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The Nissan Patrol's big weapon against the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Series

The Nissan Patrol has a telling difference when compared to the LC300 Series.

The Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series might well be attracting a lot of attention at the moment, but the Nissan Patrol is packing a secret weapon that's largely unique in automotive world these days.

In fact, it's packing eight of them - which is the number of cylinders the Patrol's V8 petrol engine is packing, compared to the six-cylinder engine options in the LC300.

Nissan concedes the Patrol's petrol-only approach raised eyebrows among the country's motoring press, but the proof, it says, is in the soaring sales - and growing waiting list - for the iconic off-roader.

"Take the Patrol," says Nissan Australia boss Stephen Lester. "When I got here four years ago, they said 'you'll never sell more Patrols because you don't have a diesel'.

"Well we sold 3000 last year - that's almost four times the number we sold in 2017. That's a massive wave of interest and demand."

The Nissan Patrol is on track to out-sell even its 2020 totals, with the almost 900 vehicles sold in the first three months of 2021. If the trend continues, the brand should see more than 3500 Patrols find homes this year.

The Nissan Patrol is packing a 5.6-litre V8 petrol engine that produces 298kW and 560Nm. What we know so far about the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series, or at least what we expect, is that new model will debut a new 3.3-litre V6 diesel that should generate around 230kW and 697Nm.

But Mr Lester says that the Patrol's sales success shows that the real-world applications of a petrol engine versus a diesel engine are much the same.

"It shows in the real world, it's really not that different, or that there's no compromise between the two (fuel options)," he says.

"In two years, we've taken that vehicle to there, and there's been some cosmetic changes, but there's been no real powertrain changes. The consumers have done that."

Nissan is actively considering expanding the Patrol family to three distinct tiers, with the Patrol and the already-confirmed Patrol Warrior to be potentially joined by the Patrol Nismo (pictured above).

"We are having conversations about what that looks like and what the possibilities are. It's still very early stages at this point, but certainly...we would actively pursue that," Mr Lester says,

Asked whether the lineup could step from Patrol, to Patrol Warrior to Patrol NISMO, relied: "Yes, it can do."

The Patrol NISMO still gets the big V8 petrol engine, only with power increased to 320kW and 560Nm.

You also get a new side-duct to the front bumper that allows zero lift force, as well as higher heels and a new roof spoiler that the brand says, combined, deliver better braking performance and high-speed handling. There's also Bilstein shock absorbers, which the brand says "provide sportier and improved handling".