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Battle of the titans: Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Series versus Nissan Patrol NISMO - which one should you be waiting for?

Two serious heavyweights are coming soon.

In terms of heavyweight bouts, they don't get much heavier than this, with Nissan this week confirming it is "actively pursuing" the new Patrol NISMO, which would arrive to do battle with the hugely anticipated Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series.

The two iconic behemoths might looks vaguely similar - what with both being huge 4WDs that look right at home in outback Australia - but the philosophy behind each couldn't be more different.

And so with that in mind, here's everything you need to know about both models, so you can figure out which one is just right for you.

Nissan Patrol NISMO

Nissan Patrol NISMO Nissan Patrol NISMO

Let's start with the newest NISMO in the Nissan Stable - the mean-looking Patrol NISMO that's just been revealed in the Middle East.

First things first, it's the only one of our two competitors packing a V8 engine under that acreage of a bonnet, with the fire-breathing NISMO home to the same thunderous petrol-powered V8 as the regular Patrol, only with the wick turned up even further, with outputs boosted from 298kW and 560Nm to a whopping 320kW and 560Nm.

Do you need 320kW to climb an off-road track? Not really. And that's entirely the point.

See, while the Nissan Patrol (and the Toyota LandCruiser, for that matter) are all about the towing or off-roading, the NISMO version shifts the focus to on-road performance, kind of like the world's biggest performance car.

The engine tweaks were the work of Nissan's "legendary Takumi craftsmen team" - the same four master engine builders who create the GT-R's engine. In fact, Nissan's NISMO engineers have worked on everything from the aerodynamics to suspension tune, all with the intention of making this big behemoth accelerate and handle like a much smaller vehicle.

Apart from the obvious styling changes, there's some performance-themed design changes, too, including a new side-duct to the front bumper that allows zero lift force, as well as front and rear diffuses and twin exhaust pipes, with Nissan promising better braking performance and high-speed handling.

Nissan Patrol NISMO rear Nissan Patrol NISMO rear

To further help on the handling front is the addition of Bilstein shock absorbers, which the brand says "provide sportier and improved handling" and help "take the iconic Patrol experience to a whole new level."

But it's the looks that are destined to turn the most heads, with the Nissan Patrol NISMO dressed in a sharp red line that wraps around the entire base of the vehicle, as well as huge 22-inch alloys. There's also a new front fascia and 3D-effect mesh grille, new front lamps and dark chrome inserts in the rear bumper, as well as new tail lamps.

Inside, there's the usual serving of Alcantara trimming on the seats and steering wheel, red carbon-fibre inserts, and plenty of Nismo branding.

Nissan Patrol NISMO interior Nissan Patrol NISMO interior

As for how much? It's around $138,000 in Australian dollars, based purely on conversions, but that should only act as a guide.

Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series

Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series

Toyota's best-kept secret is out, with finished examples of the LandCruiser 300 Series now being captured in a series of increasingly frequent spy pictures.

But while we can see it for the first time, there's plenty we already know - or, at least, expect - from the long-awaited replacement for the LandCruiser 200 Series.

We won't rehash the look here, except to say that the new model looks bigger, bolder and sports are far more prominent and squared-off front end. For more, see the pictures we've published to date.

What we're here to talk about today, though, is how the incoming LC300 compares the Patrol NISMO. And even before we get to the detail, there's one fairly obvious one: While the Patrol shifts the focus onto on-road performance, the LandCruiser remains focused on the regular duties.

For something else, you'll have to wait for the GR version - only rumoured at this point - with Toyota's senior management suggesting its expanded Centre of Excellence - the facility where the Toyota HiLux Rugged X and Rogue took shape - could also get to work on the new LandCruiser.

Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series GR Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series GR

For now, though, let's focus on what we know. For example, it will ride on a new ladder-frame TNGA platform, and will be fitted with a trio of engines, but the first to arrive in Australia should be a new 3.3-litre V6 diesel.

Japanese site Creative 311 quotes dealer sources who claim the new 3.3-litre diesel engine will produce a whopping 230kW and 687Nm, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The current LC200 is fitted with a bigger V8 diesel, but produces 200kW and 650Nm.

International reports also point to the possibility of electrification joining that engine in the future, with Toyota reportedly working on a diesel hybrid. There is also a brace of turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 petrol engines - one hybrid, the other not - but neither have been confirmed for our market.

That engine will produce a monstrous 313kW and 589Nm, again paired with a 10-speed automatic, and will be the closest competitor for the Patrol NISMO.

The new LC300 is also expected to grow in every direction, stretching some 4970mm in length, 1985mm in width and 1870mm in height, and it will ride on a 2900mm wheelbase.

We also expect a 12.3-inch screen with navigation and a JBL sound system, a 3D terrain monitor and even fingerprint scanning to prevent theft will be included.

One thing Toyota is at pains to point out, though, is that the LC300 will deliver on capability.

"The LandCruiser needs to be capable. It needs to be able to perform, drive, tow, as expected of a LandCruiser," says Toyota Australia's VP of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley.

"It has a huge heritage. It's a legend, actually, of capability in the Australian landscape. It’s clear that the number of cylinders are cubic capacity are not the only things that determine the powertrain performance.

"The powertrain of any future LandCruiser will be built to deliver. It will deliver on power, torque, towing and off- and on-road capabilities. And I am supremely confident that with whatever we do, it will continue to remain a very capable vehicle all round."

We'd expect to see the LC300 in the coming weeks - and even as early as this month, with an on-sale date planned for sometime this year, at least internationally.