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Nissan Australia MD "pleading" for Nismo Navara

Nissan Australia wants a Ranger Raptor rival.

Nissan has made no secret of just how hard it is pushing for a Nismo-badged Navara, with the company's Australian managing director now "pleading" with his global counterparts for a genuine Ranger Raptor rival.

The Navara is Nissan's second-best-selling vehicle in Australia (behind the X-Trail), with 2302 units sold so far in 2019. And its popularity has the brand's local arm licking its lips over the possibility of a Nismo-stamped version.

So much so that local Nissan boss Stephen Lester told CarsGuide he is "pleading" with his international counterparts for a Nismo version. And he says his requests are being listened to. While he wouldn't be drawn on a specifc engine he wants, he says there is now a "groundswell of support" now in place for a performance-focused ute to join the line-up.

"Will we bring a souped-up version or another engine variant in on Navara? While there is no plan at the moment, we are always, whenever Navara is a topic, asking, requesting - pleading, if you will - for what the next level for Navara will be," Lester says.

"All I can say is that I think the efforts we’ve been making over the past couple of years for (Nissan) people to understand the importance of that segment suggests we’re getting a groundswell of support to look at that.

"You’ve seen Nismo start to grow in terms of the models that we’ve put out, and I can only anticipate that will continue as part of our global plan to leverage the Nismo name and leverage the sporty attributes that can be provided to a vehicle."

In the meantime, however, Nissan is planning to continue to roll-out on special editions of its Navara - with a focus on bodykits and styling - with at least two new versions expected over the next 12 months.

"We are going to continue with special versions that will involve different trims and different body kits. We have a couple more things in the queue for next year with global support," Lester says.

Would a Nismo Navara be your ultimate performance ute? Tell us in the comments below.