The new Navara NP300 continues Nissan’s long line of pick up trucks, spanning over 80 years.
Back in the day, Pickup trucks were always seen as utility vehicles with not much in the way of creature comforts. These trucksters would haul produce, equipment and hardware from their respective bases and would lead hard lives with hundreds of hardworking kilometers under their wheels. The new Nissan Navara NP300 is a far cry from those. With a segment leading 7-speed automatic, LED headights and a push to start ignition system, the new Navara NP300 is perhaps the smartest pickup in the market today. Despite the innovation, it retains the Nissan truck DNA of durability and reliability.
Nissan started making pick ups as early as 1933 with the Datsun 12. Based on the standard Datsun 12 car, it had a humble 788cc DAT engine and put out 12 horsepower.
The Datsun 14T succeeded the 12 only after a year its predecessor was in production. Like the 12, the 14T was also based on a passenger car but this time was packing a little more horsepower from the 788cc DAT engine. The Datsun type 7 engine with its side valve 4 Cylinder engine actually had a smaller displacement with 722 cc and yet had two more horsepower than the 788cc motor. The 14T also had the distinction of having a heart-shaped grille, something in common with the 14 Sedan. As seen with the 12 and 14T, innovation with Nissan trucks began as early as the 1930’s. The 14T was succeeded by the Datsun 15T from 1936 and the 17T in 1938 and both used the Type 7 engine.
After the war, Nissan began rebuilding despite the destruction and the lack of resources facing them. Imbued with resilience, ingenuity and resourcefulness, the Datsun 1121 was born. Nissan adapted to the times by giving 1121 a grille made from sheet steel and its bumpers made from conventional pressed steel. As the industry recovered, the 1121 was followed by the 2225 and 3135 and both were tagged as products of Japan’s post-war industrial revolution.
By 1950 with the economy in full swing and material shortage no longer being an issue, Nissan produced the Datsun 4146. Like its pre-war forebare, the 17T, the use of chrome was back with Nissan being stronger than ever.
After many decades and many Nissan and Datsun pick ups later, we now arrive at the new Navara NP300. It blends the durability of a truck with the comfort of a passenger car coupled with levels of technology previously seen only in luxury brands. The new truck also boasts an industry first multilink rear suspension that provides a more car-like ride and more secure handling. Innovation can also be found in its powerplant of 2.5 liters. This engine now has more horsepower and torque than the previous Navara and yet more efficient by as much as 19%, striking a balance between performance and economy. With the company continuing to embody resilience, ingenuity and resourcefulness, the new Navara NP300 continues its legacy of over 80 years and will most definitely extend its heritage in more years to come.