NISSAN Australia has pulled the wraps off its Navara N-Trek Warrior, the vehicle it hopes will take the battle up to other tricked-up 4x4 utes such as the Ford Ranger Raptor, Toyota Hilux Rugged-X and the HSV SportsCat.
It'll be priced at $62,990 before on-road costs in six-speed manual guise, and $65,490 when fitted with an auto.
This undercuts rivals like the Ford Ranger Wildtrak X ($65,690 in 2.0-litre/10spd guise), but is more expensive in auto form than the HSV SportsCat V ($62,490), which is based on the Holden Colorado.
It's also pipped by the more powerful Volkswagen Amarok V6 Highline Black ($64,990).
The N-Trek Warrior will be based on the recently released Navara N-Trek model, but it adds beefed-up suspension, bigger wheels and tyres, a steel front bumper and other tack-ons.
The regular Navara N-Trek retails for $56,450 in six-speed manual form.
The list of equipment fitted to the Warrior includes a steel front bumper, LED light bar, sports bar, model-specific alloy wheels and tyres, and a sticker pack just like the Rugged-X, but it adds a suspension package that adds 15mm to the ride height and is said to improve both on- and off-road ability. 275/70-17 Cooper AT3 tyres add a further 25mm to the ride height for a total of 40mm overall lift, and they widen the wheel track by 30mm to total 1600mm.
The suspension package is based on dual-rate coil springs which are softer than the standard Navara springs, to better let the suspension do its work. Special progressive bumps stops are fitted to dampen any hard knocks felt off-road. The shock absorbers are larger diameter tubing for increased oil capacity, with larger dampening rods for firmer control both on- and off-road.
Rather than simply bolt on a pile of accessories to the Navara N-Trek, Nissan Australia enlisted engineering firm Premcar to design, develop and test the product for the Warrior. Premcar is better known as a Ford performance tuner and is staffed by many former Prodrive employees who previously worked on the FPV Ford vehicles. Most recently, Premcar created the ‘Holy Grail’ Falcon.
For the Nissan project, Premcar has built a new dedicated 6300 square-metre manufacturing facility in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, with 40 new hires added to the staff. With the R&D stage of the Warrior now complete, the vehicles will be hand-assembled at this bespoke facility starting in November.
With Premcar’s experience working with OE manufacturers, Nissan has been able to ensure the Warrior and all its accessories meet all the company’s standards and warranties. Additionally, the Navara’s 3500kg towing and GVM capacities are retained.
The steel front bumper is derived from the genuine Nissan accessories full bullbar but has been cut down to a loopless design and had unique bumperettes and fog lamp enclosures added. It mounts a 470mm, 16 LED light bar sourced from Hella. Under the bumper is a 3mm stainless steel underbody protection plate.
The Navara N-Trek Warrior retains all the features of the standard N-Trek including blacked-out fender flares, alloy sports bar, LED headlamp bezels, side steps, rear vision mirror caps, rear bumper, grille, door handles and roof rails, partial leather seats with dark orange fabric seat inserts and heating for the front seats, and dark orange accent stitching throughout seats, centre console, front door armrests and steering wheel. The standard N-Trek’s 18-inch alloy wheels have been replaced with 17s on the Warrior, for better off-road use.
Production of the Navara N-Trek Warrior begins at the Premcar facility in November, with deliveries going out to Nissan dealers in December.
It will only be available as a double- cab 4x4 ute, with a choice of manual or auto transmissions and in only three colours. The only engine option is the 2.3-litre bi-turbo diesel as found in the regular Navara, and this remains unaltered in the Warrior.
We look forward to putting the Warrior out to play on the track to see how well the sum of its parts comes together.