The Nissan Patrol Warrior – a locally-enhanced version of the brand's heavy-duty four-wheel-drive wagon – is inching towards approval stage, despite interruptions due to the coronavirus crisis.
Back in February, CarAdvice reported that a more off-road focused version of the popular Patrol was looking good for Australia, and despite recent rumours to the contrary, Nissan Australia’s managing director is adamant the project is still on track.
“We’ve made no real secret of it, we’re keen to do it,” Nissan Australia boss Stephen Lester told CarAdvice at the launch of the 2020 Nissan Juke.
Nissan Australia has already released the Navara Warrior – enhanced by engineering firm Premcar, which was previously part of Ford Performance Vehicles and largely responsible for the supercharged Falcon GT – and is now understood to be exploring the idea of a Patrol Warrior.
“I believe they (Premcar) are keen to do it too, and they keep showing up to meetings which is great,” said Mr Lester.
As with the Navara Warrior (pictured above), the Patrol Warrior would gain enhancements to on-road and off-road ability, as well as taking on some appearance changes.
Nissan has previously indicated the Patrol is the ideal next candidate in the stable to get the Warrior treatment.
Premcar currently converts Navara N-Trek utes into N-Trek Warriors at a high-tech 6300m2 facility in Epping, Victoria (pictured below).
Critical to the modification brief is a full factory warranty backed by Nissan Australia.
“Where we're at, at the moment, is going through the process of creating the proof of concept,” Mr Lester told CarAdvice. “Unfortunately, that process has been lengthened due to COVID-19, but that’s not to say that we are delaying or postponing anything.”
Nissan’s history in Australia was largely shaped by the success of the Patrol in the early days, with a G60 making the trek across the Simpson Desert back in the 1960s and the nameplate gathering strength through the decades.
Despite the lack of a diesel engine in the Y62 Patrol, a powerful and impressively efficient V8 petrol engine – combined with the recent facelift – has seen sales increase sharply despite the coronavirus crisis.
In standard guise, Patrol is an exceptional tow vehicle, and a proper, three-row 4WD, but it’s also formidable off-road. The Warrior enhancements would make the platform even more effective off-road.
“Patrol makes total sense for a Warrior package of course,” said Mr Lester. “It already comes equipped with extraordinary suspension and an off-road performance package.”
Nissan has always said that any vehicle that followed the Navara must be worthy of the Warrior badge.
“There are great things that Premcar can do that is befitting of a Warrior label,” said Mr Lester.
So, it’s a definite then?
“It’s going to happen and I’m going to keep pushing it as far as we can push it until it gets to a point where I'm told that I can't do it,” said Mr Lester.
MORE: Nissan Patrol coverage