If only Nissan would bring it across the Pacific.
Nissan makes some compelling products. A handful of exciting ones for performance enthusiasts, even. Hot hatches, unfortunately, are seldom among them, but this one makes us wish it made one we could get our driving gloves on.
What we're looking at is the new Nissan Note Nismo S Black edition, and it's based on the same vehicle it sells here in the US as the Versa Note. Only as you can see, it's been amped up a bit – albeit, sadly, only for the Japanese Domestic Market, so don't go asking for this one at your local Nissan dealer.
This special edition is based on the Note Nismo that Nissan launched in Japan last year, and comes with a choice of three powertrain options: a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine, a hybrid e-Power version of the same, or a 1.6-liter e-Power inline-four (like the one we get here in the US). All three come mated to a five-speed manual transmission driving the front wheels.
What sets the Black edition apart comes down mostly to trim. The hood, roof, spoiler, and shark-fine antenna are all blacked out. The chassis has been retuned by Nismo as well, and the interior augmented with special Recaro buckets and other trim enhancements.
Nismo's take on the Note, then, isn't about to challenge the likes of the Honda Civic Type R or even the new Ford Fiesta ST (which we also can't get in America). But it looks the part, and gives us a taste of what the little hatchback would look like with a more complete performance transformation – if only Nissan were to bring one across the Pacific.
For those in Japan, the Nissan Note e-Power Nismo Black, e-Power Nismo S Black, and Nismo S Black are set to debut at the upcoming 2019 Tokyo Motor Show before going on sale domestically next month, priced between 2,682,900 and 3,087,700 yen (or about $25-29k).