There is no doubt that there is a market for cars like the Nissan Patrol Warrior, if you need to see proof of that just have a look at the huge number of modified Patrols that buyers take directly from a Nissan dealer to a third-party accessories shop.
So the question had to be asked, what if Nissan (with the help of Premcar) did all the modifications for you, and backed it with the same level of warranty and factory support as a standard car? It had already been answered with the popular Nissan Navara Warrior range and finally, Nissan has given the Patrol the Warrior treatment.
Before we get into it, it’s important to point out a few things about the Warrior program. The entire modification process takes place in Victoria and is engineered by Premcar. The Patrol Warrior is a program that is built for Australian conditions with Australians in mind.
All the work done to the car (and there is a lot) is done so with full compliance with Australian Design Rules (ADR) and the vehicle is sold as a factory model, meaning you will never have any issues around tyre size, ride height, or any other compliance matters that many police forces around Australia have taken on board in recent enforcements against modified utes and 4x4s.
The brief for the Patrol Warrior? Create a vehicle that enhances the existing Patrol platform without compromise. Premcar says it aimed to create a package that reinforced the vehicle in every way, not just just enhancing it for off-road capability. The Warrior is based on the Patrol Ti, due to the sunroof in the top-spec Ti-L changing the height requirements.
The main changes include the deletion of anti-roll bars, which are replaced by a HBMC (Hydraulic Body Motion Control) system that contains bespoke valves and is assembled by Primcar. More on this below.
From an exterior perspective, there are black mirror caps, black grille, red bash plate, Warrior-branded front bumper. The Warrior rides on all-terrain 34.4-inch tyres wrapped around 18-inch alloy wheels protected by unique fender flares and mud flaps.
On the back of the Patrol Warrior is a new rear bumper assembly that sees the addition of a new tow bar, Warrior badging and 3.5-tonne recovery points. The Warrior’s tow bar has been specifically designed so Premcar could fit in a full-size spare and tyre, which means a substantial redesign of the vehicle’s rear.
Does it work? It’s hard to know for sure given our short drive of a prototype in a closed environment at Brisbane’s Mount Cotton driver training centre.
But our first impressions both on-road and off-road are very positive and given the strong demand for the basic Patrol already with wait times of more than six months, the Warrior edition should have no trouble finding a captive buying audience.
There is still no pricing for the Nissan Patrol Warrior.
However, given the price differences between Navara and Navara Warrior, we can estimate that given the 2023 Nissan Patrol Ti (4×4) on which it is based has a MLRP of $82,160, we anticipate the Warrior will cost around $95,000-100,000 before on-road costs.
There is not an awful lot of change on the inside of the Patrol Warrior compared to the standard car, which goes to show the majority of the engineering has been done to the vehicle’s exterior and suspension.
Nonetheless, unique to the Warrior is a black interior colour theme with Alcantara door and dash inlays with Warrior badging and clear-coated high-gloss black trim.
The infotainment is a little old school with an 8.0-inch touchscreen that offers satellite navigation and a CD/DVD player – yes, you read that correctly.
If you want to read more about the Patrol’s interior check out our review of the Nissan Patrol Ti.
The engine itself remains the same 5.6-litre naturally-aspirated V8 which puts out a very decent 298kW and peak torque of 560Nm, most of which arrives well up in the rev range at 4000rpm.
The main drivetrain modification is the addition of a bi-modal exhaust, which opens up at a certain RPM (seemingly around 4000rpm) and allows the V8 to really bellow a deep raspy sound that most owners will very much appreciate.
Although there is no button to allow the side-piped exhaust to stay open permanently (as that would likely be against ADRs or noise restrictions), the balance between being quiet when it needs to be and making itself heard when your right foot goes all the way down is well thought out.
The powertrain is paired to permanent 4×4 system via a seven-speed conventional automatic transmission. Drive can be switched between 4H and 4L, while the rear differential can be locked when desired.
The driver can also select a number of different drive modes that include Road, Sand, Snow and Rock traction calibrations. It’s rated to tow up to 3500kg braked as with the standard Patrol.
From a suspension perspective, there is a 50mm lift with re-developed, softer front springs and progressive rate rear springs (triple rate springs with, super soft, soft and hard).
