Nissan Note NISMO and NISMO S released

The top-spec version gets 138hp and a 5-speed manual.

Nissan has released two performance-tuned versions of the Note five-door compact. The Note NISMO and Note NISMO S went on sale in Japan yesterday.

The Note NISMO will slot in as the sport-look alternative, featuring the suspension, visual cues, Alcantara steering wheel of the top-spec Note NISMO S. However, the former is offered only with a untuned base (for Japan) 1.2-liter inline-four and CVT transmission.

The Note NISMO S, on the other hand, offers a tuned 1.6-liter motor paired with a 5-speed manual. The upgraded motor now puts out 138hp, up 29 from the stock 109. Additionally, the Note NISMO S adds four-wheel disc brakes and a higher-flowing intake and exhaust system than the Note NISMO.

Though both have suspension improvements, the S adds a host of chassis-stiffening braces. The top-spec version rides on 17-inch alloys as well (16-inch for the regular NISMO).

Visually, both are distinguished by racier front and rear fascias and side skirts highlighted in NISMO's trademark red accents. Red side mirrors take a page from the Juke NISMO but not the 370Z or GT-R NISMO variants. LED daytime running lights and a shark-fin antenna round out the cosmetic points of the package.

Cabin-wise, the S gets suede upholstery, a sportier gauge cluster, three aluminum pedals and a custom shift knob and boot.

Four colors will be offered — white, black silver and gray — but sales will be limited to Japan.

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