New models - Nissan - Patrol - 5-dr wagon
Sydney show: Nissan unveils 4WD feast
Nissan uses its 4WD range to launch new brand identity
11 Oct 2001
By JUSTIN LACY
NISSAN has launched a revised four-wheel drive range - Patrol, Pathfinder and Navara light commercials - at this week's Sydney motor show to accompany the release of its new X-Trail compact "soft-roader".
The updated models are the first to filter through under the Nissan Revival Plan of current company president Carlos Ghosn.
They are set to be the flag bearers for the company's new direction, which will see Australia receive at least seven new models as part of a global 22-model product offensive by the Japanese manufacturer over the next few years.
The big story with the updated Patrol range is the introduction of a new 4.8-litre DOHC in-line six-cylinder engine.
Code-named TB48DE, the new powerplant features Nissan's Induction Control System (NICS) and Valve Timing Control (VTC), which both work to maximise engine performance and flexibility at low and high engine speeds, as well as improving fuel consumption.
As a result power has risen from 145kW to 185kW at 4800rpm, while the wider torque band produces a peak of 420Nm at 3600rpm, up from 350Nm with the 4.5-litre engine.
Those figures are class-leading for a six-cylinder engine and in fact even put the competitions V8 engines to shame.
The Patrol's brake package has been upgraded to match the extra performance from the new engine, with brake disc size increased to 316x34mm at the front and 330x18mm at the rear, while the swept area of the calliper pistons has also been enlarged.
Nissan has also introduced a new automatic transmission with the bigger six-cylinder engine. The five-speed unit has been lifted from the marque's luxury Infiniti sedan, which is sold in North America.
Dubbed the "Sportshift Automatic Transmission", it features a manual shift mode with a chrome gate that is virtually identical to the ones found in many of Audi's models.
The 3.0-litre turbo-diesel variant retains the four-speed automatic transmission previously used by the outgoing ST and Ti models with the 4.5-litre engine.
Some mild styling revisions inside and out help to distinguish the 2002 Patrol range from the outgoing model.
Externally there is a new grille with a more pronounced "V" shape and two horizontal bars bearing Nissan's new corporate logo, as well as a wider front bumper and new multi-parabola headlights.
At the rear, the Patrol picks up a redesigned bumper and new tail-lights, while there is also wider wheel arch extensions and redesigned side steps on the ST and Ti models.
There is a new alloy wheel design for the Ti, while all petrol engine models get a larger wheel/tyre combination as standard - 8.0x16 wheels with 275/70 R16 tyres.
New exterior colours for the range include Silver, Red, Gold and Blue, while the two-tone range for the Ti consists of Blue/Pewter, Red/Pewter Grey and Green/Pewter.
The interior has also been given a fresh look with a redesigned instrument panel on the DX and ST models, new trim on ST models and backlit instruments on the high-grade Ti model.
Patrol DX 3.0-litre T/Diesel (man) $46,540
Patrol DX 4.2-litre T/Diesel (man) $52,540
Patrol ST 3.0-litre T/Diesel (man) $50,540
Patrol ST 3.0-litre T/Diesel (auto) $53,340
Patrol ST 4.2-litre T/Diesel (man) $56,540
Patrol ST 4.8-litre petrol (man) $52,740
Patrol ST 4.8-litre petrol (auto) $55,540
Patrol Ti 4.8-litre petrol (auto) $70,740 * The Pathfinder has been updated with some minor styling changes and an increased specification level.
Nissan's new badge has found its way onto the grille, wheel centres, rear door and steering wheel of both the ST and Ti models, as have revised flat side steps with enlarged rubber treads and cruise control.
The ST variant now gets the Ti's chrome grille surround, body coloured front and rear bumpers and wheel arch extensions, and remote central locking. It also gains variable intermittent wipers and a revised in-dash single CD player/radio unit.
The Ti picks up US-style roof bars that run horizontally across the roof, as well as an in-dash six-disc CD player/radio/cassette unit.
Nissan initially forecast sales of 200 units per month for the Pathfinder, but this year to date the model has averaged around 270 units each month.
* A new look Navara is also part of Nissan's overhaul of the four-wheel drive model ranges.
The new line-up is marked by the introduction of a 3.0-litre DOHC, four-cylinder, direct injection turbo-diesel engine in all the 4x4 Single and Dual Cab models.
The ZD30 engine is based on the powerplant from the Patrol range, but it has been modified for use in the Navara, where it produces 110kW of power at 3400rpm and 314Nm of torque at 2000rpm - in the Patrol the outputs are 116kW and 354Nm.
The outgoing QD32 3.2-litre diesel engine developed 76kW and 220Nm, so the new engine represents power and torque increases of 44 and 42 per cent respectively.
The bigger engine has also bumped the Navara's rated towing capacity up to 3000kgs, while Nissan claims suspension revisions have improved ride comfort and handling of its light commercial workhorse.
A new sport model will also be introduced, the ST-R 4x4 Dual Cab, to tackle Holden's Rodeo LT Sport and Mitsubishi's Triton GLS models in the recreational end of the class. Like its competitors, it will be offered with a choice of V6 or turbo-diesel engines.
Other changes for the Navara include revised styling with new headlights and new exterior colours, as well as updated interior trim.
Due to go on sale in November, the 4x2 and V6 models will be in dealerships first, with the turbo-diesel models not available until early December.
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