Nissan engineer apologises to Australia: no diesel Patrol

28 July 2014
 by 
, CarsGuide

It’s official: there will be no diesel version of the new Nissan Patrol.
 
The chief engineer of the new generation Nissan Patrol has formally offered his apologies to Australia for not being able to offer a diesel version of the popular heavy-duty four-wheel-drive wagon.
 
For the past five years Nissan has been trying to find a way to get a diesel engine approved for the latest “Y62” Patrol, but Australia is the only market that wants one and we don’t buy enough of them to justify the investment.
 
The latest Nissan Patrol is sold primarily in North America, Russia, and the Middle East, all of which favour petrol-powered engines.
 
It’s the reason the latest Patrol comes only with a petrol-powered V8, even though diesel engines account for 90 per cent of the heavy-duty 4WD market.
 
It’s also the reason the superseded, diesel-powered Nissan Patrol that was released in 1997 continues to be made and sold alongside the new one, at least for another 12 months.
 
Nissan Australia executives had held onto some hope for a diesel version of the new Patrol, possibly adapting a Renault or Cummins diesel. But the chief engineer has finally ruled it out once and for all.
 
“I did many feasibility studies over the years, I tried very hard, but the cost (to develop) a diesel engine is just too expensive,” said the Y62 Patrol chief engineer, Takashi Fukui. “In the end, I gave up. I’m very sorry.”
 
Fukui-san has since become the chief engineer for the new generation Nissan Navara ute.
 
As with its predecessor, the new Navara ute will eventually spawn a seven-seat SUV wagon, with similar rugged off-road abilities to the Patrol. And it will have a turbo diesel engine, making it a likely starter for Australia, filling a big gap in the company’s local line-up.
 
“We cannot talk about future plans,” said Fukui-san. But Nissan insiders told Carsguide, “as night follows day”, there will be a seven-seat SUV version of the new Navara.
 
The previous version was called the Pathfinder, but that name has been used by Nissan Australia for a new family-style SUV. 
 
It means Nissan will have to come up with a new name for the seven-seat SUV wagon based on the Navara.
 
But, despite its likely ability and off-road prowess, apparently using the name ‘Patrol’ has been ruled out.

 

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