Nissan Australia’s push for an off-road focused Warrior version of the heavily updated Patrol has reportedly been given the thumbs up.
Last month, the Japanese automaker’s Managing Director Down Under, Stephen Lester, told carsguide.com.au that “we have a perfect validation point” for the creation of a second Warrior badged model after the Navara N-Trek Warrior that debuted in the same month.
Now, in a subsequent follow-up interview with the online publication, Lester remarked that development has kicked-off in spite of not confirming for certain whether the newcomer would be called Warrior or not.
“I certainly think the Patrol is one that makes a lot of sense. [It is] a statement vehicle. Whether you’re towing a horse float, a boat or a caravan, or whether you’re taking it off road, not only can it do it, but the car looks great on the road, too,” Lester said.
Like the Navara, the Patrol ‘Warrior’ will be the work of Melbourne-based engineering firm Premcar, with Lester also confirming that more models could appear based on the “over the top” reaction to the Navara.
“Now we’ve done all the testing on the final (Navara) product, and people are just flawed by how well it drives, how well it performs. The noise and ride and handling is just spot on. It really does all the things we really wanted and hoped it would do. The relationship we have with Premcar is really, really good, and they’re enthusiastic about other projects,” he said.
Although Nissan South Africa has so far not yet announced availability of the facelift Patrol, Yokohama has revealed pricing for Australia, but somewhat oddly, omitted the dual-screen centre facia display in spite of adding Autonomous Emergency Braking across the two-model range.
Starting at $75 990 (R772 816) for the entry-level Ti and topping out at $91 990 (R935 536) for the flagship Ti-L, motivation is unchanged with the 5.6-litre petrol V8 once again producing 298kW/560Nm, sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic gearbox.