The little Nissan Kicks concept is on its way to production at last, with a global launch set to begin with Latin American markets this year.
Revealed at the 2014 Sao Paulo auto show in Brazil, the Kicks was initially seen as a preview for a potential new compact SUV offering in South America and other emerging markets.
The Japanese company has now confirmed a broader plan for the Kicks, however, with production to begin at Nissan’s Resende Industrial Complex in Rio de Janeiro State this year.
But, while a global launch is promised, an Australian debut is still to be confirmed. Indeed, Nissan has so far revealed only that the Kicks’ potential beyond Latin American markets will be judged as part of “ongoing studies”.
It is also unclear if the Kicks should be viewed as a companion or successor to the Juke, now into its sixth year on the world stage.
Nissan has already confirmed a replacement for the Juke, to be built in the UK, but it remains to be seen if that model will be the Kicks.
The Juke has been an immense success for Nissan in Europe, which suggests that Nissan will work to maintain that momentum with a successor that boasts far wilder styling than the sharp but relatively conventional looks of the Kicks.
Nissan has also confirmed that the Kicks name will be retained for that model, and it is unlikely that the successful Juke badge would be dropped.
The SUV-obsessed Nissan could conceivably sell both models in Australia, with the Kicks’ proportions landing it well above the Juke and just beneath the small Qashqai.
The Kicks measures 4.3 metres long in concept form, making it notably longer than the 4125mm Juke, but only a little shorter than the 4370mm Qashqai. Likewise, its 2620mm wheelbase is 26mm shy of the footprint.
CarAdvice has contacted Nissan Australia for details on the Kicks’ potential for our market.