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Nissan has ripped the covers off its 2022 Navara PRO-4X Warrior flagship ute but, like its N-Trek predecessor, no changes have been made to the turbo-diesel engine.
This means a 140kW/450Nm from a 2.3-litre twin-turbo unit, placing Nissan’s flagship ute downstream from the 1507kW/500Nm bi-turbo Ford Ranger Wildtrak, 160kW/480Nm LDV T60 Trailrider, 150kW/500Nm Toyota HiLux Rugged X and class-leading 190kW/580Nm Volkswagen Amarok TDI580.
With the changes to the Warrior focussing on expanding the Navara’s capabilities – making it a better performer off-road thanks to all-terrain tyres, raised suspension and beefed-up underbody protection – engineering firm Premcar, who developed the vehicle, left the engine untouched.
Premcar engineering director Bernie Quinn explained that a powertrain upgrade is possible for the Navara, and even explored at one point, but ultimately the trade-off in reliability was deemed unsuitable.
“The issue with doing a powertrain upgrade, the main issue is making it reliable,” he said. “We can do it, we know we can get more power and torque out of this engine, we’ve proven that.
“The problem is managing that, particularly from a heat point of view.
“You can go and make something that’s got a little bit more power and a little bit more torque, and for 90 per cent of its duty cycle, it’s life, it’s going to be fine.
“But go and tow a caravan up Big Sally or whatever, and you start burning your cat, you start destroying your turbo, you start pumping black smoke out of the exhaust – that’s probably the least of your problems – but destroying components is a big problem.”
The Navara PRO-4X Warrior comes with a full factory-backed five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty from Nissan, and can be serviced from any of the brand’s outlets.
Nissan and Premcar have stated the importance of offering these services to customers who might want to do a bit of off-roading, and that it seems like turning the wick on the engine could upset that peace of mind.
Mr Quinn also said that extracting extra kilowatts from the 2.3-litre engine would also upset the comfort and ride of the Navara PRO-4X Warrior, for not much discernible gain.
“In fact, if you weigh all that up against ‘what’s the actual increase in attribute performance to the guy or girl that’s bought that car?’, there’s very little benefit,” he said.
“This car now with the NVH improvements particularly … it’s a really nice car to drive and it really doesn’t need anymore power at all, I mean that’s coming from me and I’m a bogan revhead.”