A Nissan executive has confirmed the Japanese firm is “considering” developing a high-performance version of the Navara to take on the Ford Ranger Raptor.

Ivan Espinosa, Nissan senior-vice president of global planning, made the comment to CarAdvice and other Australian media outlets after the reveal of the facelifted Navara.

“It’s something that we are considering and monitoring,” he admitted, before pointing out such a project would require extensive engineering resources.

“It’s not so easy to execute, because obviously you need to plan it from the very beginning; having maybe some frame countermeasures, some suspension travel changes,” Espinosa explained.

“We’re talking about next generation. It’s something that we are considering seriously.”

While Nissan has yet to announce when the next-generation Navara is scheduled to hit the road, it’s widely believed the fresh bakkie won't arrive before 2024.

"It’s something that we are looking at, but not in the short term,” Espinosa emphasised.

Production of the refreshed Navara is scheduled to begin in South Africa in 2021. In April 2019, Nissan SA announced it would begin producing the Navara bakkie for local and export markets at its Rosslyn plant in Pretoria.

The R3-billion investment will see the Navara added to the production line alongside the NP300 Hardbody and half-tonne NP200, with more volume likely coming South Africa’s way thanks to Nissan's decision to close its Barcelona plant (which also builds the Navara) in the near future. That also means we can expect a broader range of Navara body styles to be offered locally, from single- to double-cab variants.