Ariya-inspired 2021 Nissan Note e-Power to debut in December: Report

Nissan has postponed the debut of the new Note to 23 December 2020, as per a new report from creative311.com. The original plan was to unveil the car this month in Japan, but perhaps the COVID-19 pandemic has created a delay. The company will offer the next-gen model in only 2WD at launch, and two months later, in February 2021, it will start offering 4WD.

Previously, creative311.com had reported that the 2021 Nissan Note e-Power would get ProPilot in two versions: ProPilot 1.0 and ProPilot 2.0. The lower-end and mid-range Note grades will get ProPilot 1.0 that lets the vehicle autonomously follow the car in the front. The top-end grade will use ProPilot 2.0 that allows autonomous driving.

ProPilot 2.0, announced in July 2019, allows hands-off autonomous driving on highways. The driver needs to simply set the destination in the car’s navigation system, and once it enters the highway, he/she can take hands off the steering wheel and the car completes the highway journey autonomously.

The Nissan Note was already expected to benefit from the latest autonomous drive technology. The steering, brakes and accelerator are controlled with the information obtained through a camera equipped with image processing software, and the ProPilot system maintains the lane with no driver inputs needed and automatically slows or stops the car based on the vehicle ahead.

In other updates, twitter.com user Fly_panda767 had posted a spy shot that shows the fascia of the 2021 Nissan Note in its clearest form so far. All parts of the test mule, including the lights and the wheels, are the final version. The 2021 Nissan Note has a new grille layout, longer hood, a fresh bumper and sleeker and sharper headlamps. The next-gen model’s bigger V-shaped grille and full-LED headlamps are inspired by those of the Nissan Ariya electric SUV that debuted in July.

Nissan has sent out preliminary information on the next-gen Nissan Note to Japanese dealers, suggesting that the debut is right around the corner. Having accessed this material, creative311.com had reported last month that the next-gen Nissan Note will have an e-Power series-hybrid powertrain as standard.

2021 Nissan Note rear quarters spy shot Tokyo
The 2021 Nissan Note will reportedly get an ePower series-hybrid powertrain as standard. The outgoing car offers hybrid as an option in higher grades.

Nissan offers an e-Power system in the outgoing Note as an option, but no conventional engine variants are planned for the new model. The Japanese publication stated that the Nissan is also taking the step to reduce the number of grades to just three.

The 2021 Nissan Note will be the recipient of the next-generation Nissan e-Power hybrid powertrain. The Note is one of the most fuel efficient models in Japan managing 37.2 km/l in the JC08 test cycle. This is expected to improve to 40 km/l in the third generation as the technology develops, ElectricVehicleWeb.in gathers.

According to the report, the 2021 Nissan Note will continue with a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine (generator), but it will have a new electric motor. Like the old model, the all-new Nissan Note e-Power will come in front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive drivetrain layouts. The 4WD configuration will have an additional electric motor at the rear axle.

e-Power combines a petrol engine, electric motor and low capacity Li-Ion battery. The hybrid powertrain acts like a fully electric one and drives the wheels but doesn’t need to be charged from external sources. The battery is charged by the petrol engine and the e-Power system offers instant acceleration like an EV and provides significant saving in fuel bills. The most recent recipient of ePower tech was the Nissan Kicks in May 2020.

2021 Nissan Note spy shot
Last month, Twitter user fb13kyucho724 had shared a spy shot of the next-gen Nissan Note from Japan that provides a close look at the exterior angles of the vehicle.

The Note retains the proportions of the current generation but comes with a shorter rear overhang, an integrated spoiler and horizontal wraparound taillamps. We spot normal door handles in the official teaser video, which pours cold water on the media’s claims of the new Note featuring sliding doors and 2 extra seats.

The 2021 Nissan Note looks sportier from the rear thanks to a rakish back glass, a more tapered roofline and a roof spoiler. A welcome change is the split-type tail lamps in a horizontal layout. While the old Nissan Note has an upright rear-end, the all-new Nissan Note has a hunchback stance. Adding to the fresh and youthful design is a shark-fin antenna (replacing the old car’s micro-pole).

On the sides, the greenhouse design has changed but not significantly. The front vent glass is narrower but taller, and it has a quadrilateral shape while the rear quarter glass is now a triangular piece. The windows have a very similar appearance and their large dimensions should allow excellent visibility, especially in the front, reducing blind spots.

2021 Nissan Note AspectValue/Description
Length4100 mm
Width1730 mm
Height1500 mm
Main featuresElectric parking brake, e-Power & Propilot 2.0
Originally Planned Release dateOctober 2020 (Japan)
CompetitorsHonda Fit (Jazz) & Toyota Yaris
Unofficial information – table based on details reported by the Japanese media.

The new mini-MPV is being developed and tested in Japan, the company’s home market, where the car is a best-seller. While most small and compact Nissan models retailed in developed markets are switching to the new CMF platform family, it is expected that the Note will stick to the V-Platform for one more generation.

2021 Nissan Note: The last man standing among mini-MPVs

The Nissan Note is among the last surviving members of the mini-MPV group that had its dream crushed by the emergence of compact crossovers in the last 10 years. The mini-MPV combined the advantages of the hatchback (easy to park and easy to manoeuvre) and the MPV (higher storage volume, easy ingress and egress) but the Achilles’ heel was the boring shape or design.

2021 Nissan Note teaser
The 2021 Nissan Note gets slimmer boomerang-style headlamps, a crisp lip spoiler, shark fin antenna and a curvier posterior accentuated by horizontally-arranged combination lights. Screenshot from Nissan’s product teaser.

The Note was launched in big markets like USA, Canada, UK and Europe only to be discontinued within a few years. However, in one market, the model not just survived but thrived – Japan. Here the Note emerged as the country’s best-selling car in 2018 finding over 136,000 buyers. In 2019, as per data EVW accessed, it was the country’s second best-selling vehicle, thanks to the e-Power technology, Nissan’s series hybrid that offers 30 per cent better fuel efficiency compared to an ICE-powered vehicle of the same class and the torque of a Nissan 2.0L petrol engine.

Nissan launched the first generation Note in 2006 and the second generation followed in 2012. 8 years later, the third-generation model comes out featuring a striking design, advanced electrification and autonomous drive tech. Heavy revisions bring the Note visually up to date with Nissan’s other vehicles (including the freshly designed logo) and a much needed interior upgrade would make the package very appealing.

Nissan has reserved the Note e-Power for the Japanese market and the redesigned Note III could mark the return of the nameplate in the international market with compelling features like electrification and autonomous drive tech. The second generation Note was considered for India around 2010 but Nissan launched the Micra, Sunny, Terrano and Evalia to address the mass-market segments. We’d imagine that a lot is riding on the Nissan Magnite and its acceptance would decide the fate of the Japanese brand in the country.