Nissan unveils its crucial new Almera at September's Frankfurt auto show. The car goes on sale in Europe next spring.
It is the first time Nissan has developed and built a car for the lower-medium segment in Europe. The lower-medium segment is Europe's largest, and is dominated by the Volkswagen Golf, Renault Megane, Opel Astra and Ford Focus.
The Almera will be made alongside the new Primera and Micra at Nissan's plant in Sunderland, England.
'The Almera is a very significant new model for our European business,' said Ian Gibson, president of Nissan Europe. 'Models in the lower-medium segment often define the personality of the brand. This car will accelerate the communication of our brand values.'
The car is the first to be based on Nissan's global MS platform, which will also be used for next spring's Almera Tino, Nissan's small minivan. Power comes from engines ranging from 1.5 liters to 2.2 liters. The Almera also debuts Nissan's new direct-injection, 16-valve, four-cylinder diesel engine, which is expected to account for one-quarter of all Almera sales in Europe.
'Recognizing the need for bolder styling and a stronger identity in Europe, the new Almera reflects extensive research in key countries and the input of Nissan's design facilities in Germany and the U.K.,' said a Nissan spokesman.
Also at the Frankfurt show, Nissan will launch its own fuel efficient three-liter car - a sports coupe called the Cypact. Unlike Volkswagen and General Motors, which have both shown minicars that consume around three liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (about 80 mpg), Nissan has expanded the concept for a small sports car. The Cypact is powered by Nissan's next-generation turbodiesel.