Nissan has revealed the third-generation Note light hatchback, a new model that could lead the brand’s passenger-car resurgence in Australia.
Only available with a series hybrid powertrain, dubbed e-Power, the Note is a rival for the recently launched Toyota Yaris Hybrid, which instead uses a traditional series-parallel system.
Specifically, the Note e-Power has an 85kW/280Nm electric motor, which exclusively drives the front wheels. And yes, a 60kW/103Nm 1.2-litre naturally aspirated three-cylinder petrol engine is also fitted, but its sole responsibility is to charge the onboard lithium-ion battery.
Conversely, the Yaris Hybrid’s set-up drives its front wheels with petrol, electric or petrol-electric power. Either way, both models can be considered ‘self-charging’ as they don’t need to be plugged into the mains like a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric vehicle.
The Note e-Power’s claimed fuel consumption on Japan’s WLTC combined-cycle test is 3.4L per 100km. Under the same standard, the Yaris Hybrid manages 2.8L/100km.
An all-wheel-drive variant of the Note e-Power is due to be revealed in December, with a second electric motor to drive its rear axle and therefore potentially help it to enter warm- or hot-hatch territory.
Either way, the Note e-Power is based on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s new CMF-B platform, which is also used by the recently released second-generation Nissan Juke light SUV, among other models.
Measuring 4045mm long (-55mm), 1695mm wide (N/A) and 1505mm tall (-20mm) with a 2580mm wheelbase (-20mm), the new Note e-Power is actually slightly smaller than its predecessor.
Using Nissan’s emerging Timeless Japanese Futurism design language, the Note e-Power stands out from the crowd with not only its fresh exterior, but also its high-tech interior, which is headlined by a 9.0-inch touchscreen and a 7.0-inch multifunction display.
A Nissan spokesperson told CarsGuide "there are currently no plans to bring the Note e-Power to Australia", although the brand's local managing director, Stephen Lester, has said multiple times in the past the model is on his wish list, among others including the similarly sized Micra.
If the Note e-Power were to head Down Under, it would become Nissan Australia’s second passenger car, joining its only holdover, the all-electric Leaf small hatchback. As always, time will tell.