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Datsun to Go bigger

Go for gold: The Datsun Go+ is based on the Go light hatch that was unveiled in July and features a third row of seating.

Datsun adds a second model to its line-up in the shape of the Go+ mini MPV

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Datsun logo23 Sep 2013

By TIM NICHOLSON

RE-BORN budget brand Datsun will add a second model to its burgeoning line-up with confirmation of the Go+ mini MPV for emerging markets.

Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn was on hand for the world premiere in Indonesia last week, where the Go+ will go on-sale next year.

The ultra-budget seven-seater will be priced from 100 million Indonesian rupiah ($A9500), making it one of, if not the, world’s cheapest people-movers.

But as with the smaller Go hatch, the plus-sized derivative stands no chance of coming to Australia as a rival for the likes of the Proton Exora.

The family friendly Go+ follows the design of the Go on which it is based, with a gaping grille and angular headlights at the front, while the tail-light design at the rear is also carried over.

At 3995mm in length, the Go+ is 210mm longer than the Go hatch, whereas other dimensions such as width (1635mm), height (1485mm), and wheelbase (2450mm) all match the Go.

Power for the five-door front-wheel drive hatch comes from the same 1.2-litre engine as the Go, matched to a five-speed manual transmission.

The sparse cabin matches that of the Go and features a front bench seat, room for three passengers in the second row, and a third row that offers room for two children. Datsun says it will be offered with a docking station for smartphones.

Both the Go and Go+ will be built at the Nissan plant in Purwakarta, 80km east of Jakarta. The Japanese car-maker believes that by 2016, Datsun will account for up to 50 per cent of total Nissan sales in Indonesia.

Nissan announced its plans to resurrect its long-dead Datsun brand earlier this year, in a bid to further expand its reach into emerging markets such as India, Indonesia, South Africa and Russia.

Mr Ghosn said the re-launched budget brand would give people in emerging markets the opportunity to own a vehicle when it may have previously been out of reach.

“With the return of the Datsun brand, we are changing mobility,” he said. “And we’re ensuring greater access to the pride, independence and opportunities that car ownership provides. It’s exciting to know that, for many Indonesians, the first new car they buy will be a Datsun.”

Datsun will be the second budget brand in the Nissan Renault Alliance arsenal alongside the Dacia brand that sells in South and Central America and parts of Eastern Europe.

Nissan’s local arm has previously confirmed that its budget brand will not be sold in Australia.

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