NISSANíS MISSING

4WORD

MATT RAUDONIKIS

christ! It seems like a lifetime since we last had a Nissan Patrol as the main image on the cover of this magazine. There was a time when Nissan was on the cover of every second issue of the mag, but its popularity has dropped since the Y62 came on to the scene and certainly since the TD42 went the way of the brontosaurus, with which it shares a birthday.

I reckon Patrols are like Toranas; they used to be a dime-a-dozen and there isnít a modification that canít be done or isnít readily available from the aftermarket to transform them into anything you want them to be.

Patrols are one of the most versatile 4x4s belting around the tracks today, and I reckon there are plenty of Patroldriving folk who first skinned their knuckles wrenching on Toranas back in the day. Both vehicles are legends!

What of these newer Y62 Patrols? Why arenít they as popular? For a start they are pricey, but Nissan spotted this problem and chopped the retail price by a huge chunk last year, so now more buyers are looking at them.

Second, they are premiumpetrol V8-only and the lack of a diesel engine cuts them from many buyersí shopping lists as soon as they see this.

Third, there hasnít been, and still isnít, the depth of modifications and product available for the new model.

So the traditional Patrol buyer, who spent $60K on a new diesel GU and went straight out and whacked a five-inch lift under it and a host of other off-the-shelf products, was left with no new Nissan options, unless he wanted another GU, just like his old one.

The times are changing and the new breed of Nissan Patrol drivers Ė the Y62 Patrol owners Ė is leading the way. Look at the mods to our cover truck, and the others out on our day in the bush with the club, and youíll see plenty of innovative products and modifications to make their trucks bush ready.

There are 33-, 35- and even 37-inch tyres working with modern electronic traction aids and smart suspension lifts and diff drops to make these rigs unstoppable. Itís a brave new world and itís great to see.

Come the end of 2016 and after the last Australiandelivered GU Patrol has come and gone, Nissan will be without a diesel 4x4 wagon. None! No off-roadcapable Pathfinder and no diesel Patrol. Lining the five diesel wagons up for the new car test in this issue, there was a hole in the line-up that needs to be filled with an NP300 wagon. Címon, Nissan Ė whenís it coming?