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Nismo Navara coming? It’s not out of the question, apparently.

Nismo Navara
Nismo Navara

At the recent re-launch of the updated Nissan Navara, the chief product specialist behind the Nissan ute, Pedro De Anza Madrazo told us there is good reason to hope for a proper performance ute from Nissan. What about a Nismo ute? “It’s not out of the question”, he said.

It’s naturally quite a hot topic. Ford’s Ranger Raptor has tongues wagging hard, and Holden’s SportsCat range of Colorado utes are also piquing plenty of interest.

Then conversation then drifted off into a magical world where they would whack in a GT-R engine, squeeze in a transfer case and call it good. They did fit one into a Juke, so the Navara would be easy, right? 419kW and 632Nm from a twin turbo V6? Nice. Unfortunately, that sounds like it’s off the cards. But, some kind of Nismo-branded Navara ute is definitely not out of the realms of possibility. Not confirmed, nor denied.

Nissan's Navara has been recently updated with changes to the suspension and drivetrain. But what about a proper go-fast option?
Nissan’s Navara has been recently updated with changes to the suspension and drivetrain. But what about a proper go-fast option?

Technically speaking, there is more power to be eked out of the Nav’s 2.3-litre, twin-turbo diesel engine. It currently makes 140kW and 450Nm, using two turbos for top-end power and bottom-end grunt. When you see Ford’s (157kW, 500Nm) and Land Rover’s (177kw, 500Nm) 2.0-litre engines making more power with less capacity and two turbochargers, then it does make sense that Nissan could crank some more fuel and boost into their relatively modern 2.3-litre motor for more poke. Nismo has more go-fast kudos than you can poke an intercooler at, but it’s more around the land of high-powered petrols. Diesel utes are a different kind of project.

Another thing to consider here is the changed landscape Nissan is working in these days. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance gives them more resources and assets to draw from if they do gun for a proper performance ute. And, the collaboration that comes from Mercedes-Benz’s usage of the platform from their X-Class will surely shake a few apples loose from the tree of wisdom.

Of course, Toyota has already done a lacklustre sticker-pack TRD HiLux, so we can only live in hope that Nissan do a proper job of a performance-based Navara, if at all. Nissan already have the N-Sport, which is your typical aesthetic upgrade, so that position is filled. Can Nissan build something to take on the Raptor Ranger? Let’s cross our fingers.

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