Monday, January 5, 2009

Spied : Nissan Patrol 2010

Tokyo, Japan – Nissan's new 2010 model Patrol has been leaked ahead of schedule after photos of the 4WD were snapped at a recent industry-only presentation of the vehicle. Clearly the security at the event was lax, and the result is four half-decent photos of the new car. The event hall appears empty, so we're guessing these images were smuggled out by a janitor of some sort. The images show exactly how the new generation Patrol is styled, and from the front it has a strong resemblance to its main rival, the Toyota LandCruiser. Nissan's largest SUV, and also one of its most capable, has angular new headlights, the styling of which is similar to the Toyota LandCruiser and Lexus LX 570 models. Projector beams are in attendance and the chrome grille adheres to Nissan's current design philosophy. Unlike the Toyota LandCruiser however, the rear side windows have are angled to create a slightly sporty look, which is helped along by technical LED brake lights. It's not a quantum leap in the design for large 4WDs, but it does represent a significantly more modern aesthetic and will reinvigorate interest in the vehicle when it launches during 2009. The Editor reviewed the updated LandCruiser earlier in the year and it scored a very positive 4 out of 5, but the last time the Nissan Patrol was road tested on the Motoring Channel (back in 2003) it scored 3 out of 5. Nissan's new Patrol is expected to ship with a range of new 4WD functions, such as downhill descent control and other slow-speed, high torque modes, that will allow it to more closely compete with Toyota's large 4WD. The photos of this leaked Nissan Patrol appear to be of a highly specified variant as the interior is bedecked in leather and it also boasts a colour LCD screen. There's woodgrain trim and the steering wheel is festooned with buttons and controls, some of which could be linked to the AWD systems. Located just behind the gearstick however is a rotary dial that will probably be labelled the "All-Mode 4WD" system like on the X-Trail. Powerplants for the new model will include petrol and diesel engines, likely to include an update to the current 4.8-litre inline 6-cylinder petrol motor offered in Australia. This big 6-cylinder mill current outputs 180kW and 400Nm, but could also be replaced by a new V8 engine.(V8 rumors suggest it will be above 400 hp with 7 speeds gearbox) Though nothing has been confirmed, sources say that Nissan will offer two diesel engines, expected to be a revision of the current 3.0-litre turbo diesel and something bigger and badder to rival Toyota's twin turbo V8 diesel. A few wags even suggested that the GT-R's twin turbo V6 engine could make the grade in down-tuned form, but the odds of this happening are about as likely as Nissan entering the Formula 1 championship. It's been a long time coming, but Nissan's off-road experts have finally finished work on the new Patrol. Along with the X-Trail, Pathfinder, Navara and to a lesser extent the Dualis, Nissan has a strong 4WD line-up. The next question is: will the new 2010 Nissan Patrol live up to expectations? Stay tuned for the answer.


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