With arch-rival Toyota set to unveil the all-new Land Cruiser 300 next year, Nissan has indicated that while it has no plans to abandon the V8-engine Patrol, it could be reintroducing the diesel engine when the next generation debuts in 2022.
Offered only with a 298kW/560Nm normally aspirated 5.6-litre V8 with a smaller 4.0-litre V6 offered in the Middle East, Nissan Australia Managing Director Stephen Lester, admitted to motoring.com.au that while the mono engine option doesn’t come as a concern, the presence of an oil-burning option, never considered for the facelifted decade old Y62 Patrol, would boost sales significantly compared to the diesel-only Land Cruiser 200 4.5 D-4D V8.
“At the minute there’s no plan for diesel in the Patrol range within this generation. It doesn’t mean we wouldn’t explore an opportunity should one present itself. The challenge ultimately is managing that demand and the size of that demand as we go forward,” Lester said.
“There is no question about it that significant pockets [want diesel]. And so we’ll be reliant on the global plans for engines and what engines they’re going to put into which vehicles. At the end of the day we have to be conscientious that change isn’t always a bad thing either”.
Lester however affirmed that the Land Cruiser 300’s switch to V6 power would not result in Nissan going the same route with the Patrol, saying that current sales figures, which shows a 17% increase in Patrol sales compared to last year and a 10% drop in Land Cruiser 200 offset, provides a clear indication that the V8 still has significant buyer appeal.
“We’re not planning a departure from the V8 any time in the near future. We’re still remaining very optimistic on Patrol and delivering more Patrols to customers in Australia,” Lester said in lieu of Toyota abandoning the segment all together last year after less than one percent of buyers Down Under opted for the 4.6-litre V8 petrol powered Land Cruiser.
Despite motoring’s report last year that the all-new Y63 Patrol, which is said to be in-development, could follow the same downsizing path as the Land Cruiser, Lester’s comments has seemingly rendered this obsolete, especially as the model which shares its platform, the Titan, appears unlikely to let go of a V8 anytime soon.