Our U.S.-based spy photographers were on location to catch on camera a heavily masked prototype of the Nissan Kicks.
It was at the beginning of the year when we heard Nissan North American’s vice president of product planning, Michael Bunce, saying the Kicks could make it to United States. Now, a prototype spotted on U.S. soil could indicate a decision has been taken and the crossover will likely arrive for the 2018 model year. If it will, the Kicks is going to be cheaper than the entry-level Juke S which costs $20,250, but on the other hand Bunce said it will get a weaker engine.
The official car of the 2016 Rio Olympics, the new Kicks is 6.7 inches longer than the Juke and likely offers more legroom for rear passengers given the extra 3.1 inches of wheelbase. Nissan Brazil did mention earlier this week the Kicks will offer the roomiest cabin in its class and at the same time it will have one of the most spacious trunks in the segment.
Nissan has not released technical specifications, so it’s not known at this point whether the crossover will be offered with an all-wheel-drive layout. It’s allegedly based on the company’s V-platform, so technically it is possible since the second-gen Note sold in Japan uses the same architecture and is sold with AWD in select versions.
Set to be produced in Brazil and Mexico, the Nissan Kicks will be a global model and is going to be sold in more than 80 countries. Full details about the crossover will be disclosed in the months to come, with the car’s market launch programmed for August in Brazil.