Stallion NMN unveils ‘B’ segment Nissan kicks
It is Nissan’s next generation B-segment crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV), promising to assemble at least 500 units yearly to ensure the vehicle is accessible and affordably priced.
Managing Director, Stallion NMN, Parvir Singh, revealed this in Lagos, at the media preview of the car. Singh said the company is looking at assembling the Nissan Kicks very soon to further bring down the cost.
The Kicks is undoubtedly everything Nissan has leaned as the crossover pioneer and it has spared nothing in making the vehicle one of the most attractive crossover yet – incorporating Nissan’s design cues and tagline –“Innovation that Excites.”
An astonishing SUV, Nissan Kicks comes equipped with the new Nissan V-motion platform recently integrated in the entire Nissan range of passenger vehicles.
Also coming to Africa as one of the most reputable new vehicles in the planet world, the Kicks is undoubtedly big on attitude and self-expression, and will replace the Juke at the small end of Nissan’s SUV line-up, the dealership assured.
Designed to standout, the Kicks styling showcases the best of Nissan’s design elements including a large V-motion grille, clear wrap-around headlights and integrated boomerang LED daytime running lights on appropriate models.
A completely new crossover, the Kicks incorporates distinctive styling and nimble performance, combining Nissan Intelligent Mobility that guarantees seamless connectivity and advanced driver assistance features.
The striking front-end is complimented by blacked-out side pillars for a modern floating roof look, large wheels and a steeply sloping windscreen to give it a striking on-road presence. At the rear, the Kicks is fitted with an integrated spoiler.
First unveiled as a concept in 2014, and showcased across Brazil during summer 2016 to promote the Summer Olympics, of which Nissan was a lead sponsor, the Kicks boasts of being a design collaboration between Nissan’s design studios in California, USA, Rio de Janeiro-Brazil and Atsugi Japan.
Head Sales and Marketing, Stallion NMN, Amit Sharma, said: “While the striking front end has won it many compliments, it is Kicks’ profile view that has wowed judges at its many awards.
“The designers took their time to black-out all three pillars to create the impression of a floating roof, which slopes towards the rear and meets a rising shoulder line at the C-pillar.”
“Viewed from the angle he added, “The Kicks proudly display a high-ride height – 17” alloy wheels (16” steel wheels on the Base model), with muscular matte black wheel arches and a steeply sloping rear windscreen that meets the roof towards the middle of the luggage compartment.”
“At the back, the sculpted rear lights remind owners that the Kicks shares its DNA with the Juke, Qashqai and X-Trail, even though the tailgate emphasizes an integrated spoiler that widens below the rear lights to allow a very large opening for easy loading and unloading of luggage and gear,” Sharma explained.
He said Africa-based Kicks including Nigeria will have as standard six airbags Bluetooth Connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration with 17’ Alloy Wheels, integrated roof rails and a follow-me-home headlight module.
Space, practicality and luxury
Despite its compact dimensions, the Kicks offers astonishing amounts of interior space – thanks in part to the brand-new Nissan architecture, which includes a longer-than-usual 2,620mm wheelbase.
What’s more, Nissan’s designers have utilised every inch of this space to offer a C-segment vehicle with best-in-class rear passenger and luggage space.
The Kicks luggage space measures 383 litres with the seats upright, which is almost as large as cars in a larger vehicle class just as the cabin has a range of storage spaces, including a lidded glove-box, deep door pockets, drink holders and cubby holes in the centre console.
The Kicks rides on Nissan’s new V-Platform, a lightweight but sturdy platform that reassures perfect balance between ride and handling. This feature allows for a fully independent front suspension that is capable of being fitted with either the larger 16” or 17” wheels.
The vehicle rigid sub-frame also increases structural rigidity by 300 per cent for improved ride and handling characteristics yet affirming lower body roll.
Sharma said Nissan has added extra insulation materials in the dashboard with thicker carpets, improved seals around all the doors to reduce the vehicle’s noise and harshness levels.
The Kicks has also been equipped with sturdier suspension assemblies, which do not transfer as much vibration into the cabin thus making the car as comfortable and fuss-free as possible, the sales and marketing helmsman affirmed.
A great deal of attention to detail has gone into the three-spoke-flat-bottom steering wheel with a matt chrome finish for a quality appearance, which has a new ergonomically designed grip section allowing the driver’s grasp to be naturally tight. The central spokes house controls for the audio and phone systems and driver information displays.
Behind the shaped steering wheel, the driver has quick access to driving information – thanks to the integrated drive computer between the speedometer and tachometer.
Nissan Kicks comes with an optional 7-inch touchscreen, which includes audio streaming and phone connectivity via Bluetooth and reverse camera.
All versions of the Kicks feature power steering, with a fully adjustable steering wheel and electric windows on all doors; manual air conditioning and integrated audio system with USB, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity.
The Kicks probable rivals could include Hyundai Creta, Ford EcoSport and newcomer Toyota NG Rush.
Underneath the Kicks’ bonnet is a more powerful version of Nissan’s celebrated HR16DE 1.6L Inline-4 engine, which delivers maximum power of 88kW, as opposed to 84kW in standard guise, and 149Nm of torque.
This is in addition to a redesigned manifold, which allows for a more aerodynamic hood, currently adjudged the most powerful and normally aspirated engine in the segment yet.
Nissan claims this engine receives an EPA fuel economy rating of 16.4 kilometres per litre (city) and 17.8 kilometres per litre (highway).
One engine, two drive-train options
In the Kicks, power is delivered to the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission in the Base grade Kicks and an infinitely variable Xtronic CVT transmission in the Acenta grade.
Drivers will also find the Kicks charmingly-raised ride height as well as the structural rigidity and ease of manoeuvrability a delight to behold.
These are in addition to the versatile interior, ambitious cargo space, enhanced fuel economy, stiffer steering, attractive wheel dampers and affordable pricing to say the least.
Africa-based Kicks including Nigeria bound models combine larger and wider tyres aimed at significantly improving high-speed performance and low-speed ride comfort on undulating or rough roads.
Nissan as usual, does not compromise on safety. Driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags with Anti-lock Brakes (ABS), EBD and Brake Assist highlight the Kicks’ comprehensive level of safety equipment.
Also part of the safety paraphernalia are five-seat belts and rear-view camera as optional equipment.
The local media remarked: “It was a rare delight experiencing Nissan’s intelligent mobility, especially when put through spaces on a curvy road, where the Kicks guarantees better road dynamics -” little wonder the Kicks’ tagline is ‘Intensify your ride.’
No comments yet