Nissan's super-truck could get a turbodiesel engine from Mercedes.
The Ford Ranger Raptor introduced recently continues to make waves across the automotive industry. It might not have the segment to itself for very long, however. Nissan executives are open to the idea of turning the Navara into a Raptor-baiting super-truck.
"If you would had asked me this question yesterday [about a Raptor rival] I would have said this is not in our priority list. But if you are asking this question today, then I am saying this is an opportunity we would like to study," Ashwani Gupta, the head of Renault-Nissan- Mitsubishi's light commercial vehicles division, told Australian website Motoring.
He added bumping the Navara to what he calls sports grade can be done "very easily." He even cited Nismo's expertise in making high-performance vehicles. Ultimately, it depends on whether there is enough demand for the model.
The current Navara (which, in 2014, replaced the Frontier in every global market except for the United States) comes with a 2.3-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine. Motoring speculates the Raptor-fighting variant would get the same twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 diesel as the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, a model Nissan builds alongside the Navara in Spain. It makes 254 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque between the Benz's fenders; the baby Raptor posts 211 and 369, respectively.
One question remains: will we see the Raptor-fighting Nissan in America? It's too early to provide a definitive answer. It largely depends on what the next-generation Frontier looks like. If it does arrive here, don't expect the turbodiesel engine to follow it.
Note: Nissan Navara Enguard concept pictured. Photos by Ronan Glon.