Nissan Australia is inching closer to adding an eagerly anticipated Nismo performance flagship to its critical Navara ute range, although potential buyers are in for a bit of a wait.
Speaking to CarsGuide last week, Nissan Australia managing director Stephen Lester was adamant about there being no possibility of a Navara Nismo in the short term.
“I’m not aware, at this stage, of any Navara Nismo plans they have for this generation,” he said, seemingly hinting at such a performance ute launching further down the line.
Read more about the Nissan Navara
So, unsurprisingly, when asked if Nissan Australia was keen for a Nismo flagship to form part of the next-generation Navara’s range expected in 2024, Mr Lester was very enthusiastic.
“There’s no shortage of lust and desire from Australian consumers for performance vehicles. There’s no question about that,” he said. “So, there’s most definitely a market.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time Mr Lester has spoken of the desire for a Navara Nismo, with him previously telling CarsGuide he was personally hopeful such a model would get an engine from another of the brand’s vehicles, with a V6 high on the agenda.
And an extra couple of cylinders is exactly what a Navara Nismo would need to compete with the heavily rumoured next-generation Toyota GR HiLux and Ford Ranger Raptor performance utes, both of which are tipped to be powered by bent sixes.
Either way, Nissan’s senior vice-president of global product strategy and product planning, Ivan Espinosa, told CarsGuide only last November that the brand was researching a next-generation Navara flagship with rugged looks and high performance.
“We are also considering how we can bring in this stronger-performing, top-of-the-line pick-up when we have the opportunity with a renewed (ladder) frame and other renewed chassis components to allow better performance,” he said at the time.
As always, time will tell what happens, but in the meantime, a new off-road-focused Navara Warrior is due to be revealed imminently, and you can read all about what to expect from it in the story link above.