Nissan will unveil a new generation of three-cylinder engines as part of its 'V platform', which is due to be launched along with the next-generation Micra at Geneva today.
Vincent Cobee, program director for the V platform, said the new model would open up "low-cost, environmentally friendly motoring" for a new area of the market.
Nissan has yet to confirm whether the new powerplant will be a petrol or a diesel - and its capacity. However, Cobee suggested that it will emit "much less than 99g/km of CO2" in the new small car.
He also confirmed that despite intense speculation to the contrary, the car will keep its current market-dependent model names, Micra and March. "We have spent over 25 years building up these names," he said. "The names, along with 'Made in Nissan' quality, are the things we did not include in our fresh approach."
Cobee also revealed that the new Micra will have a best-in-class turning radius, and offer optional features such as parking slot measurement and Nissan's Connect infotainment system on selected models. "It will be at or above C-segment performance in quietness," he added.
The new Micra will be built in three locations. A plant in Thailand will start manufacturing first for Asian markets (including Japan), but the car will also be made in Mexico and at Nissan's new plant in Chenai, India.
Renault is also expected to build a car on the V platform, although sources suggest that it may not be the new Clio.