Nissan global chief planning officer Andy Palmer indicated to CarAdvice at the New York auto show that there's potential for a rugged seven-seat SUV in the vain of the Holden Colorado 7, Isuzu MU-X, Mitsubishi Challenger and upcoming Ford Everest and similar to the existing Navara-based Pathfinder which has been replaced by a softer, family-focused SUV.
"Would be logical, wouldn't it? That's rhetorical, by the way," Palmer said of a potential seven-seat off-roader that would be tougher and burlier than the current Pathfinder.
"I think undoubtedly a pickup like a one-tonne pickup starts with its ability to work," Palmer said.
"That's something that for me - I came from the light-commercial business, so I always go back to the light-commercial business ... pickups should find their genesis at the worksite," he said.
"What you build on top of that in terms of the more luxury segments then go back to that basis of good durability, good quality, good reliability. So if I was doing a pickup, that's where I'd start," he said.
Palmer indicated that details of the new-generation Navara ute - which will replace the current coexisting D22 and D40 Navara models - will be revealed very shortly.
"You only have to wait a few weeks to find out more details on that," he said.
Palmer suggested the new Navara would be similarly sized to the current version, but would be a global model that would need to be more efficient and stylish than the current ute.
"It's around about the same [size] - one-tonne pickups are fairly generic in terms of their overall dimensions," he said, indicating a length of about 5.3 metres would be likely.
"I think its about what you deliver on fuel consumption, what you deliver on styling ... these are the key differentiators for that kind of pickup market," Palmer said.
The new-generation model promises to be tough, according to Palmer.
"What we've done with the next generation of global pickup is we've run through our bespoke platform, which is much more cost effective and allows us to address more general arduous conditions," he said.
No further details on the new Navara were forthcoming, but expect the new-generation model to boast more efficient diesel engines and possibly a high-tech petrol drivetrain.
Stay tuned for more on the new Nissan Navara as news comes to hand.