The head of Nissan in Australia says the Japanese firm would be open to exploring any “opportunity” to offer its next-generation Patrol with diesel power.

Nissan Australia boss Stephen Lester admitted to motoring.com.au the option of a diesel powertrain would attract more buyers to the Patrol nameplate.

In South Africa (as well as Down Under), the hulking SUV is powered by a naturally aspirated 5,6-litre V8 petrol engine generating 298 kW and 560 N.m. Interestingly, the local market has yet to welcome the updated model revealed in September 2019.

While Lester suggested the current-generation Patrol would likely not receive an oil-burning option, that could change with the next-gen version.

“At the minute, there’s no plan for diesel in the Patrol range within this generation. It doesn’t mean we wouldn’t explore an opportunity should one present itself,” said Lester, likely making reference to rumours the new Patrol could share a platform with the next-generation Mitsubishi Pajero.

“The challenge ultimately is managing that demand and the size of that demand as we go forward," he said, adding "we’ll be reliant on the global plans for engines and what engines they’re going to put into which vehicles".