Few small cars outside of the prestige market are a match for the refinement and technology of Volkswagen's Golf, but Nissan appears ready to accept the challenge.
The Japanese carmaker is understood to be preparing a new small hatch that will enter above the new Pulsar, introducing higher quality materials and more advanced technologies.
Speaking with Britain's Auto Express this week, Nissan's product planning boss Andy Palmer described the brand's goals with the new model, singling out the Golf and focusing on customers "bored with the Mk 7".
"Where we can be different is that it won’t look like the Golf. We can be more provocative - that’s the advantage of the guys that come afterwards," he said.
Palmer hinted that the face of the new model will be "a little bit left-field, a little bit edgy". And as for a name, buyers can expect a moniker that will be new, while evoking "something from the past".
He added that the 'V-grille' design of Nissan's recent models and concepts will feature on the new model, pointing to the style as a hint of the car's handling and dynamics.
Palmer said there will be no excuses with the new model, that in terms of dynamics and quality, "it has to match [the Golf]".
The new model will be built in Spain, and a production debut is expected to occur sometime in 2014. Expect Nissan to target not only the Golf, but also Ford's popular Focus small car.
Pictured top: Friend-Me concept, pictured below: Invitation concept.