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Nissan Australia has been plotting its own hardcore off-road SUV in the form of the Patrol Warrior for nearly two years, but the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series-rivalling model seems no closer to hitting showrooms.
Having first confirmed plans to make the Patrol Warrior at the reveal of the Navara N-Trek Warrior in October 2019, and subsequently confirming development every few months since, the hardcore SUV is still yet to surface.
Speaking with CarsGuide at the reveal of the new Navara PRO-4X Warrior, which succeeds the N-Trek Warrior, Nissan Australia senior manager of local product development and enhancement Matt Baily said the brand has been “focussed on the PRO-4X Warrior, bringing that car to market”.
“Patrol Warrior, watch this space,” he said.
“I wish I could announce Patrol today, but I can’t, but it’s certainly something that we’re working on.”
When asked why the Patrol Warrior was taking so long, Mr Bailey cited pandemic-related delays, as well as stock shortages with wait times for the Patrol blowing out to nearly six months.
Premcar, who teams with Nissan to build the Navara PRO-4X Warrior at an assembly line in Victoria, can produce 1500 units of the flagship ute annually, and will also carry out engineering and validation of the Patrol Warrior.
Mr Bailey said Nissan didn’t wait until Toyota revealed its hotly-anticipated LandCruiser 300 Series to gauge where the competition is positioned, but has been studying how customers are using their large SUVs.
“In terms of the concept that we’re looking at – the type of customer that is modifying their vehicle – that didn’t require benchmarking anybody else,” he said.
“We see what customers are doing to Patrol, what they want to do to Patrol, we see what challenges they’re facing and what the issues are, and basically, if we look to bring something to market then we look to address those issues, support it and engineer it properly for the market.
“That just takes time.”
Expected to be fitted with more equipment designed to make it more off-road capable, like the Navara PRO-4X Warrior, the Patrol Warrior will also bring a 298kW/560Nm 5.6-litre petrol V8 to compete against the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series.
Mr Bailey also said Nissan is open to applying the Warrior treatment to other model lines, as long as it would fit into the brand’s ethos of off-road capability.
“For me, the Warrior has to have some element – it doesn’t have to necessarily be hard off-road – but that driving capability, probably some element of off-road capability,” he said.
“This model [Navara N-Trek Warrior] has been so successful for us, hopefully this one [Navara PRO-4X Warrior] will be just as successful, future Warrior models, we’ll get that secret ingredient right and it doesn’t have to stop there, it could be applied to other things
“[We just need to] work through that process and just make sure that we get it right when we bring it to market.”
As such, it would appear only the incoming new-generation Pathfinder and possibly X-Trail would suit the Warrior mandate, not the Juke, Qashqai, yet-to-be-revealed Z, Leaf or GT-R.