Nissan’s new D23 Navara will feature a 3.5 tonne tow rating in top spec when it hits Australia early next year, along with a one-tonne payload capacity.
It will also come with a new 2.3 litre twin-turbo diesel engine (in two states of tune), developed jointly under the Renault Nissan alliance.
This new engine replaces the 2.5 litre and the top dog in the current range, the 550Nm 3.0 litre V6 diesel.
These and more details emerged from the media drive of the new Navara in Thailand this week. (Watch for TMR’s review in the coming days.)
Nissan has dropped the powerful 170kW/550Nm V6 turbodiesel from the range - something which not all buyers will welcome - because it can no longer satisfy tightening emissions regulations.
The 2.5 litre diesel planned for some overseas markets won't make it to Australia - it's now only for markets requiring Euro IV compliance.
The top-spec outputs of the new 2.3 litre twin-turbo match precisely the 140kW and 450Nm outputs of the outgoing 2.5, with the addition of a second turbo promising to improve driveability and power delivery.
A 118kW/403Nm version will also be offered, equipped with a smaller twin-scroll turbo.
This means the new Navara will be outdone in the local torque arena by Holden’s 500Nm 2.8 litre Colorado and the 470Nm 3.2 litre Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 twins.
Importantly however, Nissan claims the switch to a smaller engine will result in fuel consumption savings of around 11 percent for the lower-output unit, while the more powerful twin-turbo engine will return savings of up to 19 percent.
This is partly thanks to a 70kg weight saving in the new model, along with the addition of a seven-speed auto. A six-speed manual will also be offered.
The new Navara also offers switchable shift-on-the-fly 4x4.
Nissan's new pickup should also find renewed popularity among fleet buyers, thanks to its seven airbags (including side airbags extending into the rear, and additional passive safety features expected to secure a 5-Star ANCAP safety rating.
And, in recognition of the growing popularity of new-generation pickups among family buyers, the dual-cab 4X4 models in the new Navara range will get a multi-link rear suspension.
This is quite a surprise and hints at other model plans for this platform - like an SUV. (Now confirmed - Ed.)
In dual-cab form, the new Navara measures 5255mm long, 1850mm wide and 1820mm tall, with a 3150mm wheelbase.
Other ‘workhorse’ models in the range, which will include single, extra-cab and dual-cab bodies, and cab-chassis variants, will continue with a leaf spring rear set-up.
Key features of the new Navara, depending on specification, include a seven-inch touch display screen with reversing camera, Bluetooth, sunroof, adjustable tie-downs in the tub and rear air-conditioning vents in dual-cab models.
Standard safety features include seven airbags, vehicle dynamic control, active brake limited slip, hill-start assist and hill descent control.
The new Navara will be sourced from Thailand, where Nissan has built a new facility in Samut Prakarn with a production capacity of around 75,000 units per year. Nissan’s existing Thailand facilitiesgive a total production capacity of around 370,000 per year.
In Australia, the new Navara will go up against a familiar spread of rivals: the popular Toyota Hilux and Mitsubishi Triton (both due for replacement in the coming year), along with the Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50, Isuzu D-Max, Holden Colorado and Volkswagen Amarok.
Watch for official Australian specifications to come soon.
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