Nissan in Australia is "keeping the pressure" on the brand's global engineering team to produce a Nismo-badged Navara that can take the fight to cars like the Ford Ranger Raptor.
That's the word from Nissan's Australian boss, Stephen Lester, who told CarsGuide he's pushing to see "a couple of extra cylinders" added to the Navara's engine bay, which is currently home to a single engine; a twin-turbocharged, four-cylinder diesel good for 140kW and 450Nm.
Those numbers produce plenty of punch for day-to-day cruising, load carrying or towing, but a performance ute they do not make.
And that's exactly what Nissan Australia's MD is pushing his Japanese counterparts to rectify, pushing for a bigger engine to be fitted to the Navara.
"I would love the team at global to give us an engine that’s in another car, we’ve got some tremendous engines," he says.
"I can only hope that LCV (light commercial vehicles) team heeds some of that pressure from our group - we’re not the only ones around the world that would like to see it. We’re always keeping the pressure on.
"Trust me, we don't miss an opportunity to remind them that there’s a pretty big engine bay there that could fit an extra couple of cylinders..."
Mr Lester has made no secret of his desire to see a Navara powered by petrol rather than diesel (like the Ranger Raptor) suggesting it's the only way to unlock true performance capability.
While leads us to the next obvious question, and that is what engines from the Nissan group would work in the Nismo-stamped ute.
Perhaps the most obvious option is the twin-turbocharged V6 engine currently at work in the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport; a 3.0-litre unit that produces an impressive 298kW and 475Nm.
That engine would make a Navara a formidable performance beast, but for true bragging rights, Nissan would have to go even bigger. For that, they could turn to the 5.6-litre V8 engine currently at use in the Patrol, which produced 298kW and 560Nm. That engine has already made its way into Navara-sized Nissans, namely those using the brand's F-Alpha platform.
Or, if they completely lose their minds, they could shoehorn the V6 from the GT-R in there. But... they almost certainly won't.
"We've seen plenty of manufacturers in history make a mistake, and Nissan is not a company that's going to under-engineer a vehicle," Lester says.
"But I certainly think Nissan as a brand has the capability to do it, we just need to convince the will of the company to follow."
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