Nissan has given the production go-ahead to its cutesy Micra C+C concept shown last year – and the new car will be built in Britain, following a £3m DTI grant for the company’s Sunderland plant.
The C+C sticks closely to the Paris Motor Show concept, although the folding hard-top will be tweaked for production – which starts in autumn 2005. UK sales will begin by the end of that year.
Nissan predicts 20,000 sales a year across Europe, at least a quarter of which will be in the UK. Prices should start at around £14k to undercut the 1.6-litre Peugeot 206 CC.
Power will come from the 88bhp 1.4 from the Micra hatch, although Nissan is also developing a new 1.6-litre engine for the Nissan B platform. The company is ruling out the 82bhp diesel for now, although the engine can be slotted in at short notice if demand is sufficient.
German firm Karmann will build the roof system in Sunderland, and Nissan will fit it after the car comes off the final assembly line. Karmann also designed the folding roof for Nissan parent company Renault’s Mégane CC.