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Nissan readies for off-road war with the Toyota LandCruiser GR Sport! New toughened-up Patrol Warrior takes shape!

Nissan Patrol Warrior takes shape! (Image credit: Thanos Pappas)

Nissan's Patrol Warrior is almost ready to bring the fight to the Toyota LandCruiser GR Sport, upping the big unit's off-road capability and dialling up the tough-guy appearance in its efforts to be crowned the new off-road king, thanks to a new Warrior Concept currently under evaluation by the brand.

That said, it's a little unclear at this point is what else a new LC300 rival could be packing. But that doesn't mean we can't make some educated guesses.

Now, Nissan is yet to confirm the Patrol Warrior past a concept study that is officially "under evaluation", but what else will Nissan need to come at the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series in a battle of the behemoths?

One thing is clear - off-road credibility will be paramount.

"I would say that (the Patrol) has always been built to be a true off-road-capable vehicle, and that’s even more a requirement in this country than in other markets where it is sold," Nissan Australia boss, Adam Paterson, told CarsGuide recently, speaking on the Patrol more generally.

"Even though its a similar product to the vehicle sold in North America, my experience is that the capability of it is utilised more here than it is overseas.

"So the requirements of this market, I feel, is to keep it very, very true to its off-road capable heritage, because it's utilised."

For whatever reason, the regular 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.

Importantly, It could have a major pricing advantage, too. 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.

But the best thing the Patrol Warrior could do to finish ahead of the LC300? Actually produce some vehicles. 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 popular 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.

There's also the chance for more power, too though 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.

For now, though, we'll have to watch this space.