If you were an army kid, there’s a fat chance that you’d have known the Jonga, a one ton SUV that was used by the Indian Army as a people mover. The Jonga was built by the Vehicle Factory Jabalpur (VFJ), a reason why the SUV has VFJ markings. However, the Jonga wasn’t India. The SUV was a Nissan Patrol dubbed the Jonga by the Indian Army. Incidentally, the very name Jonga is very Indian, with the letters standing for Jabalpur Ordinance and Guncarriage Assembly. This is how the second generation Nissan Patrol SUV entered India, and whose comeback is now on the cards.
In its latest iteration though, the Patrol will be far detached from anything to do with the army, and will instead by the Japanese automaker’s flagship offering, imported through the completely built unit (CBU) route. In India, the sixth generation of the Patrol will be served up to the discerning few in the luxury SUV space, who want the fuss free and rugged nature of a Japanese sports utility vehicle. Internationally, the 6th generation Patrol is available with a single petrol engine option, which is a big brute of a V8 displacing 5.6 liters. This all-aluminium engine uses direct injection. 400 Bhp of peak power and 560 Nm of peak torque is what this engine is actually known for though.
While the Toyota Landcruiser brings aboard a big v8 diesel, Nissan coming to the party with the petrol-only Patrol does make the prospect of selling their flagship in a diesel loving SUV market such as India an unenviable task. A seven speed automatic gearbox with manual mode is likely to make it to the India-spec SUV, along with an All Mode four wheel drive system with electronic four wheel drive selection. The Patrol is a seven seater that sits on a ladder frame chassis. In its first foray into India, the Jonga was also sold to civilians with a 4 liter Hino diesel motor. Back then, the vehicle never took off. Will it, in its second coming, at a price of nearly one crore rupees? Only time can tell.