Nissan has been talking about making a Patrol Warrior with Australian-market tuning for a long time.

    Now the delayed project is finally moving ahead, but don’t expect to see the finished vehicles any time soon given the development process has about 12 months left to run before production commences.

    Australian engineering firm Premcar is now developing a ramped-up version of the Patrol – conceptually similar to its rugged Navara Pro-4X Warrior and Navara SL Warrior vehicles.

    As with the Navara, Patrol Warriors will be imported (in this case from Japan, whereas Navaras come from Thailand) and finished off with Australian-specific modifications at Premcar’s production centre in Melbourne’s north.

    This is a progression over Nissan’s May announcement, when it would only say the Patrol project was being examined closely.

    The 2023 Nissan Patrol Warrior will be exclusive to this market and will feature wheel, tyre and suspension upgrades – but the 298kW and 560Nm V8 engine will be unchanged, despite a teaser image showing what look like Mercedes-AMG G-Class-style side-exit exhaust tips.

    Nissan and Premcar say the “carefully considered and locally tuned” modifications will deliver a Patrol with more ground clearance, a wider stance, and better ride and handling – all tested here in cohesion.

    Premcar’s development program is expected to take around 12 months to complete and will involve additional recruitment, expansion and investment.

    This follows on from an earlier Premcar expansion announced in the middle of 2021, showing that small Australian automotive-related companies can still carve out an existence.

    Since 2019, more than 3500 examples of the Navara Warrior have been finished off in Melbourne.

    The further expansion of the Warrior project to the Patrol nameplate was confirmed this week to Nissan’s dealer network, which has been crying out for a Patrol range-topper – as well as more stock of the regular model.

    Despite high fuel prices, the Patrol has been breaking sales records this year, partly due to LandCruiser 300 supply constraints and partly due to strong demand for vehicles that can tow big caravans and things of that ilk.

    We do not know if Nissan will sell Patrol Warrior models based on the Patrol Ti, Ti-L or both. The respective prices of this pair are $82,160 and $95,115 before on-road costs, and using the Navara as a guide, expect the Patrol Warrior add-ons to cost around $10,000 extra.

    Reflecting ongoing high demand, there are plenty of near-new Patrols in the classifieds going for thousands of dollars above the estimated drive-away price points ($89,600 for the Ti and $103,200 for the Ti-L using a Melbourne postcode).

    “I’m extremely excited to announce that a Nissan Patrol Warrior is coming, and I have no doubt that it will be a huge success,” said Nissan Australia managing director Adam Paterson.

    “The Warrior program, our collaboration with Premcar, has already proven immensely popular in Australia, and a new version of the already hugely capable Nissan Patrol is a vehicle I, like many Australians, can’t wait to drive.

    “Our collaboration with Premcar is all about developing vehicles that are perfectly suited to Australian customers and conditions.”

    More details about the Nissan Patrol Warrior by Premcar will be revealed closer to the vehicle’s launch, the company adds.

    “Nissan Australia’s confirmation of the Patrol Warrior program sends a big signal to Australia’s SUV buyers,” added Premcar engineering director and partner Bernie Quinn.

    “The Y62-series Patrol is already a mighty vehicle and the engineering and enhancement program we have planned together will raise its impressive capabilities even further. It will also deliver another locally developed vehicle perfectly suited to Australian customers and conditions.”

    MORE: Nissan Patrol through the generations

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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