Nissan has gotten a lot of press for having the cheapest car in America—2009 Nissan Versa. There is no doubt at a MSRP of $10,620 the Versa 1.6 is good value for something that is brand new; whether Nissan actually sells many at this price in the States is another matter entirely. That said, Nissan is taking the next step and going after a market that is only bound to get bigger—small and affordable cars.

There isn’t a lot of information out there on the next generation microcar, but Automotive News has reported that it will be based on the V platform to make it a global model. They also disclose that the next generation model will have 50% more fuel economy over the current Micra offering overseas. Details on the actual arrival date and other important things like, oh say, the name have yet to be released.

Until then we are left to ponder and pontificate on how this new model will change the American line-up. If Nissan is truly going for a car that will be cheaper than the current Versa 1.6 then my guess is performance will be more similar to the smart and less of a competitor to the MINI Cooper. Than being said the performance of the MINI Cooper (not the Cooper S) isn’t really anything to write home about, so it is possible with new engine technology to make a comparable car with out the BMW pricing influence.