Nissan’s Navara Warrior program has been so successful that the company is expanding it to include another variant.
The Navara Pro-4X Warrior currently sits at the top of the Navara ute line-up in Australia, competing with the Ford Ranger Raptor, but the newer version, based on the entry-level Navara SL, will give buyers a more affordable option.
Nissan is holding back further details of the SL until it launches, which is expected to be in the third quarter this year.
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Pricing is unclear at this point, but the flagship Pro-4X Warrior starts from $67,490 before on-road costs, increasing to $69,990 for the automatic.
Given the regular SL dual-cab with an off-road pack is priced from $50,490, and taking into consideration the $8000-$9000 premium the Warrior attracts over the regular Pro-4X, the SL could end up with a circa-$60,000 pricetag.
Nissan hasn’t revealed any images of the SL Warrior, but has instead released a teaser sketch based on the incoming model.
It reveals that the SL will come with chunky off-road tyres like the Pro-4X Warrior, bulging blacked-out wheel arches, Warrior decals along the side of the tub, and a bullbar with integrated lighting.
Expect the SL to use the same 2.3-litre four-cylinder twin-turbocharged diesel engine pumping out 140kW/450Nm, paired with a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission.
Nissan says the SL Warrior has undergone the same “exhaustive local testing, tuning and validation program” as the Pro-4X Warrior.
The Warrior program is a collaboration between Nissan Australia and Melbourne-based engineering firm, Premcar. Nissan imports Navaras that are sent to Premcar for fettling to improve and enhance off-road capabilities.
As reported earlier this week, the program has been so successful that it is expected to go global.
A Patrol Warrior is also still being developed, according to Nissan Australia.
The Japanese carmaker’s local arm announced last week that Premcar has built 1251 Pro-4X Warriors since the start of remanufacturing last year, with 1149 sold. That’s on top of the N-Trek Warrior that preceded it.
Premcar has increased production from 32 vehicles a week to 40 due to demand. Given the current issues with supply stemming from parts shortages and COVID lockdowns, Nissan said every unit is spoken for in advance of production.