Unlike the U.S., Canada has a strong affinity for small cars, leading many automakers to offer some of their diminutive wares exclusively in the region. Vehicles sold in the Great White North but not in the States include the Chevrolet Trax and Mercedes-Benz B-Class. The Nissan Micra may soon join that collection.
According to , Nissan solicited its Canadian dealers as to whether there was enough demand to justify offering the Micra in the region. If offered, the tiny Japanese hatchback, which is smaller than the Nissan Versa sedan, will compete against the likes of the Chevrolet Spark and the upcoming Mitsubishi Mirage.
In Europe, the car comes standard with a 1.2-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 80 horsepower. A supercharged, direct-injected unit making 98-horsepower is optional.
For some perspective on how affordable the Micra will likely be, consider that the larger Versa has a starting price of $11,898 in Canada. The small hatchback will be priced lower than that.
Fiat Working on New City Car Smaller Than 500 Hatch?
As if the diminutive Fiat 500 wasn’t small enough, Italian automaker Fiat is reportedly testing a brand new city car that’s even smaller and more affordable.
The new model is supposedly called Topolino (translates to “small mouse” in Italian) and is roughly five inches shorter than the 500. It will be offered with both two- and four-door body styles but possibly only one engine — a variation of the two-cylinder TwinAir unit that powers many of Fiat and Alfa Romeo models in Europe.
Considering how tiny the 500 is, we’re are a bit skeptical about the . If it turns out to be true, expect the Fiat Topolino to debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show or 2017 Geneva Motor Show. It will compete with the likes of the Volkswagen up!, Opel/Vauxhall Adam, Toyota Aygo, Citroën C1 and Peugeot 108.
Trivia: Topolino was actually the nickname of the first-generation Fiat 500, which was built from 1936 to 1955. Despite being the first, the model was actually bigger than its immediate successor. So much for “small mouse”…
New, 2017 Smart Fortwo Cabrio – a Cute Convertible for the World
The all-new, 2016 Smart Fortwo Cabrio has been revealed and — as a convertible — can open and close its top at the push of button.
The Fortwo Cabrio looks nearly identical to the Fortwo Coupe on which it is based but is distinguished by a smaller B-pillar and a “more progressive” tridion safety cell as a result of its topless composition. Available in three different colors (black, blue denim and red) and featuring a glass rear windscreen, its power retractable canvas roof can open in just 12 seconds, even when driving at freeway speeds.
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The cute convertible comes standard with LED daytime running lamps, Bluetooth connectivity, power steering, power windows, automatic A/C, cruise control, an alarm, a multi-function steering wheel, and more.
European models are offered with two three-cylinder engines at launch, one producing 71 PS and 67 lb-ft. (91 Nm) of torque and the other making 90 PS and 99 lb-ft. (135 Nm). They can be paired with either a five-speed manual or an automatic twinamic dual clutch transmission.
In an effort to achieve the same level of safety as the coupe, Smart’s engineers increased the Fortwo Cabrio’s torsional strength by approximately 15 percent, applying chassis reinforcements that include a crossover bar, two torsional bulkheads and high-strength steel tubes in the A-pillars.
The new, 2017 Smart Fortwo Cabrio debuts at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show before going on sale in February 2016.
Yamaha Will Make Cars
Yamaha is looking to make cars… That’s right, the Japanese multinational corporation best known for its musical instruments, electronics, motorcycles and power sports equipment will enter the car business.
Speaking to the , Yamaha CEO Hiroyuki Yanagi expressed potential plans to build small cars for sale in Europe by 2019. The city cars might look similar to the Yamaha Motiv Concept (pictured above) that was show at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show and will likely be offered with a petrol or electric motor.
Yanagi didn’t reveal specifics but expects power to be provided by a 1.0L petrol engine developed in-house. Europe was apparently chosen as a starting point because its cities offer the best layout and infrastructure for such a vehicle.
The idea of Yamaha making cars may sound strange, but the Japanese company has actually been in the car business for decades, having produced and sold engines to many of the world’s top automakers since 1955. It was even a coachbuilder for the first Nissan Silvia and Toyota 2000GT supercar.
While Yamaha clearly has the knowhow to make a car, especially one as unsophisticated as a small city car, the automotive industry is so crowded and competitive that it will be difficult to find a footing. Not only will they compete against established automakers like Toyota and BMW, but they will also have to contend with the likes of Apple and Google, who all want a piece of the urban transportation space.
Additionally, making cars on is very expensive, meaning the company will need a partner to have any chance of succeeding. It needs to tread lightly…