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Nissan Compact Sport Concept (2011) first pictures

Wed, 20 Apr 2011

This is the Nissan Compact Sport Concept, which made its debut at the 2011 Shanghai motor show.

Nissan Compact Sports Concept: Is that... a Micra?

The basis of the Compact Sport Concept does indeed look like Nissan's global small car. But the Compact Sport Concept is 81mm lower, 51mm wider and nearly 300mm shorter than the five-door Micra we've been underwhelmed by since it hit UK shores in 2010.

Nissan Compact Sports Concept: the lowdown

Nissan says the Compact Sport Concept is the first collaboration between Nissan Design China (NDC) and the Nissan Global Design Centre. It's designed to appeal to young customers in emerging markets looking for a first performance car. 

Outside, the Micra-like glasshouse and extremities are cloaked in pumped-up guards and deeper bumpers. Inside, the interior has been spruced up with sports seats, a suitably futuristic instrument panel and a colour and trim scheme inspired by trainers.

And under the bonnet?

This is where things start to get more interesting. Nissan has fitted its MR16DDT engine, a 1.6-litre direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine pumping out 188bhp and 177lb ft of torque. 

Currently serving in the DiGT-spec Nissan Juke crossover, the 1.6 turbo could make for a decidedly lively Q-car if fitted in the unlikely bodyshell of a Micra (although we'd prefer it with a regular manual transmission). Nissan has fitted a CVT to the Compact Sports Concept, the whine-box in question providing six pseudo-gears for boy racers to play with using shift paddles. Sounds like fun but drives less so.

So can we expect to see a Micra SR188?

Don't hold your breath. There are no plans to produce the Compact Sports Concept at this time. But at least it shows that Nissan hasn't forgotten about enthusiasts altogether in its rush to sell cars in developing markets.

By Mark Hamilton