There's An All-New Nissan Nismo Model In Town

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And it's a hybrid.

There's only one Nismo-tuned model currently offered in North America, the Nissan GT-R Nismo. Unfortunately, all examples have been sold out for the upcoming model year. But Nissan is fully aware of the potential of this performance brand if it's expanded to other models. The new 400Z will surely get the Nismo treatment at some point, but we'd also like to see another Sentra Nismo - something more affordable and usable on a daily basis. And fortunately, Nissan is thinking the same.

Introducing the new Nissan Note Aura Nismo, a Japanese market-only hybrid hot hatchback. The standard Note Aura isn't sold in our neck of the woods and almost surely never will be. However, Nismo's latest creation offers a taste of what more affordable fun could look like.

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Described as a "swift electrified city racer" with Formula-E-inspired styling, the Note Aura Nismo comes with optimized aerodynamics to generate greater downforce, a retuned suspension, and a more rigid body structure. It also makes use of the latest e-Power system consisting of electric motors powering the front wheels and a small 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine acting as a generator. Total output comes to 134 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque.

That may not sound like all that much, but the Note Aura Nismo weighs only around 2,600 pounds. Combined with its compact dimensions and a specially tuned Nismo driving mode, and you're looking at a potentially serious Mini Cooper rival, Japanese style.

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Additional exterior features include wide-rim 17-inch aluminum wheels, several paint options (include two-tone combos), and Nismo stripes, splitters, and wings. Inside you'll find a dark-toned color complimented with red accents and special seats whose covers are made from a unique fabric with an embroidered Nismo logo. Super minis like this continue to do well in Japan but less so elsewhere, even in Europe. Still, it's proof Nismo is taking the needs of us regular driving folk seriously. Pricing, however, has yet to be announced.

So, Nissan, how about that Nismo-ified Versa or Sentra? Heck, we'd even be interested in a Leaf hot hatch assuming it can provide more than sufficient power.

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