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Don't want to spend $70k on a Nissan Navara Pro-4X Warrior? A new affordable version of the rugged ute is coming to take on the Ford Ranger Raptor

This sketch of the Navara SL Warrior by Premcar reveals the chunky styling will remain.

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.

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.