Nissan's Nismo performance division has been getting more chances to shine recently with tuned models like the Juke Nismo RS and GT-R Nismo. But its latest creation moves closer to the bottom of the Japanese brand's lineup to make a hot hatch out of the (Versa) Note.

At least in Japan, the new model is due this fall, and Nismo is keeping a lot of the details about its latest creation a secret for now. What we do know is that it'll be available in two trims – the Note Nismo and the sportier Nismo S. "The development concept of this model was to build a car that makes you want to keep driving, no matter where your destination may be," said the division's chief product specialist, Hiroshi Tamura, in the company's announcement.

Aesthetically, the Note Nismo looks the way a tuned Nissan should, with the division's signature red trim outlining the car. It also wears a new, mesh grille, lower air dam, red side sills and rear spoiler. Inside, the S gets standard sport seats with full Recaro buckets as an option. Nissan didn't release technical specs for either version, but it promises that the S also gets a tuned engine with a five-speed manual.

But now, allow us to burst your bubble. Autoblog spoke to Nissan North America Product Communications Director Dan Bedore about the hot Note, and he told us, "There are no plans currently for a Nismo Versa Note in the US." That's too bad; if the specs turn out to be competitive, it could be an interesting rival for the Ford Fiesta ST. Scroll down to read the official announcement.
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NISSAN UNVEILS THE NOTE NISMO, SCHEDULED TO GO ON SALE IN FALL 2014

YOKOHAMA, Japan (July 23, 2014) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has taken the veils off the latest and sportiest iteration of the popular Note, called Note Nismo, which will reach dealer showrooms in the fall of 2014. Nissan also announced that the Fairlady Nismo will receive a minor model change, while a new Nismo RS grade will be added to the Juke Nismo in the fall of 2014.

Ever since the release of the Juke Nismo in February 2013, the lineup of Nissan's specialty division, Nismo, has steadily grown. Soon after the launch of the Juke Nismo, the March Nismo, Fairlady Nismo and Nissan GT-R Nismo were added to the stable; thus allowing Nismo to offer a broad range of road-going cars to the public-from compacts to SUVs to sports cars-all armed with the sporty DNA derived from Nismo's motorsports activities.

And now you can add one more to the list, the Note Nismo.

The Note Nismo represents the sportiest iteration in the Note lineup and the fifth vehicle to be marketed under the revitalized Nismo production-car banner. In order to satisfy the needs of both the hardcore motorsports fan as well as the causal sports driving enthusiast, Nissan will offer two grades for the Note Nismo, the standard model and the Note Nismo S.

The standard Note Nismo caters to customers who enjoy spirited driving, but who also regards fuel efficiency as an important motoring factor, while the main purpose of the Nismo S-a fuel efficient car in its own right-is to appease the pure high-performance needs of the sports driver, the person who wants to experience the fruits of Nismo's motorsports heritage.

"Celebrating Nismo's 30th anniversary, we are planning to expand the number of models available in our road-car lineup. The Note Nismo we introduced today is truly symbolic to the Nismo brand in that it represents the fusion between motorsports that's embedded in Nismo's DNA and the success of the Note as a mass production vehicle. Nismo strives to offer a whole new experience of excitement. We are hoping that the Note Nismo will enable us to spread the spirit of Nismo to new consumers and adds to our existing customer base,"Nissan Motorsports International (NISMO) President and CEO Shoichi Miyatani said.

Nismo's Chief Product Specialist, Hiroshi Tamura added: "The development concept of this model was to build a car that makes you want to keep driving, no matter where your destination may be. Nismo is confident that the Note Nismo will enhance your driving experience; it offers top level performance in a compact package."

Highlights of the Note Nismo include:
○ High level performance with total balance
Powertrain, chassis, tire, suspension and aerodynamic technologies all accumulated from Nismo's experience in motorsports that offers high performance with flawless balance.

The Nismo S is equipped with a specially-tuned engine mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, a combination that allows the driver to tap into the powerplant's fruitful supply of low-end torque, resulting in a thoroughly pleasurable driving experience.

○ Head-turning Nismo styling accentuated with Nismo Red
Custom front grille, front and rear bumpers, side sill protectors, roof spoiler and the Nismo Red electronic folding side mirrors highlights the exterior along with the custom Nismo badge.

