Covers come off the new Nissan ute but no details on engine, towing capacity.
Nissan has unveiled the first photos of the new Navara ute, and precious little details. The company is witholding the vital statistics such as towing capacity and engine variants until closer to the vehicle's launch date in Australia early next year.
What we do know is that the 12th generation Navara is the first all-new model in 10 years and will likely continue to come to Australia from Thailand.
Nissan is expected to offer two diesel engine options but the exact capacities have not yet been revealed to dealers or customers. However, Carsguide understands the new generation Navara will drop the 550Nm V6 turbo diesel engine sourced from Renault.
The current Navara reset the benchmark for on-road driving when it was released 10 years ago but has since been overtaken by newer competition. Nissan is understood to have used the Volkswagen Amarok and Ford Ranger as benchmarks for on-road dynamics.
Nissan is also expected to up the ante when it comes to towing capacity and carrying ability. The towing capacity of the current Navara is rated at 3000kg, which is below the industry (and legal) benchmark of 3500kg.
The current Navara also can't carry as much as its ute rivals, limited to 780kg or thereabouts on the most popular versions versus the 1000kg-plus carrying ability of the Toyota HiLux and others.
Although the new model has a distinctly European upmarket appearance, it was in fact styled by Nissan in Japan. Nissan says the new Navara was designed with two markets in mind: there will be a "narrow body" for developing countries and a "wide body" for mainstream markets such as Australia.
The Navara is Nissan's biggest selling model in Australia and the unveiling of the new model so far ahead of its showroom arrival will likely lead to sharp discounts in the coming months. The current Nissan Navara is available from $37,990 drive-away with a 1 per cent finance offer, but this time last year the price had dipped to the low $30,000 bracket.
The next ute due to be unveiled is the Mitsubishi Triton, due to be shown later this year and on sale early next year. Once the all-new Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi Triton arrive, they will leave the Toyota HiLux as the oldest workhorse ute on the market. It is due to be replaced late next year and test vehicles have already been spotted on Australian roads.
Meanwhile, Ford isn't sitting still with its Ranger ute. Despite closing the sales gap to Toyota and running a close second in the class, Ford is preparing an update to the Ranger due by the middle of next year.
The Ford Ranger is expected to get a new nose (shared with the yet-to-be-released Everest SUV) and a new dash, including a touch screen navigation unit and rear-view camera on more models.