Continuing its slew of new car launches around the world, Nissan is revealing the facelifted Kicks and Armada for the United States at midnight on December 9. As is the case currently, the two SUVs will bookend the brand’s American lineup of off-roaders and crossovers.
While the shadowy teaser image of both cars (there’s also a brief video for the Kicks) give very little away, we pretty much know exactly what they will look like. That’s because they’ve already made their debuts in other countries – the facelifted Kicks has gone on sale in Thailand, Japan and Indonesia, while the facelifted Armada is being offered in the Middle East as the Patrol.
Revealed to the world in May, the revised Kicks gets a new front fascia that incorporates a gigantic V-motion grille, slim LED headlights and vertical fog light housings. At the back, there are boomerang-shaped taillight graphics and a redesigned rear bumper with greater use of body colour. Inside, you’ll find a new flat-bottomed steering wheel from the latest Leaf.
Thai, Japanese and Indonesian models are powered by the new e-Power range-extended electric powertrain, using a motor that develops 95 kW (125 PS) and 260 Nm of torque. It gets its energy solely from a 79 PS/103 Nm HR12DE 1.2 litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which acts as a generator to charge a 1.57 kWh battery. Combined fuel consumption is rated at 21.6 km per litre on the WLTP cycle.
It’s unclear if the US will receive this powertrain. Nissan tends to be conservative in that region, with the Versa (Almera to you and me) soldiering on with the same 122 PS/155 Nm 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine instead of our torquier 1.0 litre turbo three-pot. The four-pot is the same mill you’ll find in the Kicks in the US, so expect it to be carried over for the facelift, paired as always to a CVT.
The Armada will almost certainly take after the facelifted Patrol, incorporating that car’s larger V-motion grille, dramatic C-shaped LED headlights, bigger air intakes and redesigned taillight graphics. The interior should also get the twin central touchscreens from the Patrol – one for infotainment (complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity), the other for the climate control.
Quilted leather upholstery, increased noise insulation and improved cooling and airflow distribution systems are also expected, the latter providing quicker cabin temperature reduction in warmer climes. The 400 PS/560 Nm VK56VD 5.6 litre naturally-aspirated V8 will likely be retained, mated to the Navara‘s seven-speed automatic gearbox. A Hydraulic Body Motion Control system should also help deliver a flatter and smoother ride.
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