Nissan says the future of the iconic Y61 Patrol in Australia is in serious doubt due to tighter emissions regulations coming into effect from November this year.
From November 1 this year, all new vehicles sold in Australia will be required to meet stricter Euro 5 emissions requirements.
With the Y61 Nissan Patrol only meeting existing Euro 4 standards, Nissan Australia managing director and CEO Richard Emery has told CarAdvice that along with there being no Euro 5-compliant alternative in sight, its potential exit from the local line-up would leave a significant "gap" in the brand's range.
“I don’t have vision on [a Euro 5-compliant Y61 diesel alternative] at this point in time,” Emery said.
“If they don’t make a Euro 5 version of it, then it might be, by the end of this year, we have to make a decision about [the model’s future in Australia].”
Still being produced for selected developing markets around the world – despite the petrol-only Y62 Patrol debuting in 2010 – the local head says he is unaware of any plans for production of the rugged but ageing fifth-generation Patrol to draw to a close.
“I don’t think there is any finality on Y61 on a global scale,” Emery said.
But with no diesel Y62 Patrol option, nor a diesel-powered Pathfinder available, apart from a 96kW/320Nm 1.6-litre diesel unit offered in the significantly smaller and more city-centric X-Trail, Emery admits that, from November 1, the brand will have no offering for buyers after a tough, four-wheel-drive, diesel-powered Nissan.
“We don’t right now have an alternative for those owners,” Emery said.
“Having said that, rest assured we’re talking to Japan about what the alternatives we could offer in the Australian market place because obviously… it does leave us [with] a gap. And that gap is unfulfilled at this point in time.”
In 2015, the 118kW/380Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel Y61 Patrol comfortably outsold the 298kW/560Nm 5.6-litre petrol V8-only Y62 Patrol, claiming 55 per cent of all Patrol wagon sales and 71 per cent of total Patrol sales (inclusive of cab-chassis).
Euro 4 emissions regulations have been in place in Australia since July 2010, with Euro 6 compliance for all new cars due to follow the shift to Euro 5 from July 2018.
In the US, Nissan has employed a Cummins V8 turbo-diesel, which meets North America’s EPA 2013 emissions limits (similar to Euro 6 targets), to power its full-size Titan pickup (pictured above). Developing 231kW of power and 752Nm of torque, the 5.0-litre engine is exclusively paired with an Aisin 6-speed automatic transmission.
Any potential demise of the Y61 Nissan Patrol in Australia would continue a run of sad news for fans of prominent four-wheel-drive models, most notably the end of Land Rover Defender production and Mitsubishi confirming it has no plans for a Pajero successor.
Are you a Y61 Nissan Patrol fan? And what alternative would you consider if they can no longer be sold in Australia? Tell us in the comments section below.