2013 Nissan Note - front three-quarter view in orange/copper hue

The second-generation Nissan Note mini MPV debuted in Japan today, featuring a more dramatic design. Nissan is calling the car's deep character line a "Squash Line," perhaps because it looks like someone squashed the side of the car with the prow of a kayak.

We're more excited about other aspects of the Note than its design, the first being that Nissan will be fitting the car with its Around View Monitor system. Once the province of high-spec Infiniti models, that this camera system has now found its way into the subcompact segment can only point to the technology's proliferation throughout Nissan's product line. While we are big fans of Around View Monitor, we do wonder, however, whether it's really necessary in cars this small?

Our second area of interest lies under the hood, where Nissan is fitting a three-cylinder engine. Don't scoff, as we're willing to bet that just as four is the new six today, three will be tomorrow's new four. This one comes in a neat variant, supercharged and direct injected with a compression ratio of 13:1. Nissan claims the Note will be able to hit "class leading economy of 25.2 km/L" which converts to 59 mpg. The same engine fitted in the new Nissan March makes 92 horsepower and 105 lb-ft of torque, which could be enough power to give this engine a potential future in the North American market.

For now though, the Japanese Note is slated to launch in September, with the European version bowing sometime next year.

Check out all the images of the new Note in our gallery and scroll down to read the presser and watch videos from its debut.
Related Gallery2013 Nissan Note





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Nissan NOTE Launched, a New Global Hatchback
-Sales Set to Begin in Japan in Early September–
  • Dynamic new hatchback heralds Nissan's commitment to the mainstream B-segment
  • Energetic exterior design resonates with the modern and spacious interior in a compact package
  • Packed with technological innovations, including Around View Monitor (AVM)
  • Provides spirited dynamic performance, strong fuel economy and low emissions

YOKOHAMA (July 16, 2012) - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., today unveiled the Nissan Note, a new global compact car at a world premiere held at the Osanbashi venue in Yokohama.

With a goal of becoming the most user-friendly car in its segment, the new Note will explore the full potential of compact cars when it goes on sale in Japan this fall.

The Note achieves class-leading fuel efficiency and emission levels, combining advanced engine technology, a lightweight platform and improved aerodynamics.

The new hatchback includes Nissan's advanced Around View Monitor (AVM) which is included for the first time in a compact car, helping to take the stress out of reversing and parallel parking in tight spaces.

The Note's eye-catching exterior features a striking character line, known as the 'Squash Line', and an aerodynamic body shape while its distinctive front grille, headlamps and rear combination lamps combine to create a sense of dynamism and sophistication.

The revamped body structure enabled the Note's designers to deliver a spacious interior that is beyond expectations for a car in this class. An expansive and inviting cabin includes a flowing line above the instrument panel, which inspired by ripples in sand, helps express the Note's practicality and modernity as well as contributing to its high-quality interior.

Two new engines will be available to customers in Japan, including the new supercharged HR12DDR (DIG-S) and the HR12DE, which has received acclaim in the Nissan March.

Combining the compact, lightweight next-generation XTRONIC CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) for all grades with an Idling Stop System for 2WD, the newly-developed three-cylinder supercharged, direct injection DIG-S engine provides an enjoyable driving experience and excellent fuel efficiency, achieving class-leading*1 economy of 25.2 km/L (on JC08 mode)*2.

A global success since its launch in 2005, Nissan has sold 940,000 units of the current Note.

The new Japanese-market Note will be manufactured at Nissan Motor Kyushu. Nissan's Sunderland plant in the U.K. will produce models for Europe, which are planned for release in 2013.

*1: Car of over 1000cc engine displacement and excludes Hybrid model.
*2: Fuel economy varies by grade.