Nissan has launched the upgraded Note e-Power Nismo S in Japan, which gets some added kit and a power boost compared to the non-S-badged version that went on sale in that market in 2015.
Earlier this year, the Leaf Nismo was revealed with a stiffer suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, new looks and a slew of unique interior touches. It didn't, however, get any more power to justify the hallowed Nismo badge.
Things are slightly different in the hotted-up Note. It gets the same array of black-and-red body add-ons as the Leaf, along with a stiffer suspension, more body bracing and tweaked power steering but (get fired up) the powertrain has also been boosted this time around.
With 100kW of power and 320Nm of torque on tap, it's 25 per cent punchier than the previous Note e-Power Nismo. Nismo has freed up the extra grunt by tweaking the car's inverter and vehicle control module, apparently.
Performance figures aren't quoted, but it should be meaningfully quicker than the standard car and its 10-second 100km/h time.
The driver and passenger sit in what look like optional Recaro bucket seats (head to the gallery), while the entire interior is trimmed in suede. With red highlights on the dash, seats and centre console, the Nismo design team has made a real effort to reinforce a sense of sportiness.
e-Power is Nissan's range-extended hybrid setup. It pairs a 1.2-litre petrol engine with a generator, which in turn charges a small 1.5kWh battery pack. The wheels are driven by an electric motor – the petrol engine never directly powers the car.
There's no charge port, with the petrol engine instead kicking in sporadically kicking in to charge the battery when required. Because the battery is significantly smaller than, say, the unit in the Leaf, it's much cheaper to produce. Because range is reliant on the petrol engine, the system is also good for markets with poor charge infrastructure.
Nissan wants to bring e-Power to Australia, but it hasn't detailed its rollout. At the moment, the Note e-Power is pitched as a Japanese model at this point, so we wouldn't be holding our breath for the car.