Supercharged engine makes the new Micra faster and cleaner

What’s new?

Although at launch Nissan’s new global Micra will be offered with a single engine, a 1.2-litre triple, after six months it will be joined by a supercharged version. A significant engine, not only for the Micra, but within the broader Nissan fleet.

With direct injection, the supercharged engine produces 97bhp and 105lb ft; 23 per cent more power and 31 per cent more torque than the standard engine, yet it achieves a lower CO2 figure of 95g/km.

See the first drive pictures of the Nissan Micra 1.2 Supercharged

What’s it like?

Considering our test drive was brief and in a pre-production prototype, initial impressions are positive. While the engine still has an unmistakable three-cylinder thrum, the supercharger is all but inaudible. Only at higher revs, under hard acceleration is there a distant whine.

While performance is more adequate than brisk (Nissan is yet to a announce any official figures) the supercharger does mean that you don’t have to rev the engine to get the Micra moving at a respectable pace. Which is as much a benefit for overall refinement as it is performance. There is a caveat though, which is that the engineers admitted that in production the supercharger will cut in at 2000rpm, rather than the 1300rpm of this prototype.

Still the CO2 figure of 95g/km is impressive – practically as low as any non-diesel, non-hybrid engine. Only Fiat’s new twin-air engine is cleaner, and only then in conjunction with an automated manual gearbox. Although the supercharged Micra gets stop-start technology as standard (the first stop-start Nissan we’ve tested), unfortunately our brief test didn’t provide a chance to try this.

Should I buy one?

As we have said before the new Micra is not about to challenge the Fiesta for driver engagement, or the Fiat 500 for style, but if the pricing is right, it could offer a decent value proposition. And as long as the premium for the supercharged engine isn’t too great, it will be the one to go for.

Jamie Corstorphine

Nissan Micra 1.2 Supercharged

Price: TBA; Top speed: TBA; 0-62mph: TBA; Economy: 69mpg (est); CO2: 95g/km; Kerbweight: 960kg (est); Engine type, cc: 1198cc, 3cyl in line, supercharged; Power: 97bhp; Torque: 105lb ft; Gearbox: 5-speed manual

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Quo vadis 11 August 2010

Re: Nissan Micra 1.2 Supercharged

Hear, hear Stavers! The two main advantages of a supercharger as opposed to a turbo. are (a) instant boost, NO lag, and a less hostile working environment,i.e your compressor isn't mounted in an incandescent gas flow. And"inaudible" except for a gentle whine under hard acceleration? I should think you'd hear a very loud whine from the usual wrinkly Micra passenger if you gave it the berries!

stavers 10 August 2010

Re: Nissan Micra 1.2 Supercharged

I can't believe that they're making the supercharger not kick in until 2000rpm. The whole point of a supercharger is the quicker response than a turbo due to it being running at all times when the engine is - why get rid of this feature?!

Autocar wrote:
initial impressions are positive. While the engine still has an unmistakable three-cylinder thrum, the supercharger is all but inaudible.

Where are your petrol heads? The sound of a supercharger is there to be enjoyed, not masked!!

moe360 9 August 2010

Re: Nissan Micra 1.2 Supercharged

Would it not make more sense to turbo charge the 1.2 ? like VAG did ?.

I would have thought a turbo would be better for a small engine like this ?