NISSAN Australia has developed an exclusive halo version of its popular Navara – the Nissan Navara N-TREK Warrior – featuring a range of engineering enhancements and changes.
We sent Noah Charalambous along to the official launch in Melbourne yesterday to check out the new king of the Navara hill, expected to deliver the most stylish and capable Navara ever.
I despise camping. Properly hate it.
I have never understood why any self-respecting person would think swapping their perfectly warm house for a leaky tarpaulin is a good idea. It isn’t.
No. Camping is woeful. It’s cold. It’s wet. And it involves manual labour, which I am convinced I’m allergic to.
However. It recently dawned on me that I have a strong desire to own a Swiss Army Knife although I have no intention of ever using one properly.
That said, while I’m no Bear Grylls, I think my desire to own a Swiss Army Knife has something to do with me wanting to feel like I am. For my ego’s sake. And nothing boosts your ego like wielding a knife the size of your forearm.
So I want a Swiss Army Knife. Much in the same way that I want a 4×4 ute. Nissan’s all-new, halo-grade Navara is the latest vying for a place in my heart.
It’s called the ’N-TREK Warrior’ and is Nissan’s first attempt at creating a ‘premium’ ute. Based on the N-TREK dual cab, the ‘Warrior’ is tasked with the not-insignificant task of stealing sales from the Toyota Hilux Rugged X, HSV SportsCat and Ford Raptor. Serious competition, yes, but Nissan maintains that the Australia/NZ-only ‘Warrior’ is a serious car.
To create the ultimate Navara, Nissan enlisted the help of the engineering wizards at Premcar – the company responsible for developing the widow-making, 483kW, Ford Falcon ‘Holy Grail’.
Compared to the standard N-TREK, the ‘Warrior’ hosts a completely re-designed front-end, characterised by a new, body-coloured steel bull-bar and panel gaps wider than my thighs.
Nissan also fitted a 470mm LED light bar, though I wish they had spent a few extra pennies better integrating it into the bull-bar. It stands out like a zit. It’s an aggressive design nonetheless.
Additionally, the Warrior receives 32.3-inch Cooper all-terrain tyres and enhanced off-road road suspension.
The end result is a Navara that looks far more intimidating compared to its lesser brethren. The revised bumper and extra 40mm of ground clearance aren’t merely for superficial reasons either.
Nissan claims the Warrior is capable of tackling 35 degree approach angles and 29 degree departure angles. Interestingly, those numbers are superior to those boasted by Ford’s Ranger Raptor (32.5 degree approach angle, 24 degree departure angle).
A 3mm steel front underbody bash-plate designed to protect the car’s vital organs completes the package. As for the engine, the Warrior houses the same 2.3-litre turbo-diesel unit found in the N-TREK. A missed opportunity?
Regardless, Premcar tested the Warrior in a variety of Australian conditions to ensure that its improved off-road capabilities are complemented by superior performance on tarmac.
During its unveiling, Nissan executives used the word ‘sporty’ more than once to describe the Warrior’s handling. Sceptical? I don’t blame you. Bring on the all-important test drives.
Inside, the Warrior retains the N-TREK’s interior, albeit, for some speciality branded, partial leather seats and orange stitched steering wheel.
While a number has yet to be finalised, Nissan emphasises that the Warrior’s price will be “competitive” with other premium utes. Bet on it being somewhere in between $60,000-$70,000.
With the Warrior, Nissan should be applauded for not simply bolting on a new bumper and calling it a day.
Considering the Warrior was produced in a little over 12 months, the amount of research and development that has gone into making it is impressive.
It is emphatically not just an N-TREK that’s been driven through Anaconda. It’s a capable and desirable piece of off-roading machinery.