2022 Nissan Note Aura Nismo launched in Japan – styling and handling upgrades; priced at 2,869,900 yen

First, there was the third-generation Nissan Note, which made its debut last November. This was then followed by the Note Aura in June this year that provided customers with a more stylish and upmarket option. Today, the Japanese automaker is introducing the new Note Aura Nismo to cater to those who want some sportiness injected into the hatchback model.

Set to go on sale in Japan this autumn and priced at 2,869,900 yen (RM111,257), the Note Aura Nismo (we’re calling it NAN for short) is inspired by the company’s Formula E racer and was designed following the theme of “swift electrified city racer.”

As its name suggests, the model is based on the existing Note Aura but with plenty of Nismo touches to make it visually aggressive. For starters, there’s a new front bumper that features vertical side “blades” and a red-highlighted lip spoiler. The lower apron also gets horizontal slats that incorporate LED fog lamp strips on either side.

The new body kit also includes prominent side skirts and a new rear bumper, the latter styled to mimic what’s going on the front. It too gets the side “blades” and a red accent line, but with the addition of a race car-like brake light in the centre. According to Nissan, the add-ons provide optimised aerodynamic downforce for better stability at high speeds.

Other model-specific elements are the Nismo badges on the bumpers, wider 17-inch aluminium wheels, a bonnet decal and red-painted side mirror caps. Nissan is offering the NAN in five body colour variations, which include four two-tone combinations.

Moving inside, you’ll find a cabin that sports red accents to contrast the primarily dark toned colour, along with more Nismo badging and what appears to be carbon-fibre-like trim. As standard, the NAN comes with Nismo-branded seats trimmed in a combination of fabric and synthetic leather, but customers can swap out the front pair for Recaro units as a cost option.

Mechanically, the NAN is powered by the same e-Power setup used in the Note Aura, with an EM47 electric motor driving the front wheels, rated at 136 PS (134 hp or 100 kW) and 300 Nm of torque. Unlike the Note Aura, there’s no all-wheel drive option, so it’s just front-wheel drive here.

In Nissan’s e-Power system, the e-motor does all the work to get the car moving, although there is still an internal combustion engine to charge the lithium-ion battery that powers the electric motor. Said engine is a HR12DE 1.2 litre three-cylinder petrol engine that makes 82 PS (80 hp) and 103 Nm.

Specific to the new model is a Nismo drive mode, which is said to provide a more powerful response and increased acceleration from the powertrain. The company adds that the regular Normal and Eco modes have also been recalibrated for the Nismo model to provide more comfortable driving.

Other driving-related changes include fitting Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres (205/50 profile) to the 7J-wide wheels, while the rear uses monotube shock absorbers to improve responsiveness, with the entire suspension setup retuned to provide better steering stability and ride quality. The vehicle also gets stiffening in certain areas to improve body rigidity that works with the other chassis improvements like steering and Vehicle Dynamic Control optimisations.

The NAN’s list of standard equipment includes a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system, the latter with support for NissanConnect telematics, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There’s also the ProPILOT suite of safety and driver assistance system present, with features such as blind spot monitoring, active cruise control and AEB.

Customers will also be able to order additional Nismo accessories should they want to dress up their purchase further. The catalogue consists of various exterior garnishes, door handle protectors, floor mats, a luggage mat, sunshades, licence plate frame, licence plate lock bolts, window visors and security wheel lock nuts, all with Nismo branding.

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