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Datsun teases new hatchback for India

by Adil Jal Darukhanawala Posted on 01 Jul 201389,647 Views17 Comments

More than two decades after the last Datsun-branded car passed into history, the Nissan-owned marque gets set to be reborn as a frugal, value-for-money offering yet with substance, style and innovation packed in, says Adil Jal Darukhanawala who was one of a very exclusive band to get to see the all new Datsun hatch poised for a world reveal in Delhi this month

 

 

Datsun model rendering

 

 

 

It is nothing but an understanding of the Japanese language to fathom that DAT means “lightning-fast” and the rejuvenated Datsun brand is going about doing this in exactly the very same way! Given the long lead times associated from concept to design to prototyping to production engineering before the onset of series production, Datsun, the third brand in the Nissan portfolio (after Infiniti and Nissan of course) is now aiming to show off its price-effective contender for the new wave of emerging markets.

 

The image you see here is the first of the two initial products Datsun will unleash on the Indian market beginning early 2014 while variations on the same theme will also be made and sold in Indonesia, Russia and South Africa. What is so vital for India though is the fact that unlike any other recent car maker who has shied away from the very low end of the market where the cost effective Maruti Suzukis rule the roost, here is a car maker going exactly for this critical segment and in doing so has come up with a car that is bigger and larger than the norm yet seems value packed which is the mantra now beginning to get ingrained into the psyche of both seller and buyer in the country.

 

 

 

Datsun model rendering

 

While the official design renderings have been revealed here for the first time, we were privy to the actual finished prototype at Nissan’s design centre in Japan a fortnight ago and I can state quite frankly that for a car which targets the likes of the Maruti Suzuki A-Star, Wagon R, Hyundai i10 and a few others, it makes its virtue apparent on first sight: it is well styled with a host of finely sculpted lines from front to rear, muscular at the right places while exuding a svelte aura all around. Design as a differentiator has been well wrought into the first Datsun but then what is also apparent is that it has a very long wheelbase with all four wheels at the absolute corners with very little front and rear overhangs.

 

This translates into a very large cabin with occupant space being given absolute significance and this would be yet another differentiator for the new brand. Datsun’s small but very experienced product team has thought long and hard to be a meaningful clutter-breaker in the small car segment and obviously has realized the first approach to the segment it intends to cater would best be served by the “more car, per car” maxim once espoused by the original Tata Indica.

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