The 2018 Nissan Micra is a surprisingly energetic and agile little car to drive on the road. The Nissan Micra also makes a good little race car on the track. Nissan is in a unique position within the Canadian marketplace in that they offer the least expensive new car in Canada with the base Micra MSRP coming in at just $9,988 plus tax, and Nissan offers the least expensive race car in Canada at $23,400, plus tax, for a Micra Cup car. We checked out both at a race weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, about an hour northeast of Toronto.
Peter is a car enthusiast who participated in track days and then decided to make the jump into racing.
“It is so competitive, you really have to pay attention to every little bit to keep up with the guys. Everybody is really pushing hard. It’s tough.” said Dyck. “I have made improvements every year. I do feel more comfortable and I’ve gotten better overall finishes. I’m constantly improving so I’m happy with that. In 2017 they introduced the Masters Class for drivers 40 and older, so I was able to get a couple of podiums in the Masters Class which was a lot of fun.”
When asked for his overall impression of the Nissan Micra Cup series, Dyck said “I think it’s great. If someone wants to go racing this is a great entry level and it’s great to learn the car handling and because it’s so competitive your driver ability is really important and stands out.”
The energetic 1.6-litre DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine generates its 109 HP at 6,000 rpm with maximum torque of 107 lb-ft generated at 4,400 rpm. The road going Micra is equipped with vented front disc brakes up front and drum brakes. In the rear. As Nissan was developing the race car they experimented with disc brakes on the rear too but found that the race car handled best when equipped with rear brake drums. The Micra is equipped with 4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (ABS).
Our Micra SR is the top of the line model and has a base price of $17,388 plus $1,600 which brought our as tested price to $18,988 plus license, fees and taxes. The SR is the only model that is not available with a 5-speed manual transmission, the S and SV models are available with both transmissions.
The SR is fully loaded with features including upgraded 16” alloy wheels up from the S models 15” steel wheels, leather wrapped steering wheel, body colour rear spoiler with LED centre high-mounted brake light, side sill spoilers, rear view camera and cloth sport seats with contrast stitching.
It is interesting to note that the Micra is sold in Canada and numerous countries around the world, but it is not sold in the United States.
We are always happy to see car companies supporting the Race on Sunday (or Win on Sunday), Sell on Monday adage. Nissan Canada is having so much success with the Nissan Micra Cup that it has extended from a three-year commitment to a six-year commitment in the spec race series. The 2018 Nissan Micra is fun (and affordable) to drive on the road and, judging by reactions from the drivers who race them on the track, the Micra has been transformed into a fun (and affordable) race car too.
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