The theme at the Nissan display could aptly be labeled "Think small."
The automaker will introduce three small vehicles at the Detroit auto show:
1. The 2007 Versa, a car that will be positioned below the Sentra.
2. The redesigned 2007 Sentra.
3. The Urge, a two-passenger, rear-drive concept that likely has Mazda MX-5 Miata buyers in mind.
The Versa joins Nissan's U.S. lineup this year. The front-drive car is expected to be priced around $12,000.
Two Versa models will be offered: a five-door hatchback that goes on sale this summer and a sedan that arrives later in the year.
The sedan is 175.9 inches long, 0.7 inches longer than the 2005 Ford Focus sedan.
The Versa is based on the Nissan Tiida that is sold in Japan.
The Versa will have a 120-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. A continuously variable transmission will be optional.
The 2007 Sentra will be longer, wider and taller than the current model. It also will come with a new, more powerful engine.
The Sentra is expected to have a longer standard equipment list and a sticker price above the 2006 Nissan Sentra, moving it upmarket from the Versa.
The new Sentra will come to the market next fall, a year later than expected. The company returned to the drawing board after U.S. focus groups panned a version scheduled to debut last year as a 2006 model.
Finally, Nissan designers enlisted the help of young, first-time car buyers to help create the Urge sports car concept. The concept seats two people and features a collapsible seat for a third person in the rear. An unusual styling feature is a see-through hood.
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