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Beijing show: Next Nissan Pulsar sedan steps out

Finger on the Pulsar: Nissan’s hopes of a 10 per cent market share in Australia will be largely pinned on the success of its reborn Pulsar range when it arrives next year.

Nissan’s vital Pulsar sedan unveiled ahead of release in Australia next summer

Nissan logo23 Apr 2012

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

NISSAN’S reborn Pulsar sedan was unveiled at the Beijing motor show today, providing Australians with their first glimpse of how Nissan’s crucial volume-booster will look when it arrives Down Under next summer.

The new global sedan will replace the slow-selling Tiida to form a vital part of Nissan’s ambition to grab a 10 per cent market share in Australia and become this country’s largest full-line vehicle importer as set out in its GT2012 five-year plan that ends on March 31, 2013.

In a staggered launch, the Pulsar sedan – planned to arrive in January or February next year – will be later joined by the hatch unveiled at last year’s Shanghai show wearing Tiida badges.

Nissan Australia’s recently appointed CEO, Bill Peffer, said the new Pulsar will “add a powerful dimension to Nissan’s rapidly improving passenger car portfolio”.

“Pulsar sedan has the looks, packaging and expected value to make it the leading choice in the booming small-car segment.” Resembling a smaller version of the Altima sedan that will go head-to-head with Toyota’s Camry from the second half of next year, the Pulsar sedan was presented at the show as an upmarket proposition.

A chrome-laden grille and LED daytime-running lights provide road presence while a flowing curve over the front wheelarches turns into a prominent character line that continues along the Pulsar’s flanks and links into the LED tail-light clusters.

Nissan promises a spacious cabin fitted out with high-quality materials and luggage capacity matching the class leaders.

12 center imageA stiff body structure, “advanced” suspension and the isolation of noise and vibration are said to provide a peaceful, smooth ride.

Interior photos show a cockpit lined in cream leather and a two-tone dashboard with large central screen and digital ventilation controls – although the lashings of wood-effect trim may not be to Australian tastes.

Premium features like dual-zone air-conditioning and keyless entry and start will be available and the new 1.8-litre petrol engine is claimed to provide low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

A long piston stroke, variable timing for both intake and exhaust valves and the use of friction-reducing diamond-like carbon coatings contribute to engine efficiency.

The optional continuously variable transmission (CVT) is a new lightweight, compact design that provides a wider range of ratios, helping to reduce efficiency losses while transferring power and torque to the road.

Nissan plans to sell its new global small sedan in 120 countries by 2014.

Last month, outgoing Nissan Australia managing director Dan Thompson told GoAuto the Pulsar will “add thousands” to the company’s monthly sales tally, helping it get back on track after last year’s natural disasters hampered supply.

Mr Thompson said the Pulsar will enable Nissan to catch up with – and overtake – rival importers Mazda and Hyundai while achieving “enduring and sustainable” growth.

The company’s sales in Australia were up 8.4 per cent last year and it has grown 9.0 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

However, Mazda is streaking ahead with 15.9 per cent growth in 2012 after a 4.2 per cent sales increase last year, while Hyundai is up 7.9 per cent this year following last year’s 8.7 per cent growth.

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