Rumours have emerged that the Australian-developed Navara Warrior will soon be making its way to South African shores and Nissan’s local production facility. This is what we know about the hardcore, purpose-built bakkie so far.
According to Australian publication carsales, there are discussions in progress about the possibility of extending the reach of Nissan’s Warrior off-road vehicle concept beyond Australia – the market in which it was developed and is built. The Warrior brand, a collaboration between Nissan Australia and Melbourne-based automotive engineering and design consultant Premcar, initially debuted in 2019 with the Navara N-TREK Warrior. Thereafter, the Pro-4X Warrior and SL Warrior came to life but now, it seems that South Africa and the Middle East might become the next destinations for these rugged off-road nameplate offerings.
In Australia, the Navara Warrior is available in two variants, the flagship PRO-4X, and the entry-level SL, with prices starting at $58 750 or upwards of R720 000 depending on the exchange rate. This concept has been well-received in the Australian market, with over 6 000 Warriors already built. Competing models like the Ford Ranger Wildtrak X and Toyota Hilux GR-S have also entered the off-road-focused bakkie segment to challenge the Warrior’s popularity since it was unveiled.
Bernie Quinn, the head of Premcar, has visited South Africa on multiple occasions to engage with the local Nissan division. The discussions are quite advanced regarding the possibility of producing a version of the Nissan Navara Warrior in South Africa. The plan would be to assemble it similarly to the Australian model, by modifying standard Navaras from the Rosslyn plant and adding the necessary chassis and cosmetic upgrades. However, differences between the Australian and South African Navaras, such as the engine and chassis, would require additional tuning and development.
“It won’t be exactly the same car as sold in Australia, it can’t be. It looks exactly the same but it’s got a different 2,5-litre engine and it’s got a slightly different chassis.” – Quinn.
As for the Middle East, there have been initial discussions about introducing the Nissan Patrol Warrior, although this idea is still in its early stages. The Middle Eastern market currently offers a NISMO version of the Y62 Patrol, but it’s more of a road-oriented sports model than an off-roader like the Warrior. The Y61 Patrol, known for its off-road capabilities, is nearing the end of its production cycle, leaving room for a potential Y62 Patrol Warrior to cater to off-road enthusiasts in the region.
Nissan South Africa is yet to respond to confirm if the rumour has foundations but we can imagine there are various factors that will determine if the model will be produced and sold locally or not.