Update: Nissan Australia has confirmed that there are no plans to introduce the Kicks locally. See bottom of article for details.
The all-new Nissan Kicks compact crossover has been unveiled, adding to Nissan’s already diverse SUV range.
Aimed at “city-living customers”, the Kicks is the production version of the Kicks concept that was revealed in 2014 at the Sao Paulo auto show.
While the Kicks will initially be released in Latin American regions, notably Brazil, Nissan says the compact crossover will eventually be launched as a "global" product in over 80 nations worldwide.
On the styling front, the Nissan Kicks retains the basic design of the concept car, including the sloping roofline, grey/orange paint job, Nissan’s V-motion grille, boomerang head- and tail-lights, along with the floating roof design and wraparound windscreen.
Nissan says that it paid close attention to the overall aerodynamics of the Kicks during the engineering process to minimise wind noise, adding extra refinement to an otherwise budget-focused segment.
Inside, the Kicks features a 7.0-inch central infotainment system with smartphone connectivity. Other technologies include Nissan’s Around View surround camera system, and moving object detection, which uses the car’s cameras to display a bird’s-eye view of the car, and alert the driver of any unseen hazards.
Nissan says that the inclusion of this technology is a segment-first in the Latin American region and together, marks a step towards the company’s Intelligent Mobility vision.
At 4.29m long, 1.76m wide, and 1.59m tall, the Kicks is very similar in size to the UK-built Juke, although slightly longer with a larger wheelbase.
The manufacturer is claiming best-in-class rear passenger space and load capacity for the Kicks, however exact measurements for those are not known.
The Kicks will initially be produced in Aguascalientes, Mexico, to satisfy Brazilian demand before full production ramps up within the 2016 financial year at Nissan’s facility in Resende, Rio de Janeiro - which is the site of a $192 million investment to prepare for the crossover’s production.
Kicks will offer best-in-class design, convenience and technological innovation,” said Keno Kato, corporate vice president for product planning at Nissan.
“[We] have developed a compact crossover in the best Nissan tradition,” “and, it will demonstrate Nissan’s commitment to Nissan Intelligent Mobility.”
“Kicks is a car to confidently take on the city,” he added.
Sales of the Kicks will commence in Brazil from August, with other Latin American markets to follow in the 2016 financial year.
There is no set time frame as to when the Kicks will be released in other global markets. Full details of the Kicks’ pricing, specifications and equipment will be revealed closer to when it goes on sale.
Update: Peter Fadeyev, communications manager for Nissan Australia, told CarAdvice that there are currently no plans to introduce the Kicks into the Australian market, with the UK-built Juke already serving as the brand's compact SUV offering.
"Our current small SUV offering in Australia is the Nissan Juke, which is serving us well. The new Nissan Kicks would certainly be a great model for this segment but we don’t plan to release it locally at this time. Its current target markets are in the Latin America region," he said.