Nissan has made the Japan-only Note e-Power Nismo even faster than before, with the new Note e-Power Nismo S. That “S” entails it has some extra power thanks to a boost in its electric output.

The Note e-Power Nismo, as its name suggests, is a Nismo-tuned version of the already existing Note e-Power and the Nismo S is one additional tier above. It features not only a power boost over the regular Note e-Power, but also gets a reinforced chassis as well as a much sportier suspension setup to transform its driving experience.

This extra performance is also mirrored in the way it looks, with new red-accented bumpers and side skirts and obligatory Nismo S badges front and rear - on the sides; the e-Power badge is displayed instead. According to Nissan, the car should provide “exhilarating acceleration,” while at the same time also being quiet and is touted as a new kind of Nismo experience.

In order to avoid confusion - Nissan also sells non-electrified Nismo and Nismo S versions of the Note, alongside the electrified ones. This new model detailed here is the e-Power Nismo S, which is a range extender hybrid.

Exterior Styling

  • Has Nismo S and e-Power badges
  • Sporty Nismo bumpers, side skirts and rear bumper with diffuser
  • Easy to tell apart from lesser Notes
2019 Nissan Note e-Power Nismo S
- image 797501
One look at the Note e-Power Nismo S will leave you in no doubt as to the fact that it isn’t your average Note.

Visually, the S is not different in any way compared to the regular Nismo version, but that still means it’s quite different from the regular Note.

The front bumper is completely different to that of the normal Note, featuring design cues from the 370Z and GT-R Nismo models. It gets red accent blades on the sides of the bumper, and these are visually continued by the red strake on the lower part of the side skirts (which are also unique to the Nismo).

At the back, the rear bumper continues the red accent, which it threads around a small diffuser at the back, as well as the rear fog light which is placed low on the bumper, just like in a Formula 1 car. There’s only one exhaust poking out the back, but it gets a sporty ornament to keep the racy theme going.

Another way to spot a Nismo is by its shark fin antenna and rear roof spoiler.
2019 Nissan Note e-Power Nismo S
- image 797511

Rims on the Note e-Power Nismo (and the S) feature a unique design which you cannot get on any other version, they measure 16 inches and are clad in fairly aggressive Yokohama DNA S tires from the factory - optionally, you can get 17-inch rims clad in Bridgestone Potenza S007 tires. A closer look at the car, and comparison to a standard Note, will also make it the more obvious that it is also sitting lower on its suspension.

Interior Design

  • Plenty of Nismo logos around
  • Red accents add extra flair
  • The steering wheel has a central mark, just like a racing car
2019 Nissan Note e-Power Nismo S
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In-keeping with the Nismo-infused exterior, Nissan has given the interior a similar makeover - the black headliner will be the first and most obvious addition, next will probably be the suede-covered sports seats with contrasting red stitching and Nismo logos then the Alcantara-wrapped three-spoke sports steering wheel which not only has a flat bottom, but also a red center mark just like in a racing car.

Not much else is different to a standard Note, really, other than the pedals which are sporty looking and made out of aluminum - this even extends to the dead pedal which also has the Nismo logo etched on.

Drivetrain And Performance

  • Blends power and efficiency
  • It’s 25 percent more powerful than Note e-Power Nismo version
  • Chassis features plenty of enhancements
2019 Nissan Note e-Power Nismo S
- image 797513
The Note e-Power on which the Nismo and Nismo S versions are based is renowned for its extreme fuel efficiency - 2.9 l/100km, or around around 87 mpg US.

It is a range extender type hybrid that in non-Nismo form uses a 1.2-liter gasoline engine to generate power for a 40 kW or 54 horsepower electric motor which in turn drives the front wheels. Power is upped in the most powerful Nismo S to 100 kW or 134 horsepower, but Nissan doesn’t state either its performance or efficiency numbers.

The Nismo S is 25 percent more powerful than the Nismo, but we’re not told what this translates to in terms of zero to sixty or top speed. We are told it gets “custom suspension,” with a front tower strut brace and new suspension components, as well as structural enhancements too.


Nissan has not announced pricing for the Nismo S, but the Nismo it already sells in Japan for the equivalent of just over $21,000.


Honda Fit Sport

2015 Honda Fit
- image 695116

The closest thing to the hot Nissan Note that you can buy in the US is the Honda Fit Sport. It does without any kind of electrification, relying on a 1.5-liter four-pot to achieve similar levels of power as the Note e-Power Nismo S - 130 horsepower with the manual six-speed and 128 horsepower with the continuously variable transmission option. The suspension is also uprated and lowered over the standard model; it rides on 16-inch alloys and costs from $18,390 before options.

