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Nissan locks in next Patrol but still years out

You’re next: The Y62 Patrol may have only just been facelifted, but a new-generation model is soon to be on the drawing board.

Pajero tie-up possible for new Nissan Patrol that may be up to half a decade away

24 Oct 2019


NISSAN has let slip that it is finally working on a replacement for the long-lived Y62 Patrol series, though when it will be released and whether it will be a co-development with Mitsubishi as a successor to the now-defunct Pajero remain unknown.


Speaking to the media at the Tokyo motor show this week, Nissan Motor Company head of design Alfonso Albaisa said that his department is preparing to commence work on a number of high-profile models from the brand’s extensive line-up, including ones with a daunting amount of history, heritage and following among owners.


“We have such meaning in the portfolio,” he said in response to dealing with the baggage of expectation surrounding the successor of iconic models like the 370Z. “We have the Nissan Patrol. It’s one of the oldest names in the world. It is 70 years old. It is one of the longest lasting names. This is going to come our way, and what an honour to do that. GT-R. Z-car. Next Murano. Qashqai. These are icons.”


Mr Albaisa’s comments also reveal that the existing Patrol still has a long time to run, since the time from drawing pad to production of any vehicle is usually in the vicinity of three to four years. Furthermore, Nissan only announced the Y62 model’s first major facelift last month. Australian sales for that are set to commence late this year or by early 2020.


The head of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation design Tsunehiro Kunimoto would not be drawn into speculation that the next Patrol and Pajero may end up sharing the same underpinnings under the skin now that his company is part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, though he acknowledged the importance of the long-lived full-SUV series in his line-up.


“(A tie-up with the Nissan Patrol) is a good point, but at the moment, we do not have any plans,” he told GoAuto. “Because there are a number of difficulties and differences, and a Pajero customer is somewhat different (to a Patrol customer).


“So, at this moment, we do not have a clear plan to develop Pajero, which has now stopped production. However, this is one of our most important assets as everybody knows, but on the other hand, the size of the market for such luxury SUV is going down. So, it is quite tough conditions in which to survive or develop a new one.”


Mr Kunimoto added that consumers now demand an unprecedented level of opulence and brand cache in their full-size SUVs, which is not what was intended from the original Pajero.


“Customer expectations for such big SUVs is now very high – they used to be after convenience… so we have to ask that it is good for Mitsubishi to develop this? Also, there are other conditions, such as meeting CO2 emissions (which will prove challenging for such a large SUV).”


The sixth generation since the series debuted in 1951, Nissan launched the Y62 Patrol in early 2010, but did not have a suitable diesel engine that was large enough to handle a 2.6-tonne to 3.0-tonne full-sized SUV with a ladder-frame chassis, meaning that only a 5.6-litre V6 petrol has been offered.


A fraternal twin to the Infiniti QX56, it is built on the F-Alpha platform that underpins a number of larger and mostly US-focused Nissans, including the Armada SUV and existing Titan full-size pick-up.


Though the first two Pajeros (from 1982 and 1991 respectively) followed the general Patrol principal by adopting a body-on-frame construction, the 1999 Mk3 (dubbed V60 until the V80 facelift usurped it in 2006) moved to a unibody construction, but with an integrated ladder-frame chassis for added strength and rigidity. Production ceased in August this year in Japan.

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