Most of us are associating Nismo with sports cars such as the 370Z and GT-R, but Nissan’s performance branch has expanded in recent years across several segments of the market. Remember the Juke Nismo? What about the Micra / March Nismo? Let’s not forget the Sentra Nismo. Perhaps the most unlikely candidate to receive the go-faster treatment is the reputable Patrol.
The sixth-generation Patrol (Y62) came out way back in 2010 and received a thorough refresh in September 2019. It wasn’t until December 2020 when the US-spec Armada was introduced, but that’s a story for another day. Some will be surprised to hear the Patrol Nismo has been around for a while, launching in the Middle East in October 2015. Now, Nissan is getting ready to update the performance version based on the Patrol facelift.
A camo-free 2022 Patrol Nismo has been spotted in the UAE during a photoshoot, thus indicating an official reveal is right around the corner. It features a slightly more aggressive body kit with red accents to mirror the pre-facelift model while carrying over the same 22-inch RAYS forged alloy wheels. The amped-up SUV appears to be sitting closer to the road, presumably due to a stiffer suspension setup as the previous Patrol Nismo had a reworked setup with Bilstein shock absorbers.
It’s not all show without any extra go as the performance version is expected to pack more punch compared to the standard model. When the Patrol Nismo was launched, its 5.6-liter V8 engine was dialed to 428 horsepower or an extra 28 hp over the regular model that soldiers on with the same 400-hp output.
Gallery: 2016 Nissan Patrol Nismo
It would be easy to criticize Nissan for diluting Nismo, but virtually all automakers are associating their SUVs with badges previously reserved to true performance cars. After all, Audi has RS SUVs competing with high-riding AMGs and Bavarian M-badged sport utility vehicles. In the mainstream segment, VW sells R versions of the T-Roc, Tiguan, and Touareg, while even the once humble Skoda brand has a Kodiaq RS.
A new Nismo that fully lives up to its heritage is likely coming later this decade considering the 370Z replacement previewed by the Z Proto is due later this year in production form.