Read our full review on the 2018 Honda Fit Sport

Ford Fiesta ST-Line

2017 Ford Fiesta High Resolution Exterior
- image 697336

Since the Note e-Power Nismo S isn’t a real hot hatch since it only has 134 horsepower, its rival from the Ford stable would have to be the warm Fiesta ST-Line. It packs a 1.6-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder (in North America, at least) with 120 horsepower and can be had with either a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed SelectShift automatic. Pricing for the Fiesta ST-Line kicks off from $17,625 or add another $1,095 on top of that if you want the automatic.

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Fiesta ST-Line.

Final Thoughts

2019 Nissan Note e-Power Nismo S
- image 797502

There is definitely a small market niche for the Nissan Note e-Power Nismo S to occupy - it caters for those who want the look and feel of a Nismo S car, but also want the good economy and low emissions of a range extender hybrid. This model blends both into one package which you aren’t forced to get if you’re not into electrified cars - Nissan will also sell you a non-e-Power Nismo S, with a 1.6-liter engine and six-speed manual transmission.

But Nissan wouldn’t have made this even faster variant of the Note e-Power Nismo it already sold if there wasn’t a market for it. Buyers may be willing to part with even more money just for the privilege of having a Nismo S badge instead of just a Nismo one adorning the front and rear fascias of their sporty new Note.

For real performance-hungry buyers, the only model in the range they’d be willing to buy would be the non-e-Power Nismo S, but for those who want that exact look, but prefer electric vehicles, then there is no contest. Besides, Nissan made the e-Power Nismo S some 25 percent more powerful than the previous Nismo model, so it’s not all show and no extra go - there is some of that too to go with the extra Nismo S trinkets.

  • Leave it
    • Enthusiasts will want the non-electrified Nismo S with manual gearbox
    • It’s a very niche proposition that wouldn’t be successful outside Japan

Further Reading

2013 Nissan Note High Resolution Exterior
- image 465679

Read our full review on the 2018 Nissan Note.

Andrei Nedelea
About the author

Note: all images courtesy of Nissan.

The Nissan Note e-POWER NISMO S goes on sale in Japan today, offering buyers of the country’s best-selling car even more power and sportiness.

With a maximum power of 100 kilowatts and 320 Nm of torque, the model is a higher-spec version of the Nissan Note e-POWER NISMO, released in December 2016. Sharing the same custom structural enhancements and custom suspension, the Note e-POWER NISMO S adds custom tuning for its inverter and vehicle control module, increased electrical output and an improved reduction drive. The result is 25% greater power and torque compared with the Note e-POWER NISMO.

The car’s NISMO tuning creates an advanced driving sensation that takes full advantage of its e-POWER drive system. Popular with customers for its exciting acceleration and quietness, the innovative e-POWER system helped make the Nissan Note the best-selling registered car in Japan in the first six months of 2018, excluding minivehicles.

Also offered on the Nissan Serena minivan, the e-POWER system is a key part of Nissan’s electrification strategy. The company has a global target to sell 1 million electrified vehicles annually by fiscal year 2022, including fully electric cars and e-POWER models.

The Note e-POWER NISMO S offers a number of driving modes that allow for different driving styles, whether the driver is seeking outstanding performance for sports, or excellent fuel efficiency.

Nissan introduced the NISMO brand to its mainstream model lineup in 2013. Featuring performance and styling developed through NISMO’s motorsports activities, the cars offer a sporty driving experience combined with Nissan’s quality, reliability and durability.

NISMO road cars introduced so far include the GT-R, 370Z, Juke, Note, March, Sentra, Patrol, Serena and Nissan LEAF.

Specialty equipment for the Nissan Note e-POWER NISMO S

Custom NISMO S emblem (front/rear)
LED headlights (low beam, auto-leveling, projector-type LED position lamps)
Shared specialty equipment for the Note e-POWER NISMO S and Note e-POWER NISMO

Custom front bumper
YOKOHAMA DNA tires and 16-inch aluminum wheels
Custom exhaust tail pipe (diameter: φ85)
Custom aluminum accelerator and brake pedals
Custom aluminum footrest (with NISMO logo)
Custom tuning computer (vehicle control module)
Custom suspension
Custom front strengthened stabilizer
Custom structural enhancements (front cross bar/front suspension member stay (tunnel stay), tunnel stay/rear suspension member stay/rear cross bar)
Custom vehicle speed-sensing electric power-assisted steering
e-POWER custom fine vision meter (with NISMO logo)
Custom suede covered sport seats (with NISMO logo and red stitching), door trim cloth

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