If Nissan wants to attack Fortuner, this will be its weapon of choice.
It has been quite a white since Japanese automaker Nissan unveiled the 2015 Navara pick up truck, meant mainly for emerging markets in South East Asia. The automaker also has plans of building a luxury SUV based on the Navara’s underpinnings, a-la-Toyota Hilux based Fortuner or even the Mitsubishi Triton backed Pajero Sport.
Let us be clear. While the pickup truck and SUV are clearly for emerging markets – that includes India – the company has not said anything at all about its potential launch in India. But we think there is more to the story.
The Nissan X-Trail is now over, in India. That means Nissan has no vehicle at all in the Rs 20 lakh segment. That segment is left as an open playground for Fortuner, Rexton, Sante Fe et al to do do as they want. IF Nissan finally decides to make a serious play in that category, the Navara-based SUV will be the vehicle to attack it with.
CarToq’s rendering artist has come up with a speculative render on how the luxury SUV based on the Nissan Navara could look like.
Considering that the Navara pick up truck based luxury SUV would share its underpinnings with its load bearing cousin, expect the ladder frame chassis to be the basis of the new Nissan vehicle. The Navara pick up truck features luxuriously appointed interiors, with a large feature set. Expect the interiors and features to be carried over to the luxury SUV with minimal changes.
In terms of mechanicals, petrol and diesel engines of the luxury SUV are likely to be borrowed from those offered on the pick up truck. The 5 point multi-link rear suspension, an oddity on a pick up truck – most of which use leaf spring suspension set ups at the rear – seen on the Navara pick up seems designed with a luxury SUV future in mind. A different badge is likely for the luxury SUV that will be spawned out of the Navara.
A timeline for the luxury SUV’s arrival hasn’t been specified. However, the next couple of years should see major progress happening on the Navara-based luxury SUV front, now that the pick up truck is already in the market. Bullish about its SUV prospects in India, Nissan plans to launch more SUVs in this part of the world. Although the Navara-based luxury SUV hasn’t been greenlighted for India just as yet, the ladder frame-based luxury SUV segment will prove hard for Nissan to ignore.
And for all those modders out there, here is the Navara pickup truck, kitted out for full off-road action. That’s what you should be doing with your Navara SUV, whenever it comes to India.