Datsun expands low-cost revival with new Mi-Do in Moscow [w/video]Fri, 29 Aug 2014 08:01:00 EST
Those who were disappointed when Datsun changed its name to Nissan over three decades ago may have been pleased to see the marque revived last year, even as a budget brand. Nissan's counterpart to its ally Renault's Dacia budget brand, Datsun has been steadily expanding its lineup of low-cost transportation for developing markets with the debut of the Go hatchback in India, the Go+ minivan in Indonesia and the On-Do sedan in Russia. And now it has returned to Moscow to reveal its fourth model, the Mi-Do.
Based closely on the On-Do sedan (which itself is based on the Lada Granta) the Mi-Do takes on a five-door hatchback bodystyle but with no more frills. It uses the same front-drive chassis with the same wheelbase as the sedan, but its chopped tail makes it a good foot and a half shorter overall. Into that compact shape, Datsun has fitted dual airbags, ABS and... well, that's about it. It's got a 1.6-liter, eight-valve inline-four kicking out a grand total of 87 horsepower to either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. Bare bones, this is.
While delivery of the first On-Do sedans commences next month (with the first example going to an IT specialist in Omsk), the Mi-Do is set to begin delivery early next year. Scope out the video and press release below from the Mi-Do's reveal at the Moscow Motor Show.
Datsun prepares for its first appearance at Moscow International Automobile Salon
- Datsun celebrates MIAS debut with a brand new model
- Stylish Datsun mi-DO five-door hatchback to join Datsun on-DO sedan
- Datsun on-DO will start deliveries in September
- Datsun on-DO keys are handed over to a first customer
MOSCOW, Russia – Datsun, the newest automobile brand on the dynamic Russian market, celebrates its first appearance at the prestigious Moscow International Automobile Salon (MIAS) today by showing two new models.
The Datsun on-DO sedan, launched earlier this year with the first customer deliveries due in September, will be joined by the brand new Datsun mi-DO hatchback, which will be given its worldwide launch at MIAS. Sales of this dynamic new model are due to start in early 2015.
Datsun on-DO was revealed in April this year, with the order bank opened in July. Such was the interest in the car that Datsun received more than 3000 enquiries in the opening weeks.
The first deliveries will be made in September, but IT specialist Mikhail from Omsk city – one of the first customers to place a pre-order for the car – has been invited to the show where he was given a symbolic key to mark this historic event.
MIAS has become a stage for global unveil of the second car in the Datsun model line-up for Russia.
The brand new Datsun mi-DO is a practical yet sporty five-door hatchback with a strong masculine appearance: modern, robust and confident. Among its stand out features are its "face" dominated by Datsun's confident "D-Cut" grille and which, in turn, is flanked by dramatically elongated projector headlamps that stretch virtually from grille to fender to create a look that differentiates sedan and hatchback at a glance.
Although sharing the same wheelbase and front-wheel drive chassis layout as Datsun on-DO, Datsun mi-DO is shorter overall to emphasize its driving dynamics. Both cars sit on a 2,476mm wheelbase, are 1,500mm tall and 1,700mm wide, but the new Datsun mi-DO is 3,950mm long compared to the Datsun on-DO at 4,337mm.
Datsun mi-DO is well equipped. Comfort and safety have been priorities. Every version will have a driver and passenger airbag as well as ABS. Standard equipment will include a winter pack with heated seats and door mirrors while special attention has been paid to ensure road, engine and wind noise is kept to a minimum.
Power comes from an 87 hp version of Datsun's 1.6-liter 8V engine, while a four-speed automatic transmission is optionally available in place of the standard five speed manual transmission.
All Datsun customers will benefit from market leading support. So far there are 25 dedicated Datsun dealers in key regions of the country with 75 more due over the next two years. Every car will be backed by a comprehensive three year/100 000 kms warranty. To ease purchasing options, Datsun is offering a unique credit program – Datsun Finance.
"The Datsun concept of offering a new car from a foreign maker at a highly affordable price has struck a chord with Russian car buyers. Datsun might be a new name on the Russian market, but its impact will be felt for years to come. Rest assured we are totally committed to the Russian market: Our debut at MIAS marks just the beginning of the story," says Vincent Cobee, Global Head of Datsun.
The names Datsun on-DO and Datsun mi-DO reflect the cars' international heritage, encompassing Japanese, English and Russian themes. DO is a Japanese word that means "moving" and also refers to a "way" of doing things. "On" is the Russian word for "he" while "mi" sounds to a Russian speaker like the English word "me" and personalizes the car. Put together in Russian, they underline the individuality and personality of both cars.
About Datsun on-DO
Datsun on-DO is a modern and tough sedan with ample room for five adults and their luggage – the trunk capacity is a class-leading 530 liters. The distinctive styling is dominated at the front by the bold Datsun "D-Cut" grille, while the long wheelbase and extended trunk give Datsun on-DO the appearance of a substantial sedan.
Power comes from a 1.6-liter 8V engine, which is available in two states of tune: 82 hp and 87 hp. It powers the front wheels via a smooth five-speed manual transmission.
Standard features include a generous ride height and suspension specially tuned for Russian roads. Heated seats will make cold Russian winters more comfortable while advanced safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes and a driver's airbag on every grade – most versions have a passenger airbag, too. The three grades' range starts with the Datsun on-DO Access, which is followed by the Trust version with the Dream model at the top of the range. Prices for the entry-level Datsun on-DO Access start at just 329 000 RUR.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced the return of the Datsun brand, Nissan's third global brand, alongside Nissan and Infiniti, in March 2012. Datsun will provide a sustainable motoring experience to optimistic up-and-coming customers in high-growth markets. Datsun represents 80 years of accumulated Japanese car-making expertise and is an important part of Nissan's DNA. The new Datsun brand stands for Dream, Access and Trust. The overall Datsun customer offer will include a worry-free ownership experience at competitive cost, accessible services, with transparent pricing, and dealership proximity. Sales of Datsun cars have been started already in India and Indonesia. Datsun will start sales in South Africa later in 2014.
Datsun originated in Japan as DAT-GO (the DAT-car) almost a century ago in 1914. The word DAT means 'lightning-fast' in Japanese but is also a reference to the first letters of family names of the three financiers who supported the business at the time: Den, Aoyama and Takeuchi. Using the same logic, it was promoted as Durable, Attractive and Trustworthy, or DAT for short.
In 1933, Nissan's founding father Yoshisuke Aikawa took over the business with a vision of "mobility for all." The introduction of a light-weight, economical yet resilient car to meet the aspirations of young Japanese people in the early 1930s was named the "son of DAT" – Datson – which later changed to Datsun. Local engineering and mass-production made the founder's dream a reality.
By Noah Joseph
See also: Infiniti ESQ is a Chinese Nissan Juke Nismo, Infiniti moves to trademark Eau Rouge, Nissan IDX production model to get sharper, less retro styling.