The company is seriously considering a more capable version of the pickup.
As Ford readies its hot new Ranger Raptor for its production in Europe, other companies are also beginning the explore the idea of an off-road oriented pickup, particularly Nissan. In a new interview with the Australian publication Motoring, Nissan execs suggest that the Navara could get a similar go-fast treatment as the one found on the new Ranger.
Nissan's Australian division has reportedly urged executives to green light the more-powerful Navara. Though the project hasn't officially been confirmed, considering that the small pickup shares its bones with the more luxurious Mercedes-Benz X-Class, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see Nissan adopt the same 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 found on the new Benz.
Renault-Nissan’s global light commercial vehicle boss, Ashwani Gupta, told the publication that he will be meeting with Australian executives in a few days during this week’s launch of the Series 3 D23 Navara, and he’s open to the idea of a more rugged Navara.
"If you would had asked me this question yesterday [about a Raptor rival] I would have said this is not in our priority list," Gupta said in the interview. "But if you are asking this question today then I am saying this is an opportunity we would like to study."
If Nissan does decide to build a Navara that could rival the Ranger Raptor, it would need to come with plenty of upgrades. The Ranger uses 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine to produce 210 horsepower (156 kilowatts) and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) of torque, and comes equipped with Fox shocks, big off-road tires, and a new 10-speed gearbox. The most powerful Navara, meanwhile, uses a 2.3-liter engine to deliver just 188 hp (140 kW) – but the aforementioned 3.0-liter diesel V6 found on the X-Class could be the answer.
"We have every technology to do that," Gupta said in regards to using the Mercedes diesel engine on the Navara. "The question is we study and if it makes sense for the customer and the business we will do it."