Nissan’s upcoming Ford Ranger Raptor rival, the Navara PRO-4X Warrior has been unveiled ahead of schedule.
Or has it?
The Warrior is the Australian-only range-topping Navara that is being developed with Melbourne-based engineering specialists, Premcar; which in a previous form was Prodrive Australia and developed the FPV range of vehicles. The first Navara N-Trek Warrior was launched in late 2019 and now the two companies are working together on an updated version as part of the facelifted Navara line-up.
In a press release explaining Premcar’s involvement in the Warrior program, as well as explaining its capabilities, images of the new PRO-4X Warrior can clearly be seen on a computer screen in the background. While it’s easy to suggest these are accidental leaks, the prominent positioning of the computer screen and Premcar’s close ties to Nissan suggest this is an ‘official leak’ to increase anticipation about the upcoming model.
While it’s possible the images are an earlier render or an incomplete design, they do follow the same pattern as the original Warrior – giving the Navara a tougher, more rugged look to better compete with the likes of the Ranger Raptor and Volkswagen Amarok W580. The images show the PRO-4X will get a unique front bumper, chunkier wheel arches, new alloy wheels and ‘Warrior’ and ‘Twin Turbo’ branding down its flanks. The big, black grille of the PRO-4X remains, as do the side steps and sizable sports bar.
It’s obviously not clear from the images what work Premcar has done under the surface to the powertrain and suspension set-up to enhance the performance of the PRO-4X. But the company has been working with Nissan for the past 12 months on the project.
Premcar says it has 35 engineers working directly on the Warrior project, with many coming from Holden and Ford now they no longer manufacture cars in Australia. That’s a factor that Premcar principal engineer, Mark Doody, believes is an advantage for Premcar when it comes to developing the Warrior and other projects.
“Our workforce is truly global in its outlook,” Doody explaind. “When Holden and Ford were downsizing, Premcar saw it as an opportunity to bring in some new blood, with new ideas.
“In the rest of the world, there can be movement of engineers across car companies, but in Australia, that didn’t happen quite so much.
“I think having that experience from different manufacturers and different backgrounds helps to expand the capability and quality of our workforce.”
Nissan has not announced a date for the official unveiling of the PRO-4X Warrior.