Vehicle manufacturers celebrating the arrival of a new model is almost an everyday occurrence. They even quite often release a limited-edition model to mark the occasion. It is much rarer, though, to celebrate the end of a model.
But that is exactly what Nissan has done with its iconic Y61 Patrol. Its reign in Australia is about to come to an end, 20 years after it was first launched here and six years after its successor, the Y62 Patrol, was launched.
The last diesel-powered Y61 Patrol to be sold in Australia will be a limited-run Legend Edition model, limited to 300 units and kitted out with an additional $10,000 of features.
When they have gone - Nissan believes that will happen in February/March next year - it will signal the end of diesel-powered Patrols in this country. For just how long nobody knows, but don’t expect a replacement diesel or a cab-chassis variant in the near future. The Patrol's biggest markets, the US and the UAE, are very much petrol markets and the reason the only powertrain available in the Y62 Patrol is a 4.4-litre V8 petrol.
Managing Director and CEO of Nissan Australia, Richard Emery, said not being able to provide a replacement diesel model could cost Nissan around 100 sales per month.
“We have certainly had discussions around a diesel variant,” he said. “But at this stage that is all they are, discussions. There are no immediate plans for that to happen.”
To give the Y61 a fitting send-off, Nissan chose the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, on the edge of the Simpson Desert in South Australia to launch the Legend Edition. Arkaroola is owned by the Sprigg family, as well known as the Patrol in SA and the first people to cross the Simpson Desert in a Patrol in 1962.
Six hundred kilometres north of Adelaide, it is one of the most geologically important pieces of land in the country, with its mineral-rich hills and 800 million year old ocean floors. The terrain is also rugged and unforgiving, making it the perfect location to farewell such an iconic 4WD and to prove its replacement is equally impressive.
The proven 3.0-litre common-rail four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that has served the Patrol well for nearly 10 years powers the Patrol Legend edition, which is based on the top-spec ST model.
The 118kW/350Nm power plant can be matched to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. It also has a low-ratio transfer case, automatic free wheeling hubs and rear differential lock.
It has three-link coil-sprung front suspension and five-link rear suspension, which also uses coil springs for a more comfortable ride on black top. It has been fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels with 275/65R17 tyres. Stopping power is provided by four-wheel ventilated disc brakes.
Maximum braked-trailer towing capacities are 3200kg with the manual transmission and 2500kg if you prefer an automatic shifter.
Fuel consumption for the manual is 10.9L/100km and 11.8 for the auto. Both variants come with a 95-litre fuel tank with a 30-litre sub-tank.
None of this varies from the ST model on which it is based. Where the Legend Edition does differ is in the amount of genuine Nissan accessories that have been added.
These include the steel bull bar with an electric winch mounted on it, snorkel, roof racks, tow bar, soft cover for the spare wheel and Limited Edition decals.
Inside, Nissan has added a satellite navigation system and a reversing camera that makes life a lot easier when reversing or hooking up to a boat, caravan or trailer.
The pricing of the Nissan Patrol Legend Edition is $57,990 for the manual and $60,990 for the automatic and these are both drive away prices.