In March of 2012, Nissan announced the return of its historic Datsun brand. Datsun used to represent the Nissan brand in a number of markets, but its badge hasn't been worn on a new model since 1981. In 2013, though, it has been relaunched as the Japanese manufacturer's budget offering in the emerging markets of India and Russia.

The model that will lead that charge, at least in India, is the Go, a car that pays tribute to the very first Datsun, the DAT-GO.

The operative term with the Datsun brand is: "budget offering." Don't step inside the Go and expect beautiful hides or brushed metals (it's being sold in India, after all). The instrument cluster features a simple speedometer, while the five-speed manual and the center stack above it are rather barren. It's not without luxuries, though, as iPod-style connectivity is available through a Mobile Docking Station.

The five-seat, five-door Go is powered by a 1.2-liter engine, although we can't for certain say how many cylinders or how much power is on offer. What we do know is that the console mounted five-speed manual is the only transmission choice, so far. It's positioning is said to maximize space for the two front-row occupants. Certainly, it looks rather roomy based on the images.

The Datsun Go will arrive in Indian dealers early in 2014, and will start at 400,000 rupees ($6,665 at today's exchange rates). Scroll down to see a video on the relaunched Datsun brand along with the Go's press release.
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Datsun is Back

July 15 – Gurgoan, India – The Datsun story began a new chapter Monday with the world premiere of the returning brand and its first model, the GO.

CEO Carlos Ghosn unveiled the attractive hatchback at a showcase event in India, with Datsun joining Nissan and Infiniti as Nissan Motor Company's third marque.

"We're bringing it back and giving it a modern shape, with modern technology that is particularly aimed at the high-growth market, addressing the segments where Nissan has no offer," said Ghosn.

The new model's name was inspired by the first Datsun, the DAT-GO, launched almost a century ago in Japan.

The all-new GO, on sale in India from early 2014, promises to combine space for five with impressive fuel-efficiency and acceleration at a price well below 400,000 rupees ($6,700).

More new Datsun vehicles and markets are planned, with the brand debuting in Indonesia, Russia and South Africa by the end of next year.

The world premiere of the GO at Delhi's Kingdom of Dreams had a touch of Bollywood, a debut in the nation where Datsun is seen contributing half of Nissan's group-wide sales by 2016.