There will be a trio of more muscular, locally-modified Nissan off-roader models rolling on our roads in the near future if Nissan Australia has its three wishes granted – with a Premcar-developed Navara Warrior, Patrol Warrior and Titan pick-up all still under discussion.
Following the success of the D23 Navara N-Trek Warrior, Nissan’s head office in Japan is allowing Nissan Australia to further explore possibilities with partner Premcar and the potential for more model conversions in the Melbourne-based factory.
And while there are no new models to confirm under the Warrior program as yet, discussions for toughened versions of the ute, large SUV and plus-size truck are all still active and ongoing.
2021 Nissan Navara SL fitted with genuine Nissan accessories
Speaking at the launch of the 2021 Navara, Nissan Australia managing director Stephen Lester explained that the initial sell-out run of 1400 Warriors had built a solid business case for a second run based on the updated model.
“The relationship is in a great spot,” he said. “Looking at a future generation of Warrior with the minor change, the tough and rugged exterior with the refined interior give us an even better platform on which to build a Warrior concept.
“We are really excited to be working on that project in the background. We’re not quite there, but certainly with the team from Premcar and the job that the team has done in Japan with Navara, have just given us a package that is fantastic to work with.
2021 Nissan Navara Pro-4X
“With all of the success we had with the previous Warrior, there are even more eyeballs and interest in seeing the project not only happen, but ensuring we follow all the guidelines and get all the support we need.”
The first-generation Premcar-crafted Warrior took the already well-equipped Navara N-Trek and enhanced its offering with revised suspension, a more capable wheel and tyre combination, steel hoopless roo-bar and cleverly redesigned tow bar, to name a few features.
While it couldn’t quite defeat the reigning champion of the beefed-up one-tonne arena and Ford’s Ranger Raptor, Nissan’s most serious off-roader certainly came close – and that success didn’t go unnoticed on a global stage.
NEXT Warrior vs Raptor
Lester revealed that Nissan Japan was so impressed by the results that the company is considering rolling out similar Navara incarnations to other parts of the world.
Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior and Ford Ranger Raptor
“There’s a lot more people who want to be involved, as a consequence,” he said. “We’re getting really encouraging commentary back from design, we are having much more in-depth conversations with the R&D team.
“There’s lots of support from our regional colleagues as well, to bring it to life, because maybe this is something we can create a roadmap for how to execute elsewhere as well.”
And while the original run was capped by production constraints at 1400 units, Lester said the company could have easily found more homes for the Warrior, building a case for a greater number of second-gen examples.
2020 Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior
“Without question, we know we could have sold more of the outgoing Warrior. The key is always to have one more customer than vehicle.”
In previous conversations with Nissan’s development partner, Premcar has told WhichCar that its design and production facility has significant scope for expansion, which could be assigned for a longer run of Navara Warriors and a broader selection of models.
The next model will be a version of the Patrol large SUV, taking the comfortable but capable off-roader as its basis and adding a similar level of all-terrain-boosting kit as the Navara pioneer.
Harrop supercharged Nissan Patrol
While a Nissan spokesperson is yet to go on record with the confirmation, Lester all but seconded the unofficial green light in early 2020, but only after the Navara was up and rolling off production lines.
“There’s also the potential looking towards other models that could work in that (Warrior) space,” he said. “You could see things like Patrol that could fit into that production mould. We’ve decided to focus on getting Navara over the line and hope to use that blueprint on Patrol further down the line.”
And even further down the line, but still raised in regular discussions according to Lester, the Nissan Titan monster ute is also still a potential starter for the Australian market, driven by unprecedented demand for plus-sized pick-ups with hefty towing ability.
“There will continue to be opportunity for Titan and I’ll continue to bang the drum that we should look for ways to bring Titan to Australia.
“There is the obvious conversion challenge that is a hurdle we’ve got to get over, and unfortunately I don't have any good news or specific progress to report on that. It’s very clear that segment is not slowing down and there’s more room to go upmarket”.
While company’s including GMSV have highlighted the extensive challenge of converting big American market trucks to Australia-friendly right-hand drive, Nissan has previously revealed Premcar was exploring a similar venture to convert the Titan.
2016 Nissan Titan Warrior
And if the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram rival does make it into Premcar’s conversion facilities, it’s also highly likely the local outfit wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to add a third Warrior to the books – and a version of the Titan Warrior concept that was revealed in 2016.