○ Enforced body rigidity maximizes the performance potential of each part
Enforced body rigidity and the smooth engine performance make the driver want to continue driving endlessly. It offers performance and quality that can only come from a factory-tuned vehicle.

○ Multiple seat variations
Custom sports seats are standard on the Note Nismo S and offered as a factory option on the standard Note Nismo. Additionally, special Nismo Recaro sports bucket seats are offered as a factory option on the Note Nismo S.

About Nismo

Nismo is the performance brand for Nissan, and is one of the company's purveyors of innovation and excitement.
Nismo offers products featuring innovative technology and high performance to a wide range of customers for street use. Nismo cars provide exciting driving experiences with
motorsports-inspired aerodynamics and styling, enhanced handling characteristics and unmatched agility.
In the motorsports world, Nismo competes in the highest forms of GT and sports-car racing, such as Japan's Super GT Series and the World Endurance Championships (WEC), as well as providing engines to teams that compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the European Le Mans Series (ELMS).

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  • 20 Comments
      Indubitably
      • 4 Months Ago
      Everyone is beating honda at their own game. Honda could have easily made a Fit si. Instead, Ford has the Fiesta St, and now Nissan is joining in.
      domingorobusto
      • 4 Months Ago
      That's actually quite nice looking. Throw the Juke's 1.6 turbo engine in there and they'd have a legitimate competitor to the Fiesta ST. Shame Nissan continues their march to boringness here in the states.
        Michael D. Mitchell
        • 4 Months Ago
        @domingorobusto
        I had a Versa Note as a rental for a couple of weeks while my car was in the shop. There's a lot to like about the Note, the exception being that horrible drivetrain (anemic engine, elastic CVT, droning at highway speeds, etc.). A Nismo version is just what that car needs, especially in the States. I'd be in line to buy one if they ever change their mind about bringing it here.
        Humberto Yi
        • 4 Months Ago
        @domingorobusto
        The cube, the juke, the Merano?? Nissan isn't boring, it's hideous
      quinn
      • 4 Months Ago
      I just don't think Nissan has the balls to bring something like this to USA. I mean look at the Maxima it was once a legitimate sporty light weight car...now look at it. The 2002 Altima with the 3.5L and 6 speed manual was actually fun to drive...now its a watered down cvt burden hunk of metal. Nissan used to be an exciting brand. Now it is just...boring.
      futurecars
      • 4 Months Ago
      The Nismo S is equipped with a specially-tuned engine mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, a combination that allows the driver to tap into the powerplant's fruitful supply of low-end torque" Sound to me like its the nissan 1.2 Dig-t (115-130HP) or the nissan detune 1.6 Dig-T (150 HP), or maybe they boost the hr 1.6 engine Hp and torque.
      Larry Litmanen
      • 4 Months Ago
      Nice little car, BTW i could not help but notice the front page story on WSJ, you will never see it on Autoblog GM's Profit, Hit by Recalls, Tumbles 80% Just few more Qs and it will finally be over.
      lne937s
      • 4 Months Ago
      Nissan really needs to bring a hot hatch to the US. Either a Note with the MR16DDT or a NISMO version of the European-market Pulsar. http://www.worldcarfans.com/114071678229/nissan-qashqai-nismo-and-pulsar-nismo-getting-266-bhp-18-liter
        Hoale
        • 4 Months Ago
        @lne937s
        that'd be solid competitor to the GTI and Focus ST
      carguy1701
      • 4 Months Ago
      "Nissan didn't release technical specs for either version, but it promises that the S also gets a tuned engine with a five-speed manual." $5 says all they do is open up the exhaust and take the resonators off the intake ducting.
      Devonblue4u
      • 4 Months Ago
      Makes more sense than a Nissan Junk.
      MayTheBestCarWin05
      • 4 Months Ago
      This looks reeeaaally good. Then again I'm just a sucker for hatchbacks in general. Way to go Nissan.
      MayTheBestCarWin05
      • 4 Months Ago
      This looks reeeaaally good. Then again I'm just a sucker for hatchbacks in general. Way to go Nissan.
      Worx2749
      • 4 Months Ago
      The lipstick red highlights could go over well with the chicks.
      Basscotte
      • 4 Months Ago
      I love it! Imagine this with the Juke R's motor?!?! Bring this along with a Honda Fit Si or type-R and I bet they'd sell some. Makes me realize how great the 80's really were for enthusiasts seeking small, somewhat affordable cars.
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