Nissan might be in a spot of financial bother, but that has not stunted product development.
The Japanese automotive brand knows that the only way to revive its fortunes is product investment. And as part of a new global vehicle portfolio, there might be a compact crossover destined for developing markets.
Any volume car company which ignores the value of BRICS markets, will miss out on huge sales. South Africa falls within this BRICS demand metric, but also has the advantage of being a legacy car market, with a long history of brand association between companies and customers.
One of the Nissan future products which could become crucial in its global sales revival is the Magnite. Nissan has leaked a rendering of its new compact crossover and beyond its striking appearance, there is a specification of real purpose.
Much of the Magnite concept’s chromed finishes and bold styling is pure conceptual design. The production vehicle will be a toned-down version of this concept, but should retain some of the broader design elements and similar overall proportions.
A smaller all-terrain vehicle
In terms of size, the Nissan Magnite will be competing in the front-wheel drive crossover market, with vehicles such as the Hyundai Venue, which has been available in South Africa since last year.
Nissan has a proven history of innovation when it comes to all-terrain travel and product niches. The brand’s X-Trail remains a regarded compact SUV and its Qashqai can claim to have had a significant share in establishing the compact crossover vehicle concept in South Africa.
With the Magnite, Nissan will have an opportunity to introduce an even more affordable entry-point to its gravel travel vehicles. Although there has been no confirmation of the Magnite’s introduction to South Africa, its size and features, would make this new crossover a very compelling business case for Nissan’s local product people to consider.
Mechanically, the Magnite is expected to ride on a CMF-A platform, which is shared with Renault. This vehicle architecture provides for front-wheel drive and is what the Renault Triber is built on.
Powering the Magnite will be a choice of two small 1-litre engines, producing either 54kW or 70kW — the latter output being boosted by a turbocharger. Gearboxes will be a manual or CVT, with no conventional planetary geared automatic option.
Nissan needs to fill the gap in gravel travel options, priced below Qashqai, and this new Magnite could be just the solution for its local product line-up.