And it has plenty of engines to choose from.
It’s time to give Australia due credit for singlehandedly keeping the high-performance truck market alive. Aussie demand for mid-size pickups that can rampage through the Australian Outback is part of what helped convince Ford to build a Raptor version of the Ranger (which we don’t get here) and may have even prodded Mitsubishi into building a production version of the Triton Absolute Concept truck that debuted at this year’s Bangkok International Motor Show.
And now, it looks like Nissan is looking into pandering to Australians with its own version of a mid-size Raptor-fighting truck. Australia’s CarsGuide learned that after speaking to Stephen Lester, the head of Nissan Australia.
Lester broke the news when he mentioned that he would like to see "a couple of extra cylinders" added to the Australian market Nissan Navara, which is a mid-size truck that Nissan sells abroad in place of the ancient US market Frontier. The current Navara is sold in Australia with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel that makes 187 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque.
While that’s plenty of grunt for most customers, it’s not quite enough to make the Navara a direct competitor to the Ranger Raptor or a potential Mitsubishi Triton Absolute. Moreover, Nissan has plenty of ability to produce such a truck, even if it wants to build it from its own parts bin. All the Navara needs is an upgraded off-road suspension and a more powerful engine.
"I would love the team at global to give us an engine that’s in another car, we’ve got some tremendous engines,” said Lester. "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…” he added.
But unlike the diesel Ranger Raptor, Lester wants to see a souped-up Navara run on gasoline, which could give Nissan plenty of engines from which to choose. A smaller version of the Nissan GT-R’s V6 engine could be an option, but a more practical choice would be the turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 from the Infiniti Q50 and Q60 Redsport 400. With up to 400 horsepower on tap, that engine would certainly allow the Navara to fight and even beat the Ranger Raptor. The only issue, of course, is that it probably won’t make it to the US.