Nissan is planning a new mainstream C-segment hatchback that will take on the entire range of  Volkswagen Golf models, from Bluemotion to GTI, and will be priced accordingly.

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That’s according to Nissan’s new vice president of sales and marketing, Guillaume Cartier. He confirmed that the C-segment model would target the established mainstream when it arrives next year.

He told us “when we went out and did our research we found that there were lots of customers who would never buy a crossover. So we knew that while we had the Juke and the Qashqai, we also needed a traditional B-segment model (the Nissan Note) and a C-segment hatchback.”

Key to this decision is buyers who are downsizing from larger models, particularly fleet customers.

“Fleet buyers make up such a significant percentage of the C-segment market in Europe.” To capture a slice of that market, Nissan’s VW Golf rival will include a Bluemotion-rivalling diesel, so expect claimed fuel economy and CO2 emissions to match the Golf’s 88.3mpg and 85g/km figures.

However, Nissan hasn’t forgotten enthusiasts either, and promises a Nismo performance version of its new car, too. It will become the first properly mainstream Nismo model to be sold in the UK, following the GT-R and the Juke, which are more niche offerings.

The C-segment model is one of four new models that Nissan will launch in the next 12 months. The Nissan GT-R Nismo arrives at the Tokyo Motor Show in late November. Cartier adds that this car will cost a fair bit more than the standard car, but will beat that model’s 7 minute 26 second lap of the Nurburgring, thanks in part to aerodynamics co-developed by the Williams Formula 1 team.

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The GT-R will be joined at Tokyo by a pair of Nismo concepts - one reportedly radical, and one retro, with the latter most likely to be built.

The all-new Qashqai will arrive early next year, followed by the new seven-seat X-Trail, which effectively replaces both the old, rather utilitarian X-Trail and the Qashqai+2.

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