” Vincent Cobee, Global Head of Datsun, said in Tokyo.
As with the Kwid, the current Datsun range is offered in India, along with Russia, Indonesia and South Africa.
This week’s unveiling brings news that Datsun is exploring opportunities in other similar markets, including Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia.
“We are also studying further business expansion possibilities in other high-growth markets around the world, including Africa,” Cobee said.
“Whatever happens next, the Datsun core values of ‘Dream, Access and Trust’ will continue to influence the next phase of our brand’s journey.”
It’s worth noting that Datsun’s mantra, as stated above, is also a clever spin on the DAT – a pre-incorporation car built in 1914 and named after the partners Kenjiro Den, Rokuro Aoyama and Meitaro Takeuchi.