Nissan's new Patrol
1st March, 2010
Nissan Patrol is a vehicle synonymous with ruggedness, a
legendary off-roader capable of going anywhere, anytime. Meticulously honed for over five decades, the
Patrol is Nissan's flagship large SUV model and enjoys a rich heritage particularly in the Middle East
that dates back to the 1950's. This off-road trendsetter was one of the first dedicated four-wheel-drive
vehicles in the climatically demanding Middle East region, and boasts the notable distinction of also
being the first vehicle to successfully cross the gruelling Simpson Desert in Australia back in 1962.
Under the banner of "The Hero Comes Home" the Nissan Patrol is back as an all-new seventh generation
model, building on its impressive history, but at the same time, incorporating a new platform, a radical
new design direction, significantly enhanced interior comfort and luxury, powerful new V8 engines, a 7
speed automatic transmission and a new 4WD system.
"We paid special attention to the needs of current Patrol owners, and their passengers, and so
focussed on creating first-class levels of comfort for the whole family. Heightened luxury, a roomier
cabin and a quieter ride combine to achieve this goal, while maintaining Patrol's superior off-road
heritage" stresses Hiroyuki Fushiki, project head and Segment Chief Product Specialist.
Tested to the limit
Wanting to build the best possible Patrol, engineers first tuned and tested 200 prototypes for dynamic
evaluation at the company's Motegi, Oppama and Tochigi proving grounds before sending them to the Middle
East where they were exposed to every imaginable challenge; desert, rocky surfaces, highways and
inner-city traffic. "By the time we came around to adding the new body and interior, we had virtually
completed our reliability and durability testing and perfected all of the new technologies," says
chief vehicle engineer, Takashi Fukui.
New exterior more sophisticated but still rugged
After extensive market research, especially in the Middle East, the design team concluded that for the
Patrol to beat its main competitors, it needed not only a brand new design direction but class-leading
engine performance, greater luxury and comfort and a smart mix of new technologies that enhanced the total
driving experience. Product design director, Taiji Toyota, tells us that the all-new exterior design is
like a breath of fresh air. "Not as edgy and hardcore as its predecessor, the softer new surfaces are
beautiful and add a sense of modernity to the design equation, while still maintaining a ruggedness and
commanding road presence" he said.
According to the design director, one design element that expresses 'Patrol' and had to feature strongly
was the angled-strut motif front grille. It was meticulously proportioned to deliver a sense of continuity
with past models but give a touch of newness while enhancing the car's status level.
Focus on roomier, more luxurious cabin
Featuring generous amounts of leather, polished aluminium and wood grain
panelling, the Patrol's interior
too has been significantly upgraded. Given that most customers only go off-road no more than 15% of the
time, designers wanted to provide a better, higher quality interior for the whole family.
In keeping with the Patrol's mission to deliver more comfort and more room, the new Nissan Patrol
delivers seat dimensions that outclass all competition. Boasting wider, higher and deeper front seats, the
Patrol offers over 100 mm more legroom for second row passengers, and a roomier third row of seats as well.
Employing double the lateral rigidity over the outgoing model, the new Patrol sits on a revised platform
that now offers a more robust construction with a low vibration body.
All-new V8 engine leads array of segment-beating hardware
The new Nissan Patrol is now the most powerful vehicle in its class. And the key technology achieving
this jump in performance over the predecessor's 4.8 litre power plant is the newly developed 'VK56VD' 5.6
litre V8 engine with VVEL (variable valve event and lift) and DIG (direct injection gasoline - petrol)
technologies that generate 400 hp and 560 Nm of torque on the top specification version of this new engine.
Every component has been redesigned for maximum performance and smooth response, while a new 7 speed
automatic transmission with a wider range of gear ratios than its predecessor, gives the off-roader the
ability to deliver power faster.
Comprehensively upgraded 4WD system sets new standard
In a world-first for Nissan, the new Patrol employs a Hydraulic Body Motion Control System (HBMC),
which keeps the car flatter with less body roll during lane-changing and cornering, while delivering a
comfortable ride in city driving and superb stability on rugged and sandy tracks. Another crucial part of
handling equation comes from the new suspension system, which now employs 4-wheel independent suspension,
upgraded from the previous rigid axle set-up. Nissan has completely redesigned the vehicle's suspension
from the bushes to the links. The combination of HBMC and the new suspension system with its longer
suspension stroke delivers significantly improved handling and stability on both on- and off-road terrain.
The Patrol also employs a newly developed ALL MODE 4x4 system incorporating a variable 4x4 mode package. It
allows the driver to quickly switch between four drive modes: sand, on-road, snow and rock, with the flick of
a switch. In sand mode, owners are able to drive safely, quickly and skilfully in sand and dirt, just like
professional rally drivers.
In addition, the Nissan Patrol also offers a new Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control which can also
be selected easily with the touch of a button. With Hill Start Assist, if a driver stops on a slope and steps
off the brake pedal, the system keeps the vehicle stationary - with no roll back. Hill Descent Control uses
the brakes to maintain a constant downhill speed of 7 km/h in 4H mode and 4 km/h in 4L mode.
The new model employs a revised Tyre Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) with tyre inflation indicator which
beeps the horn softly to inform drivers that a suitable tyre pressure has been reached.
A revised, more effective brake system also provides the best braking performance in its class thanks to
its new hydraulic brake booster and a 4-piston opposed front calliper set-up with larger 358 mm front
Nissan designers paid special attention to the second row seat passengers by not only significantly
expanding legroom, but by also fitting a new multi-screen DVD entertainment system, a first form Nissan. It
boasts two rear-facing TVs; one 7 inch monitor embedded into each front seat head restraint.
Fitted with six airbags for top grade, the Nissan Patrol also comes with a totally revised climate
control system boasting another world-first - the 'curtain vent'. This curtain vent has several small but
highly effective vents mounted in the ceiling above each side window to blow a strong current of cool air
down forming a curtain of air that acts as a barrier to heat penetrating the cabin.
Yet another impressive Nissan Patrol feature is the 'cool box' mounted in the centre console between the
front seats. Incorporating a unique double hinge design, the lid of the cool box can be opened easily from
either the front or second row of seats to access the six 600 ml drink bottles inside.
With its fresh new styling, superior packaging, powerful but economical V8 engine, clever off-road
technologies and higher levels of luxury and comfort, the all-new Nissan Patrol is set to become a true