Nissan recently announced that the Kicks concept would indeed spawn a small production crossover. What Nissan failed to confirm is whether this tiny people hauler would be available in the U.S. According to a report from Wards Auto, who spoke with Nissan North America’s VP of product planning, Michael Bunce, the Kicks is under consideration for release in the U.S.
Where the model would slot in the U.S. lineup remains a bit of a mystery. Nissan already has a tiny crossover in the Juke, so logic would say that the Kicks would either replace or complement the Juke.
One thought is that the Kicks could be a sort of extended-wheelbase version of the Juke, and that the latter would take on the design language of the Kicks while retaining its coupe-like look. This would give buyers who want a small Nissan crossover a pair of options to choose from: a sleek coupe with limited rear-seat room or a more traditional four-door with additional room for the kiddos.
Another thought is that the Juke will go away altogether, leaving the Kicks as a replacement for the not-so-hot-selling Juke. This would give Nissan a true competitor to the likes of the HR-V and other subcompact crossovers. With the Juke out of the picture, Nissan could then slide a production version of the Gripz concept into the performance crossover slot that the Juke Nismo arguably fills. This would also play right into rumors that the Z may become a sub-brand of its own that includes a peppy crossover.
Despite all of this speculation, there is still the possibility that Nissan will leave the Kicks off its U.S. lineup altogether. I highly doubt that will happen, though, as the automaker has already filed a trademark for the Kicks name in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The Kicks starts production in Brazil starting in March 2016, so we should start getting more clarity on this issue soon. Stay tuned for updates.