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On the basis that there’s no Australian automotive problem that can’t be fixed by adding more horsepower, it stands to reason that we’d be pretty keen on anything with a V8 engine.
In the case of the Nissan Patrol, however, it was never that simple, and from the moment Nissan released the V8 Y62 model, there were raised eyebrows.
Where the competition went all the way with an outback-friendly diesel V8, Nissan stuck with petrol power and, in the process, gave the opposition a huge head start.
Now that the planet is beginning to move away from diesel, however, that view is also starting to shift.
And suddenly, the V8 Nissan Patrol is a big talking point again.
Toyota kicked such a goal with its turbocharged V8 diesel back in 2007, that it’s a wonder none of its competitors have tried the same approach.
Until, that is, you realise that the Middle East and North American markets are the real drivers when it comes to the design of full-sized off-roaders like the LandCruiser and its main opposition, the Nissan Patrol.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a V8 Nissan Patrol at all, because – and here’s that North American/UAE influence again – Nissan does, in fact, still make a Patrol with a mighty V8 under its bonnet.
That model is the current Y62 we first saw in 2013 (and which has just been facelifted).
The catch is that it’s only available as a petrol engine.
The limitations continue with the fact that the V8 is not available on any other model; it’s a Y62 station-wagon or nothing.
The short answer is no. Not unless you can find one that somebody has converted one to V8 themselves, because Nissan certainly never made one.
The requirements of the Patrol Ute market dictated that most folks were happy with either a petrol or turbo-diesel six-cylinder, so that’s what Nissan continued to produce.
There are some great engines in that mix, including turbo and non-turbo diesel engines, but no V8s of any sort.
Although we first saw the Y62 Patrol with its V8 engine back in 2013, the range has been facelifted recently with a bold new front styling treatment.
Even then, vehicles like the Patrol tend to have longer lifespans than passenger cars, so while ever the thing is selling, Nissan will, keep it around.
An all-new Nissan Patrol V8 model is less likely as manufacturers switch to more economical drivelines.
But what you might see sometime in 2021 is a locally developed version of the Patrol widely tipped to be called the Warrior.
The Patrol’s V8 is a beauty; high-tech and powerful as well as smooth running and quite lovely to use.
It uses all-aluminium construction, double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing and even direct injection.
The Nissan Patrol V8 specs include a 5.6-litre capacity and the unit makes a mighty 298kW (400 horsepower in the old money), while torque is an equally impressive 560Nm.
Outright Nissan Patrol V8 horsepower was never in doubt.
Those peaks occur at quite high revs, though (5800rpm and 4000rpm respectively) which doesn’t sound terrific for an off-roader.
But Nissan fitted a seven-speed automatic behind the V8 and also ensured that at least 500 of those Newton-metres was available from as low as 2000rpm.
The end result was a smooth, refined engine that pulled hard and really liked to rev out.
It also made a fairly satisfying noise in the process.
And with a two-speed transfer-case, off-road gearing was never an issue.
No, they don’t. Not from the Nissan factory, anyway.
Nissan copped so much flak when it presented the Y62 as a petrol-only vehicle, that it was forced to keep the old Y61 model with a turbo-diesel engine selling alongside the new Patrol for three years to keep hardcore Australia off-roaders happy.
The bottom line is that if you want a V8 diesel Nissan Patrol, you’ll have to build your own.
Which brings us to…
Plenty of people have converted their Patrols to V8 power over the years, but in most cases, they have fitted a petrol V8.
Many owners convert the vehicle to an automatic transmission at the same time.
A few brave souls, however, have tackled a Nissan Patrol V8 diesel conversion by switching to a Cummins or Cat diesel engine, some of which are, indeed, V8s.
This is a much more expensive conversion but the end results are fairly spectacular.
But even the cheapest Nissan Patrol V8 conversion cost will run to thousands of dollars (depending on how much work you do yourself) and involves a consulting engineer to check that the converted vehicle is safe to drive.
Since you can already buy a factory V8 Nissan in the Y62 model, it’s the old Patrol models that get converted.
You might even find the odd MQ Patrol V8, although this earlier model is physically smaller than the GU and GQ and not as conversion-friendly.
You can buy an off-the-shelf to convert to a petrol V8, but a ready-made Patrol V8 diesel conversion kit will involve lots of one-off engineering.
With a kerb mass of more than 2700kg before you add passengers, fuel and luggage, a Y62 Patrol also has a large frontal area and typically off-roader-ordinary aerodynamics.
Throw in the large capacity petrol engine and fuel economy is never going to be great.
Some owners proudly claim they can squeeze 10km of highway travelling out of each litre of unleaded, but that’s fantasy stuff for most Y62 owners.
Rather than that claim of 10L per 100km, most owners struggle to use less than 15L for that same 100km.
Add a roof-rack, a headwind and a full load of bodies and luggage and it can start to get a bit silly.
Around town, 20L/100km is about as good as it will get, and off-road when you’re using low-range and ploughing through sand or mud, the sky’s the limit and the big Nissan will empty its tank in no time.
Fortunately, Nissan fitted the vehicle with a 140L fuel tank, but the flip side is that the V8 requires premium unleaded fuel which can be $3 a litre at outback service stations - if you can find it at all.
Check out websites like this one and you’ll soon find plenty of V8 Nissan Patrol for-sale classifieds.
Most of them will be the factory Y62 petrol version, but you might also find converted vehicles, too.
Dealerships also have stock of these things, but you’ll pay a bit more in exchange for a warranty and a guarantee that the car is not stolen or written-off.
If it’s a converted vehicle, make sure it comes with all the necessary engineering paperwork for hassle-free registration and insurance.
There is one other way of getting into effectively a Y62 Patrol V8 that isn’t as obvious.
And that’s to buy an Infiniti QX80 which, under the skin, is pretty much a Y62 platform and driveline.
The Infiniti is not the prettiest vehicle around, but that plays in your favour as its odd appearance has kept a lid on prices to the point where it’s not much more expensive than a Patrol of the same year despite the Infiniti having lots and lots of luxury gear and costing up to $40,000 more when both vehicles were brand-new.
The Nissan Patrol V8 price of admission is a lot higher than it was a few months ago, that’s for sure.
COVID has seen the prices of most used cars ratchet up and, combined with the fact that Aussies are now holidaying at home rather than overseas, sales of the Patrol and its peers have rocketed lately, bucking the downward trend of the rest of the new-car market.
That means that the cheapest Y62 around now will cost north of $40,000 despite having something like 250,000km on board.
You really need a budget of closer to $50,000 or even $60,000 before you’ll be offered much choice.
The Nissan Patrol V8 vs LandCruiser debate is a heated one, with both sides claiming the high ground.
The Nissan has a better turn of speed thanks to that 5.6L V8 petrol engine, while the LandCruiser in V8 diesel form will just beat it at towing (but not by much) and for fuel economy.
They’re both very refined vehicles to drive and both are excellent off-roaders and will take you anywhere you’re game to point them.
They’re big, roomy and are great for family holidays, but either can be a handful in the suburbs where their sheer bulk plays against them in tight car-parks.