The facelifted Nissan Kicks will finally make its world debut this Friday (May 15, 2020) in Thailand after being delayed for several weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The refreshed B-segment SUV was originally supposed to be launched in the kingdom on March 19 and is one of several models that Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) has planned for Malaysia.
Based on previous spyshots, the Kicks will come with a much larger V-motion grille at the front, which is flanked by sharper and slimmer headlamps. Meanwhile, the redesigned front bumper is more aggressive in appearance, with prominent side “air intakes” in the corners that double as fog lamp clusters.
The Kicks’ distinctive floating roof effect with blacked-out C-pillars and contrasting roof colour continue to feature as before, while the rear end gets a a wider diffuser section painted in body colour.
The Thailand-spec Kicks will be offered with Nissan’s e-Power system, which is already used in other models like the Note and Serena. Unlike conventional hybrid systems where the engine provides drive with assistance by an electric motor, the compact SUV’s petrol engine acts solely as a generator for the battery that feeds the electric motor.
Like the Note e-Power, the Kicks e-Power will sport a HR12DE 1.2 litre three-cylinder petrol engine that is rated at 79 hp and 103 Nm of torque. The engine-generator charges what should be a 1.5 kWh battery, which in turn powers an EM57 electric motor that drives the front wheels with 129 hp and 254 Nm – this is higher than the Note e-Power’s 108 hp and 254 Nm.
In other markets, the pre-facelift Kicks is offered with the HR16DE 1.6 litre four-cylinder, which is rated at 125 hp and 155 Nm, although it is not known if the conventional setup will be offered with the facelift.
The Kicks, which will rival the Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR, is 4,384 mm long and 1,813 mm wide, with a wheelbase of 2,673 mm. That’s 90 mm longer, 41 mm wider and 63 mm longer between the wheels than the popular Honda SUV.
As mentioned at the start, ETCM has plans to introduce the Kicks in Malaysia, although we expect those plans to be delayed given the current circumstances. According to the company, the plan was to introduce the Kicks after the N18 Almera, but seeing how we’ve yet to see the B-segment sedan in showrooms, it might take longer before we have access to the Kicks.
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