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Nissan has revealed the first details of the new Nissan Note e-Power, which has just gone on sale in Japan. As previously reported, it’s a range extender hybrid, but while most REx vehicles – such as the BMW i3 – have a plug-in socket to charge the battery, Nissan’s system uses only the engine to provide the juice.

That engine is a 79 PS/103 Nm 1.2 litre HR12DE three-cylinder engine, which is only there to feed the 109 PS/254 Nm electric motor from the Leaf; the petrol mill is not connected to the driven wheels, so none of its power actually reaches the ground. Nissan says that the system allows drivers to enjoy the benefits of an electric motor – such as maximum torque from standstill – without having to worry about charging the battery.

The presence of the range extender also means that the battery can be made much smaller (just 1/20th the size of the one in the Leaf), enabling it to be placed under the front seats to maintain interior space. All-in-all, the Note e-Power delivers a fuel economy figure of up to 37.2 km per litre on the Japanese JC08 cycle.

In order to reduce the inevitable din of the petrol engine when it is engaged, all models feature increased sound insulation at the front and rear, while the top-spec Medallist variant also receives soundproofing along the sides of the car to keep out road noise.

Differentiating the e-Power model from standard petrol-powered variants is the blue trim around the grille and a smattering of e-Power badges around the car, while the interior gains a stubby drive mode selector from the Leaf, in place of a traditional gearlever. Also fitted is a unique instrument cluster with dedicated displays for the newfangled drivetrain.

Prices start at 1,772,280 yen (RM72,000) for the base e-Power S, which comes with halogen headlights, 14-inch steel wheels with hubcaps, keyless entry, push-button start and manual air-con. The 1,959,120 yen (RM79,600) e-Power X adds auto air-con, Intelligent Brake Assist and Lane Departure Warning, while the 2,244,240 yen (RM91,200) e-Power Medallist tacks on LED headlights, fog lights, 15-inch alloys, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a rear centre armrest, in addition to the aforementioned soundproofing.

Nissan has also released details about the rest of the facelifted Note range – all models gain a new V-motion front grille, as well as a revised front bumper design that gives a lower and wider look. Also fitted are revised LED combination tail lights with boomerang signature lighting, plus a redesigned rear bumper.

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Inside, the Note has been embellished with a new three-spoke flat-bottomed steering wheel from the new Serena. An Intelligent Around View Monitor, integrated into the rear-view mirror Saga-style, is available as an option, and all models come with Intelligent Brake Assist autonomous emergency braking and Lane Departure Warning.

Petrol models get an option between the same 1.2 litre HR12DE engine as the e-Power – this time actually powering the front wheels – and a 1.2 litre direct injection HR12DDR mill that pumps out 98 PS and 142 Nm. All variants are equipped with an Xtronic CVT, and there’s also a four-wheel drive option utilising a rear-mounted electric motor.

Available in S, X and Medallist X trims and X DIG-S and Medallist direct-injected forms, the Note is priced between 1,393,200 yen (RM56,700) and 1,985,040 yen (RM80,700). There’s also a Mode Premier package on the X, X DIG-S and e-Power X models that adds an Autech bodykit and 16-inch two-tone alloy wheels.