NISSAN scores a Slam Dunk in the ute stakes | TRANSPORT NEWS

Nissan Australia has slammed back into contention for ute buyers by simplifying the whole process of purchasing a highly customised ute that’s more capable, more comprehensive and more attractive, plus it’s all inclusive of a five-year factory backed warranty. 

Realising just how much personalisation takes place with buyers in the ute segment, Nissan engineers led by LCV product manager Matt Baily have worked with the product development and engineering team from Premcar in Melbourne (in much the same way as RAM Trucks worked with the engineers from HSV and Tom Walkinshaw Racing) to turn a good vehicle with a strong heritage into an exceptional vehicle tailored for the 4WD enthusiast in our market.

The Nissan N-TREK Warrior project was kick-started under the watch of Nissan Australia MD Stephen Lester, together with Director of Engineering for Premcar Bernard Quinn, to produce a sensible but comprehensive approach to fine tuning the Navara ute into something rather special.

The Warrior is set to appeal to those wanting to stand out in the crowd from the top of the line model Ford Rangers, Toyota HiLux Rugged and Mercedes-Benz X-Class, while not wanting the additional 4.5 tonnes tow capacity of RAM Trucks but demanding improved off-road capability.

Developed and assembled for the Australian and New Zealand markets from its new Epping, Melbourne facility, Premcar is initially gearing up for a production rate of ten Warriors per day.

What the buyer gains is that engineers and designers have taken all the guess work and inconvenience out of the buying equation. The Warrior has factory backed and approved revised and uprated suspension, 40mm higher ground clearance at 268mm and a stylish body coloured integral steel bull bar containing the class leading lens optics of the Hella 16-LED steel combination pencil beam and wide-angle beam light bar.

Conforming to all ADRs and with a continuation of the ANCAP 5-Star crash assessment rating, buyers get improved ground clearance, better approach and departure angles and a higher ramp-over angle.

Tyre and trim combinations are often the result of guesswork unless determined by a tyre specialist and for the Warrior the answer lies with the involvement of Cooper Tyres to create a unique package of 17-inch alloy rims shod with  275/70R17 (32.2 inch) Cooper A/T3 tyres (including the spare) and protected by wide flares on the guards. These extend the track width to 1600mm.

Revised spring rates and damper setting were developed with Adelaide-based Monroe Tenneco to provide an improved progressive rate performance, raising the ability of the suspension to conform to the ground surface and not be subject to bounce reducing the tyre contact patch pressure and thereby maintaining higher levels of control.

The snazzy interior trim fit out is unique to Warrior, with black highlighted door handles and exterior trim sections with orange highlights all adding to the package.

The appeal here is that engineers that know their business well, (Premcar was born from Prodrive UK of Tickford and FPV fame), have created what buyers at the upper level want to own, yet might not have the time, experience or knowledge to put together as a package. Nissan and Premcar have done the job for them, with the whole vehicle backed by Nissan’s five-year factory warranty providing peace of mind. With a release date for the Australian market of December, pricing has yet to be announced. Full details will appear in the December/January issue of Delivery Magazine.

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