Mike Stevens | Nov 8, 2012

Nissan is reportedly planning a new small hatch that will take on Ford's Focus and the upcoming new Volkswagen Golf.

But wait, doesn't Nissan already have a small hatch in the new Pulsar?

Revealed in Shanghai last year, Nissan's latest hatch will represent the brand in Australia's small car market, alongside a sedan variant, from early 2013.

But, according to the UK's Car magazine, Nissan is developing a separate model with higher levels of refinement and technology, aimed right at the top-selling Focus and Golf models.

The magazine reports that the new model will draw its styling inspiration from February's Invitation concept, which has since debuted as the Japanese-market Note hatch.

The hugely popular Juke crossover is also expected to lend a few of its unique design traits to the new model.

nissan invitation concept 07

Like Honda's Europe-engineered and built Civic Hatch, Nissan's new model will reportedly be developed and produced by the company's UK operations.

Engine options will come from across the Nissan and Renault alliance, and a more intense focus on handling is also expected.

The report adds that the new model's feature list will include advanced satellite navigation and infotainment, self-parking systems and a full-length panoramic roof.

It is too soon to guess at this model's potential for Australia, but if the European economy worsens, Nissan could look to global markets to shore up sales of the new car.

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