News that Nissan is hard at work on a new Patrol Warrior to join the Navara Pro-4X Warrior in its Premcar-tuned family means a battle of the beasts is brewing, with the obvious target being the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series GR Sport.
Nissan is so far keeping tight-lipped on the project (only saying that "the concept is in development with a series of enhancements being evaluated") but based on the work performed on the Navara, there are some likely prerequisites that will be required for the Patrol to earn the Warrior badge.
Exterior style updates will be part of the mix, and suspension upgrades will likely appear, too, as Premcar's Warrior program has long prided itself on dialling up the off-road capability and on-road comfort.
Granted, this might seem a little obvious. But the single biggest thing Nissan can do to take a chunk out of Toyota's sales is secure enough examples of the Patrol Warrior to meet local demand.
The Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series has been beset by production delays (admittedly most of them caused through the vehicle's popularity), which has seen waiting times blow out. They have since improved, but are still understood to be in excess of six months for poplar models.
The Patrol has also faced supply issues, though not quite so severely, resulting in the model's best sales period to date, and wait times of between four and five months.
Improved off-road capability/credibility
For whatever reason, the leather-filled Patrol has always been seen as a bit more of an on-road tourer, where the LandCruiser owns the off-road stuff. But that could all change with a Patrol Warrior, with Premcar famed for a pretty comprehensive testing and tuning program on its suspension set-ups, which not only helps lift ground clearance, but also improves capability on and off the road. Make it so with the Patrol Warrior, please.
It's no secret the Patrol can look a little big and slab-sided, and like it has been designed mostly for a market that's not our own. But Premcar could - and should - fix that, with tougher-looking alloys, All Terrain rubber, more swollen arches and even a sticker or two.
There's no such thing as a cheap car anymore - what with everyone paying close to full price - but there is also a huge price gap between the Nissan patrol, which lists at around $95k, and the LandCruiser GR Sport, which lists at around $138k. That gives Nissan more than $40k in wriggle room to get the Patrol Warrior in at something that looks a bit like a bargain.
This is by far the most unlikely, given the Premcar has yet to fettle any of Nissan's engines. But we can live in some slim hope that the Patrol Warrior program will see some small increase on the Patrol's 5.6-litre petrol V8's 298kW and 560Nm. It's unlikely, though.
All will be revealed soon enough, we hope, so keep those fingers crossed.