• NISSAN has launched a new special version of the New Micra — called the Limited Edition. Based on the mid-range Acenta model, the Limited Edition New Micra features a host of visual changes that add an extra layer of style to the recently revised and updated compact model. On the outside, the most obvious change is the contrasting roof. Matched to the door mirror caps, this is available in three color combinations: Pacific Blue with a White roof/mirror caps, Shiraz Red with a Black roof/mirror caps and Alabaster White with a Red roof/mirror caps. In addition, the Limited Edition New Micra has contrasting side sills and center caps, a ‘Limited Edition’ badge and a chrome exhaust finisher. On the inside, there’s plenty more detailing to catch the eye; the roof color is echoed on the air vents and lower part of the gearshift column together with colored mats. Based on the Acenta trim, the Limited Edition New Micra comes with 15-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, roof spoiler and many more features.
• ALFA ROMEO had a good start to 2014: The Alfa Romeo 4C has claimed the “Most Beautiful Car of the Year 2013” title at the 29th International Automobile Festival in France and has also scooped the top award in the “Importers” sports car category in the Auto Motor and Sport “Best Cars 2014” awards. In both cases, the awards were decided by a public vote. In the process of claiming the ‘Most Beautiful Car of the Year 2013” title, the Alfa Romeo 4C claimed an astonishing 40.70 percent of the votes in a worldwide survey, significantly more than the BMW 4-Series, (25.55 percent), Mercedes CLA (22.15 percent) and Mazda 3 (11.60 percent). Created in 1986 in Chamonix and presided over by Remi Depoix, the International Automobile Festival recognizes creativity in automotive design and is now a key event on the world automotive calendar. The Most Beautiful Car of the Year title was first awarded in 1988, with the Alfa 164 winning the inaugural award. Alfa Romeo has also won in 2005 with the Alfa Brera and again in 2008 with the Alfa MiTo.
• HONDA’s profits in the last quarter of 2013 more than doubled to 160.7 billion yen ($1.56 billion) back to pre-2008 levels, helped by strong sales of the redesigned Honda Fit subcompact model in Japan. CEO Takanobu Ito has set an aggressive goal of selling six million vehicles a year by end-March 2017, compared with a record 4.01 million in the year ended March 2013.
• NISSAN is mulling a coupe-styled version of the Qashqai to compete in the segment started by the Range Rover Evoque crossover. Nissan started sales of its second-generation Qashqai last month and said that a Nismo high performance variant is being developed. The Evoque success in attracting buyers has inspired many rivals to offer their own versions.