The return of a hero
Reliable, unbreakable, affordable. The Nissan Patrol is a name synonymous with ruggedness, a legendary off-roader capable of going anywhere, anytime. Meticulously honed for over five decades, the Patrol is Nissan's flagship large SUV model and enjoys a rich heritage particularly in the Middle East that dates back to the 1950's. This off-road trendsetter was one of the first dedicated four-wheel-drive vehicles in the climatically demanding Middle East region, and boasts the notable distinction of also being the first vehicle to successfully cross the grueling Simpson Desert in Australia back in 1962.
"We paid special attention to the needs of current Patrol owners, and their passengers, and so focused on creating first-class levels of comfort for the whole family. Heightened luxury, a roomier cabin and a quieter ride combine to achieve this goal, while maintaining Patrol's superior off-road heritage" stresses Hiroyuki Fushiki, project head and Segment Chief Product Specialist.
In their desire to build the best possible Patrol, 200 prototypes were tuned and tested by Nissan engineers for dynamic evaluation at the company's Motegi, Oppama and Tochigi proving grounds before sending them to the Middle East where they were exposed to every imaginable challenge; desert, rocky surfaces, highways and inner-city traffic. "By the time we came around to adding the new body and interior, we had virtually completed our reliability and durability testing and perfected all of the new technologies," says chief vehicle engineer, Takashi Fukui.
The new exterior design is focused on its new angled-strut motif front grille which delivers a sense of Patrol heritage while conveying a touch of modernity and elegance. The new design direction for the Patrol accord to Product design director, Taiji Toyota, is like a breath of fresh air. "Not as edgy and hardcore as its predecessor, the softer new surfaces are beautiful and add a sense of modernity to the design equation, while still maintaining a ruggedness and commanding road presence" he said.
The newly designed interior features generous amounts of leather, polished aluminum and wood grain paneling. Given that most customers only go off-road no more than 15% of the time, designers wanted to create a better, higher quality interior for the whole family. In keeping with the Patrol's mission to deliver more comfort and more room, the new Patrol delivers seat dimensions that outclass all competition. Featuring wider, higher and deeper front seats, over 4-inches more legroom for second row passengers, and a roomier third row of seats as well. Employing double the lateral rigidity over the outgoing model, the new Patrol sits on a revised platform that now offers a more robust construction with a low vibration body.
A new climate control system features curtain vents which have several small but highly effective vents mounted in the ceiling above each side window to blow a strong current of cool air down forming a curtain of air that acts as a barrier to heat penetrating the cabin. A Second row seat passengers not only enjoy more legroom, but also the new multi-screen DVD entertainment system, featuring two rear-facing TVs; one 7-inch monitor mounted into the front seat headrests. A new cooling box is mounted in the center console between the front seats which fits up to six 600ml drink bottles.
An all-new 5.6-liter V8 engine propels the Patrol, make it the most powerful vehicle in its class. The newly developed 'VK56VD' 5.6-liter V8 engine with VVEL (variable valve event and lift) and DIG (direct injection gasoline) technologies churns out 400hp and 560Nm of torque on the top specification version of this new engine. Mated to the powerhouse engine is a new 7-speed automatic transmission with a wide range of gear ratios, giving the off-roader the ability to deliver power faster.
A new brake system featuring a new hydraulic brake booster and a 4-piston opposed front caliper setup with larger 358mm front discs was also adapted for the new powerhouse engine.
A completely redesigned suspension system employs a 4-wheel independent suspension setup featuring the new Hydraulic Body Motion Control System (HBMC), which keeps the car flatter with less body roll during lane-changing and cornering, while delivering a comfortable ride in city driving and superb stability on rugged and sandy tracks. Nissan has completely redesigned the vehicle's suspension from the bushes to the links. The combination of HBMC and the new suspension system with its longer suspension stroke delivers significantly improved handling and stability on both on and off-road terrain.
A newly developed ALL MODE 4x4 system incorporating a variable 4x4 mode package. It allows the driver to quickly switch between four drive modes: sand, on-road, snow and rock, with the flick of a switch. In sand mode, owners are able to drive safely, quickly and skillfully in sand and dirt, just like professional rally drivers. The Patrol also offers features Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control. With Hill Start Assist, if a driver stops on a slope and steps off the brake pedal, the system keeps the vehicle stationary - with no roll back. Hill Descent Control uses the brakes to maintain a constant downhill speed of 7km/h in 4H mode and 4km/h in 4L mode.
For safety, the top trim is fitted with six airbags. A revised Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) with tire inflation indicator which beeps the horn softly to inform drivers that a suitable tire pressure has been reached.
With its fresh new styling, superior packaging, powerful but economical V8 engine, clever off-road technologies and higher levels of luxury and comfort, the all-new Patrol is now a true segment leader.