South Africa

Nissan Navara Pro-4X Warrior a big step closer to South Africa

Reports dating back almost two years of Nissan possibly making the Australian-developed and manufactured Navara Pro-4X Warrior available in South Africa, have taken a massive step towards becoming a reality according to a new claim from Down Under.

In the pipeline

The result of a partnership between Nissan Australia and Melbourne-based engineering firm Premcar, the Pro-4X Warrior made its debut in 2021 aimed at the Toyota Hilux Rugged X instead of the previous generation Ford Ranger Raptor as initially claimed.

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Nissan’s second joint venture model with Premcar after the original Navara N-Trek Warrior had its allocation of 1 400 units accounted for in record time after its unveiling in 2019, the Warrior line-up currently consists of the mentioned model spun-off of the top-spec Navara Pro-4X, and the entry-level SL based on the trim level of the same designation.

Nissan Navara Pro-4X Warrior primed for South Africa
Based on the range-topping Navara Pro-4X, the Warrior’s aesthetic changes are not for show only. Image: carscoops.com.

Known to have attracted the attention of South Africa not long after local production of the Navara commenced at the automaker’s Rosslyn Plant outside Pretoria, Nissan Australia Managing Director, Stephen Lester, told carsales.com.au at the time that talks of turning the Pro-4X Warrior into an export model had been mentioned, but not confirmed outright.

Mentioning South Africa specifically, Lester said, “from a spec standpoint or a usability standpoint, South Africa is a dual-cab market, whereas when you look at the set-up previously with Thailand, it wasn’t so much around the off-road ability.”

Nissan Navara Pro-4X Warrior primed for South Africa
Interior recieves Pro-4X decals on the foot mats. Image: carexpert.com.au

“I think it’s a great opportunity for it [Warrior] and even if it is just some of the work we do with Premcar that we can export for them and either send over – even if it is just the IP – I think it would be a great example for our team here”.

Talks have happened

According to the latest report by the publication, Premcar CEO, Bernie Quinn, said the firm had indeed been in contact with Nissan South Africa about bringing the Warrior to market, most likely under licence with production expected to take place at Rosslyn according to Premcar specification.

Nissan Navara Warrior tipped for South Africa soon
Positioned below the Pro-4X, the SL-based Warrior does without a few standard creature comforts, but retains the increased ride height, all-terrain tyres and tweaked chassis while also receiving a model specific bullbar. Image: carexpert.com

Unlike South Africa, Australia sources its Navaras from Thailand rather than Rosslyn or indeed the Santa Isabel Plant that caters for South American markets where the unrelated-to-North America Frontier name is used.

Nissan Navara Warrior tipped for South Africa soon
Warrior SL has the same ground clearance as the Pro-4X Warrior. Image: carexpert.com.au

“The opportunity in South Africa is well down the track. From my personal point of view it’s going to happen. But are we signed off, contract done and everything? No. I can’t tell you when [production might start] until all that is sorted out,” Quinn said.

There will be a difference

Admitting the South African-spec Navara Pro-4X Warrior will be different from the Australian model which still uses the 2.3-litre twin-turbodiesel engine rather than the older 2.5, Quinn stated that these, along with the South African model’s revised chassis, will be sorted-out once production eventually starts.

Nissan Navara Warrior tipped for South Africa soon
Interior differs little from the normal Navara SL that serves as Australia’s equivalent of the SE and SE Plus combined. Image: carexpert.com.au

“It won’t be exactly the same car as sold in Australia,” Quinn said in reference not only to the engine and chassis, but also more than likely to the exterior Carsales allege will do without some of the aesthetics in order to comply with local regulations.

What about the Patrol?

Along with the Navara, the pending introduction of Premcar to South Africa could be expanded to include the Patrol Warrior that debuted last month as the third model in its off-road focused model range.

Despite Quinn admitting talks had been taking place with the Middle East where the Patrol has a significant market share, no mentioning was made of it being availed in South Africa as a rival for the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 GR Sport.

Expect something to happen soon

For now, Nissan South Africa has remained mum on the talks with Premcar about building a local spec Navara Pro-4X Warrior towards the end of the year or even in 2024.

However, don’t be surprised if an announcement indeed emerges at some stage before year-end.

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