The re-engineered HBMC (similar technology used by McLaren, Rivian and Range Rover) sees no need for anti-roll bars, making the Patrol’s off-road credentials far stronger.
We drove the Patrol Warrior on road and off-road tracks at Mount Cotton in Brisbane, and given the super smooth road surfaces and carefully curated off-road track, it’s too early to make a final judgment on how it drives.
What we can say, is the new exhaust system sounds pretty decent and the massive Yokohama Geolander tyres aren’t a huge compromise for on-road driving – although we did find full-lock to produce a bit of crabbing, which we expected.
In addition, the Warrior at highway speeds felt no different to a standard Patrol, meaning it will be an ideal vehicle to not just go off-road with, but also take the family on long drives.
It’s a big car, no matter how you look at it and given the size of the doors and the general height of the vehicle, you will find yourself seeking a large carpark when available.
That big petrol V8 is genuinely addictive. Despite being a rather old unit, it still provides a great driving experience with its smooth and characterful application. The best bit is the engine’s crisp naturally-aspirated response makes it seem torquier than it is.
The 5.6-litre V8 feels a little tame unless you really give it some revs, but given it doesn’t need a supercharger or turbocharger the torque and power delivery is effortlessly smooth thanks to the well-tuned transmission.
If you have even an ounce of car passion in your blood, you will struggle to keep the fuel consumption to under 20L/100km.
On the smooth roads we drove it on, it’s hard to say if the Patrol’s excellent ride and handling (relative to its enormous size) has been compromised by the Warrior upgrades, but it didn’t feel like that at all – if anything, it felt better.
As for off-road capability, the Patrol Warrior prototype climbed over anything and everything that the off-road course throw at it, and never seemed all that fazed.
Then again, outside of improved departure and approach angles (not yet specified in final form) thanks to the improved ride height, the regular Patrol didn’t exactly struggle much with what the average person would demand of it either.
We look forward to taking the Patrol Warrior on a more thorough test on public roads and our test track at Lang Lang.
P61G MC ASR Conversions Project “Warrior”
- Black mirror caps
- Black grille
- Fender flares & mud flaps
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- Red bash plate
- Warrior-branded front bumper assembly
- All-terrain tyres
- 2 x recovery points
- Warrior badging
- New valance panel
- New towbar
- Bi-Modal exhaust
- 50mm lift
- Re-engineered HBMC system
- Re-developed progressive-rate rear springs
- Re-developed front springs
- Alcantara door and dash inlays with Warrior branding
Despite more than a decade of being on sale, the Y62 Patrol is yet to be ANCAP rated.
At this stage, it probably never will be, either. Nonetheless, there is no substitute for mass and the Patrol packs that in reserve and still comes with plenty of safety systems.
Standard safety features include:
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Forward collision warning
- Lane departure warning
- Lane keep assist
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- 360-degree camera system
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Tyre pressure monitoring
- Adaptive cruise control
The Patrol also fits front, side and curtain knee airbags as well as ISOFIX anchors outboard in row two.
The Patrol Warrior is covered by Nissan’s five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, just like the standard Patrol.
Servicing is required every 12 months or 10,000km – whichever comes first.
While we do not have any specific information on the Warrior spec, we suspect it will cost the same as the standard Patrol which is covered by Nissan’s capped-price servicing which costs $393, $502, $483, $791 and $425 over five visits.
Further, there are pre-paid packages priced at $1378, $2168 and $2594 for three, four and five years respectively.
If you have a Patrol on order, Nissan says you can swap your order to a Warrior as of today.
If you’re thinking about buying a Patrol and modifying it, you may as well have a good look at the Warrior because there is a good chance it will save you some money and keep the annoying modification police at bay.
The Warrior is the toughest, most capable Nissan Patrol ever made. It comes with Australian-specific engineering that sees the majority of its new parts being sourced locally and designed specifically for our roads and conditions.
Cars like this just don’t exist anymore and we should cherish the local engineering might that has gone into this. With more than 5000 Navara Warriors sold already, the folks at Premcar know how to build a tough ute, and based on our quick drive of this Patrol prototype, they very much know how to build a tough 4WD as well.
Nissan Australia says final details of the Patrol Warrior, including the price, will be available by the end of 2023. Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest.
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