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Mike Stevens | Jun 19, 2009

NISSAN AUSTRALIA has confirmed that it will bring the front-wheel-drive version of its compact Dualis softroader to Australia, to sit alongside the current all-wheel-drive model and offer young buyers a more affordable option.

The FWD version of the Dualis, sold internationally as the Qashqai, has been a hit with buyers, accounting for more than 70 percent of Nissan's sales in Europe.

When the Dualis was launched in 2008, Nissan was expecting around 350 sales per month. With the actual numbers hovering around 150 per month, Nissan is hoping the front-wheel-drive model will double Dualis sales.

However, Nissan Australia's Corporate Communications Manager Jeff Fisher is remaining tight-lipped on the topic of pricing.

"Our marketing department is reviewing pricing options for the front-drive Dualis, and we'll reveal more when the car launches around August," Fisher told TMR.

"Obviously it will come in lower than the current all-wheel-drive model [which starts at $28,990], but how much lower is what we're looking at."

2009_nissan-dualis_02

The front-wheel-drive Dualis will be aimed at the small hatch market - with the car essentially being a small 2.0 litre hatch, it can be positioned differently to the current all-wheel-drive model.

Fuel efficiency should see an improvement with the FWD model as well, achieving 7.9 l/100km in Europe, while the regular AWD model achieves 8.3 l/100km.

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