Ranger Raptor rival: Aussie Nissan boss hints at six-cylinder Nismo Navara
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There are a few things that we have in common with our Aussie neighbours across the ditch, we love rugby, cricket, and a good workhorse ute.
Historically, the ute market was dominated by Ford and Holden in our part of the world until the Japanese brands burst onto the scene, but the closest that we've gotten to a rugged, off-road ute is the Ford Ranger Raptor.
While the Ranger Raptor didn't come with a V8 as everyone seemed to be hoping for, it's still a capable off-road ute that looks the part. The HSV SportsCat has come up against it, but doesn't seem to be shaking the Raptor of its roost.
As you may already know, Nismo is Nissan's motorsport-inspired division that built its reputation in Skyline GTRs and Zs, but has since worked on other, tamer Nissan cars like the Duke or the Leaf.
Seeing how Nismo has broadened its reach across the Nissan range, it makes perfect sense that a Nismo Navara could be coming, and Nissan's boss in Australia is seriously pushing for it.
According to Stephen Lester, a transplanted Nissan engine that features a few more cylinders would be a welcome change in the double-cab ute.
"I would love the team at global to give us an engine that’s in another car, we’ve got some tremendous engines," Lester told Cars Guide. "Trust me, we don't miss an opportunity to remind them that there’s a pretty big engine bay there that could fit an extra couple of cylinders..."
Looking at the Nissan line-up right now, there are only a couple of engines that Lester could be referring to when he says "an extra couple of cylinders". The most likely option would be the 245kW 3.7-litre V6 engine that's' found in the 370Z, the other option is the 419kW twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 that's found in the GTR, but that one seems too far-fetched.
If Nissan wanted to make use of all that engine bay, and please their trans-Tasman customers, that could always slap the 298kW 5.6-litre V8 that's currently found in the Patrol, but with the rising fuel costs will probably stop that one in its tracks.
Who knows if this Nismo Navara will actually become a thing, but if it does, those extra cylinders will certainly be a bonus.