Nissan Canada has promised to introduce five new models in 15 months, one of which will be the next-generation Versa hatchback.
A new Versa sedan was introduced as a 2012 model.
The new Versa hatch will be based on the redesigned Nissan Note, sold in Japan and other overseas markets, which was unveiled in Japan this week.
Nissan says both are constructed on the company’s global V-platform, but the Versa will embrace features tailored to its American markets, which include Canada, U.S., Mexico and Brazil.
That said, expect the new Versa Hatchback to look very much like the Note.
The sub-compact Versa line is the best-selling Japanese brand in the segment, in Canada, outselling the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Mazda 2 and claiming a 12% share of the segment. The Hyundai Accent is the best-selling car in the class.
Both the Versa sedan and the current hatchback are noteworthy for their interior space, relative to their exterior size, and the new Note is said to continue that attribute with "a spacious interior that is beyond expectations for a car in this class."
The Note is powered by 1.2-litre three-cylinder engines in Japan but expect the new Versa Hatchback to use the same second-generation, 1.6-litre HR16DE four-cylinder as the sedan, mated to either a five-speed manual or Xtronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission).
The Japanese model also offers an Idling Stop System but no word yet as to whether it will be available here.
More details about the future Versa hatchback, as well as pricing, will be available closer to its launch date in 2013.