Nissan North America has confirmed that the new Nissan Note that was revealed today in Japan provides an early look at the styling flavor of the next-generation Versa 5-door hatchback that will be sold in America. Like the Versa sedan that was fully redesigned for 2012, the slightly smaller Note and the soon-to-be redone Versa hatch will share Nissan's global "V-platform" architecture in addition to its exterior design cues. Keys to the more contemporary and evocative appearance of the Note and its future Versa cousin are the sleeker bodywork, more intriguing front/rear lighting treatments and the prominent "squash line" sculpting that dominates its profile view. The domestic-market Note also will offer some trick techno touches including Nissan's Around View Monitor and a new 1.2-liter/3-cylinder supercharged direct-injected engine with Idling Stop System. It's not known whether either will make it to these shores.
Nissan has major aspirations for this new and even more versatile Versa variant that will be one of five new models it plans to launch during the next 15 months. Through June, the recast Sedan (which has been upgraded to earn a 40-mpg EPA highway stat in 2013 spec) and the existing hatch have propelled Versa to the top of the subcompact sales charts in America, handily outpacing its closest rivals the Chevrolet Sonic, Hyundai Accent, Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit. With the arrival of a significantly enhanced hatchback, the automaker hopes to further leverage that advantage. While the Note will go on sale in Japan this fall and in Europe next year, the new Versa 5-door is expected to make its first U.S. appearance sometime in early 2013.