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Datsun GO: Striking, affordable and engaging drive

July 17, 2013 07:49 IST

Datsun GO: Striking, affordable and engaging drive

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CarDekho


Death and Resurrection’ are the two words that come to mind when you think about the brand Datsun from the Japanese auto major, Nissan. The brand that took birth as early as the year 1914 represents the abbreviation of the names - Den, Aoyama and Takeuchi who were the initial sponsors of the brand.

It was the time when most Japanese used to commute on bicycles and carriages. The brand was envisioned by Masujiro Hashimoto and grew with the speed of wildfire.

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Image: Datsun Go is not likely to feature a diesel engine as of now.
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From 1914, with the launch of the first car, the brand grew to different levels by the 1930s, 40s and 50s, gradually becoming a global success by the 1960s when the word DAT represented Durable, Attractive and Trustworthy.

The success of the hatch grew another notch in the year 1970 and entered the global markets by the year 1980. Surprisingly, despite all this success the brand went into hibernation, which began in 1981 when it literally vanished into the dust bowl of automobile history.

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Datsun GO: Striking, affordable and engaging drive

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The brand which was loved by generations of customers for the modern-day chic style, modern engineering, durability and reliability, was pushed out of its throne and the new king was crowned as Nissan. The Japanese brand with the new name, grew huge and conquered the world with its fine engineering and latest technology but somehow was missing the former king that ruled several hearts for generations.

Nissan's new plans in the year 2012 termed as Power 88 strategy was aimed at increasing its share to 8 per cent in the global market and also increase its operating margin by the same number.

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Datsun GO: Striking, affordable and engaging drive

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To fit the bill of the new strategy, the management of the company came up with the plan to resurrect the brand Datsun which was leading the entry level hatchback market. In the first phase of launch of the brand, Nissan is planning to conquer the emerging markets of India, Russia, Indonesia, South Africa and many other countries from 2014.

March 2012, marked the date where the brand revival was officially announced by the company and the embodiment of aspiration for the low budget market will be given a new heart and spirit.

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Datsun GO: Striking, affordable and engaging drive

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The Japanese auto major is looking forward to lure the youth who are looking forward to drive home a striking, affordable and engaging entry level vehicle. The Indian market as of now is the most thriving entry level hatchback market and the first product of the brand which is christened as ‘Datsun GO’ is likely to be made available in the year 2014.

The hatchback will be built at Nissan India facility outside Chennai; however, the company plans to build individual showrooms for the brand later on.

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The dealers, as of now, will also be shared with the aim of slowly and gradually building a good network for the entry level brand. Datsun Go will be the five door hatchback and is called ‘K2’ inside Nissan’s facility.

The philosophy of the company is now changed to - Dream, Access and Trust. The prototype, which was unveiled by the brand, comes with the same dimensions of Nissan Micra and share many components.

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The engine that will be doing duty in the GO hatch will be 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine (XH5) which is currently seen under the hoods of Nissan Micra and is said to generate 75bhp; however, it is expected to offer less output in the upcoming hatch but with better efficiency figures.

Datsun Go is not likely to feature a diesel engine as of now. The XH5 petrol engine will be tuned for better efficiency; however, the power figure is likely to go down along with the weight of the new hatch. The acceleration figure is likely to heighten as the flab will be less and is likely to be the best in class performing vehicle.

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The chassis is light and the reinforcements are less likely to match the global standards; that is why the hatch won’t sell in the home markets of Japan and Europe. The suspension system is expected to be a combination of MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam axle at the rear.

With the 145/70 R13 tyres, the ground clearance is expected to be decent and will be fine tuned to handle the Indian roads well. The pricing will be affordable and will be tagged under the bracket of Rs 4 lakh; it will raise the mercury level in the entry level Indian market where the freshly launched Maruti Alto 800 and Hyundai’s Eon are playing big to earn points for their respective manufacturers.

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