In Japan, there’s a big market for things that look fast without the performance to back up the visual aggression. That’s why, for instance, Mugen recently gave the Honda HR-V an angry makeover, despite the crossover making a modest 129bhp.
Now, there’s this - the Nissan Note Aura Nismo. Although it looks like it might make over 200bhp, it develops - drumroll please - 133bhp and 220lb ft of torque. The series hybrid powertrain is unchanged from the standard Aura (a posh version of the Note), so you still get a single electric motor combined with a small battery and a 1.2-litre inline-three petrol engine.
Nissan dubs the Nismo’d Aura a “swift electrified city racer,” claiming influence from the company’s Formula E programme in its design. Bodywork tweaks include a new bumper with a low-hanging splitter, a rear bumper featuring huge ducts, and side skirts. All of these plus the mirror caps feature a splash of the trademark Nismo Red.
Also new are the 17-inch two-tone wheels, which are shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, ensuring those 133 rampant horses are transferred to the tarmac effectively. The press release notes the use of “specialised suspension and optimised body rigidity distribution,” although we don’t get any further technical details on the handling front.
The tweaks continue inside, where you’ll find red/grey-stitched fabric and synthetic leather seats, various red accents, and a healthy serving of Nismo logos.
As you might have already gathered, the Note Aura Nismo is for the Japanese market only. It’ll be available to order from Autumn, while the standard Aura is on sale now.