Nissan has unveiled a new generation of its top-selling Note – but, despite big interest in E-Power tech, the local arm has no plans to bring it here.
The all-new 2021 Nissan Note has been officially unveiled, ahead of a Japanese sales launch on 23 December 2020.
Measuring in at 4045mm long, 1695mm wide and 1505mm tall, and riding on a 2580mm wheelbase, the new model is shorter in both overall length and wheelbase than its predecessor, by 55mm and 20mm respectively.
The 15- and 16-inch wheels fill the Nissan’s arches, enabling a 9.8-metre turning circle, down 0.6m over both the outgoing Note. For comparison, Australian-delivered Honda Jazz models offer a 10.4-metre turning circle, while the new Toyota Yaris claims 9.6m.
The new-generation Note takes significant inspiration in the styling department from the much-larger, all-electric Ariya SUV.
Up front, there’s a largely-closed-off ‘V-Motion’ grille flanked by slim, adaptive LED headlights, while down the side Ariya-like, smooth-surfaced doors and a high shoulder line leads into tail-lights connected by black trim featuring large ‘NISSAN’ badging.
There are 13 exterior colours are available, two of which (including the Vivid Blue pictured) offer the choice of a contrasting black roof.
Inside, the Ariya similarities continue, with the Note’s dashboard dominated by a large black panel housing a 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with satellite navigation, and a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster.
Available interior features include wireless smartphone charging, dual-zone climate control, an electric parking brake and USB-C ports, while Nissan’s ‘Zero Gravity’ comfort front seats – trimmed in either cloth or leather – and reclining rear seats are standard-fit.
Powering the new Note as standard is Nissan’s second-generation E-Power hybrid system, using a 60kW/103Nm 1.2-litre naturally-aspirated three-cylinder petrol engine as a generator to power a small, front-mounted electric motor and a compact lithium-ion battery.
Japanese media report total outputs for the system of 85kW of power and 280Nm of torque, up 5kW/26Nm over the outgoing Note.
Combined fuel economy on Japan’s ultra-lenient WLTC test cycle is rated at 3.4 litres per 100km, with ratings in the city (low-speed), suburbs (mid-speed) and on the freeway (high-speed) at 3.3L/100km, 3.1L/100km and 3.6L/100km respectively.
Nissan claims the second-generation hybrid system’s tuning helps the new Note “achieve smoother acceleration and significantly improve cabin quietness”, while lower engine revs deliver “quietness that’s a class above typical compact cars”.
In what the Japanese brand claims is a ‘world first’, the E-Power system uses sensors to detect when road noise increases “due to surface conditions and vehicle speed”, and switches on the engine to charge the small lithium-ion battery, in turn preventing “the need for the engine to operate under otherwise quieter conditions” and reducing noise.
An all-wheel-drive E-Power model will go on sale in Japan alongside front-drive variants, adding a low-power rear electric motor for greater traction on snowy Japanese roads.
Normal, Eco and Sport modes are on offer, the latter pair increasing the intensity of the car’s regenerative braking system.
The new Note is available with Nissan’s full ‘ProPilot’ Level 2 driver assistance suite, including adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go) and lane-keep assist, which use navigation data to adjust the car’s speed based on upcoming corners, traffic jams and speed limits.
Available safety technologies also include autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring (which can both detect and brake for obstacles), auto high-beam, a 360-degree camera and rear-cross traffic alert.
The 2021 Nissan Note E-Power will go on sale in Japan on December 23.
Will the 2021 Nissan Note E-Power come to Australia?
Speaking with CarAdvice today, a Nissan Australia spokesperson confirmed the Note E-Power is not in the company’s current plans – although it has not been entirely ruled out.
The new Note E-Power is expected to built not only in Japan but also in Thailand, which would improve its case for an Australia debut, but the brand has yet to show any real plans to return to the passenger car market – aside from the relatively niche Leaf electric hatch.
2021 Nissan Note E-Power revealed, no plans for Australia