Report – Development of 2015 Nissan Navara-based SUV (Fortuner rival) underway
Nithyanandh K, As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I'm, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive reporter by profession!
The recently unveiled 2015 Nissan Navara pickup would spawn a body-on-frame SUV and this has been confirmed by a top company official. Talking to Autoindustriya.com, Nissan’s Chief Vehicle Engineer, Mr. Takashi Fukui, confirmed that development of the Navara-based SUV has just been started.
The new Navara’s (NP300) 5-link rear suspension which is sophisticated by pickup standards appears to have been designed with the upcoming SUV in mind. Mr. Fukui did not give a tentative timeframe for the vehicle to be ready but has hinted that it could take anywhere between 2-4 years.
Just like its intended rivals Toyota Fortuner (Hilux-based) and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport (Triton-based), the new ladder frame SUV from Nissan would carry forward the pickup’s design, interior and hardware package to have a rugged appeal. Given that the Navara itself feels upmarket with features like V-Motion design, projector headlamps, LED DRLs, multimedia infotainment system and so on, there isn’t too much to do with the SUV.
The new Navara is powered by 2.5-litre petrol and diesel engines that are mated either to a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automatic transmission. The SUV is also expected to derive its motivation from the same set of powertrains.
Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Phillipines would be the primary target markets. Though it is too early to speculate about the new product’s Indian entry, we wouldn’t be surprised if Nissan India were keen on introducing it here.
Competitors: Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Isuzu MU-7
Expected Price: INR 20 – 25 lakhs, ex-showroom
2015 Nissan Navara Pickup – Image Gallery