Have we just caught our first glimpse of Nissan’s next-generation Toyota LandCruiser rival?
Instagram user cars_secrets caught pictures of a camouflaged Patrol on the road in the Middle East, but it’s not clear whether this is an all-new model or yet another facelift for the venerable Y62-generation car debuted in 2010.
Locally, there’s still more to come from the current, V8-powered Patrol.
The off-road-oriented Patrol Warrior project between Premcar and Nissan Australia is still progressing, with the finished product on track to hit showrooms later in 2023, and this is the first time we’ve seen what looks like a next-generation test mule on public roads.
Exactly what the mule represents isn’t clear.
Nissan offers a range of special editions for the Patrol around the world, from the Nismo available in the Middle East to the Warrior to be offered Down Under, so it’s possible this tester is simply a validation car for yet another Patrol with a slightly different front end.
Don’t be fooled by the fact there are similarities between the grainy pictures and the Patrol we know and love, though.
It’s not uncommon for manufacturers to test new powertrains under modified versions of their existing vehicles.
Ferrari, for example, is currently using a hacked-up Roma to test its next-generation front-engine V12 supercar, while Nissan was spied running what was though to be a Z test mule under a ropey-looking 370Z shell at the Nordschleife in the lead-up to the former’s launch.
If this is a next-generation Patrol in sheep’s clothing, it’s possible Nissan is putting a new twin-turbocharged V6 engine through its paces.
Reports from the USA from 2022 suggest the Armada, the American equivalent to our Patrol, will sub its naturally aspirated V8 engine for a smaller, more fuel efficient six.
That move would align it with the latest Toyota LandCruiser 300, along with American rivals such as the Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia.
Despite its age, the Patrol remains a strong seller. Nissan delivered 5724 in 2022, an increase of more than 70 per cent compared to the year prior.
Its late-life resurgence hasn’t been enough to unseat the LandCruiser, though. Toyota battled tight supply, but in 2022 delivered 13,152 examples of the ‘King Off the Road’.
MORE: Everything Nissan Patrol