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Nissan writes off Note Nismo

Finding Nismo: The Note Nismo is part of Nissan Motorsports new effort to expand the brand.

The high-performance Nissan Note Nismo has been unveiled, but Oz will miss out

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Nissan logo28 Jul 2014

NISSAN has unveiled the Note Nismo in Japan as part of a renewed expansion of the company’s high-performance division, but don’t expect the sporty little hatch to come to Australia anytime soon.

The Note is the fifth Nismo-badged model to be revealed since the Juke Nismo in 2013 and its launch has been timed to coincide with 30th anniversary of Nissan Motorsports International (NISMO).

The company’s president and CEO Shoichi Miyatani said the a sporty version of the Note is a perfect summation of the brand’s ideals and confirmed that there are more on the way.

“The Note Nismo we introduced ... 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,” Mr Miyatani said.

“Celebrating Nismo's 30th anniversary, we are planning to expand the number of models available in our road-car lineup.”

The most powerful petrol-engine Note currently on sale in United Kingdom is the 72kW/147Nm 1.2-litre supercharged three-cylinder, while in the United States the Note has a 81kW/145Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine under its bonnet.

Nissan has not revealed what will power the Note Nismo but said the car will have “a high level of performance and balance” with the powertrain, chassis, suspension, tyres and aerodynamics set to benefit from the company’s racing experience.

There will also be a more hardcore version called the Note Nismo S which will come with a specially tuned engine and a five-speed manual transmission.

Both the Note Nismo and Note Nismo S will come with a distinctive sporty body kit including a roof spoiler and a custom grille and bumpers.

Nissan Australia managing director and CEO Richard Emery told GoAuto earlier this month that the regular Note, which was initially ruled out for a local birth in 2012, could be reviewed again, along with a number of other Nissan models not currently available here.

“I’m happy to have a look at everything again, and we’ll be doing so, and I’m having a discussion with Japan as to where the Note might fit,” he said at the Qashqai launch earlier this month.

The re-think on Note follows less than stellar sales for the Nissan Micra and Almera light-car twins, with Nissan recently confirming the axing of the latter in the Australian market.

Rather than competing in the micro car segment against the likes of the Mitsubishi Mirage and Suzuki Alto as the Micra does, the Note would compete with the Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio and Mazda2.

Nissan Australia PR and corporate communications manager Peter Fadeyev told GoAuto that a business case for Nismo – which has never officially had a presence in Australia – is currently being assessed.

When asked if the Note Nismo was a chance for a local debut, Mr Fadeyev said that there are “no plans at this time.”

Not long after the Juke Nismo launched in Japan in 2013, the 370Z Nismo arrived, followed by the tiny Micra Nismo, hardcore GT-R Nismo and now the Note Nismo.

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