If there’s one nation that loves one-tonne bakkies as much as South Africa does, it’s Australia, and that enthusiasm has led to a number of locally-developed specials – the latest being the Nissan Navara Pro-4X Warrior.
Developed in conjunction with an Australian engineering firm called Premcar, the new creation is being billed as the world’s toughest Navara.
But with the new Navara range now being built in South Africa, will we ever see something like this on local shores? It’s not impossible, given that earlier this year Nissan Australia boss Stephen Lester said that SA was being looked at as a potential market for the Warrior, according to Motoring.com.au. The publication also speculated that it could be produced under licence in our Rosslyn plant.
Judging by the trick suspension you see here, it would appear that Nissan is presenting an alternative to the Ford Ranger Raptor here, although it’s worth noting that the Nissan is a little down on power, with the standard 2,3-litre twin-turbo diesel motor remaining unaltered, with 140 kW and 450 N.m on tap.
What the Navara Pro-4X Warrior does benefit from is a comprehensive re-engineering programme to make it even more capable off the beaten track. For starters, the ground clearance has been raised from 220 mm to 260 mm, while the vehicle’s track has been widened by 30 mm, and the modded Navara has also been fitted with 275 / 70 / R17 Cooper Discoverer All Terrain AT3 tyres. The new rubber boasts increased tread depth and an off-road focused pattern set-up for 70 percent road and sand, and 30 percent dirt and mud.
Premcar has also installed a ‘safari-style’ front bumper with integrated bull bar and light bar, as well as a Navara-branded red bash plate and a 3 mm second-stage protection plate.
Although it’s not exactly in the same league as the Raptor when it comes to suspension mods, the engineering company has done extensive work on the Navara’s chassis. Here we see modifications to the spring rate, while the front damper has less low-speed damping to provide a smoother ride. In order to prevent bottoming or topping out over large obstacles, the high-speed rebound and compression rates at the front have also been increased by around 50 percent and 100 percent, respectively, versus the Pro-4X.
“The outcome is a more compliant and softer transfer of energy into the chassis, controlling the wheel and suspension more effectively, and significantly improving the harshness and noise transfer into the chassis and cabin over rough road conditions,” Nissan says.
Unlike the Ranger Raptor, the Navara Pro-4X Warrior does not make compromises when it comes to payload. With engineers having increased the GVM by 100 kg, the vehicle has a payload of 961 kg in the case of the manual model, and 952 kg for the automatic.
According to Nissan, the Pro-4X Warrior has been put through a “rigorous and extensive” local testing program to ensure that it can tackle Australia’s unique conditions.
“We set out to create the world’s toughest Navara, and that’s exactly what we’ve achieved with this new Warrior,” said Premcar Engineering Director, Bernie Quinn. “This needed to be a vehicle that customers will enjoy on and off the road, delivering comfort and capability no matter the conditions, all while expanding the robustness of the Navara, and enhancing its go-anywhere toughness.”