Nissan has introduced its seventh-generation Patrol—its global flagship large SUV model—incorporating a new platform, a new high-end V8 engine, a 7-speed automatic transmission and a new 4WD system.
The newly developed VK56VD 5.6-liter V8 engine with VVEL (variable valve event and lift) and DIG (direct injection gasoline) technologies delivers 400 hp (298 kW) and 560 N·m (413 lb-ft) of torque on the top specification version. A new 7-speed automatic transmission offers a wider range of gear ratios than its predecessor, giving the off-roader the ability to deliver power faster.
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 setup. 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 skillfully in sand and dirt, just like professional rally drivers.
In addition, the 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.
In Abu Dhabi for the introduction, Renault-Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn said that he would like to see the Alliance be the leader in electric vehicles.
“I want electric car (to) mean Renault or Nissan, period,” he said. “There are two things which are absolutely important to understand for the electric car,” he said. “The first is the CO2 problem is here to stay,” and the second is that oil prices are likely to increase.
“I don’t think you need to be a huge visionary ... to say zero-emission cars are going to be a part of this industry,” he said, adding that the only question was how much of the market would be made up of electric cars. “You’re gonna see that all car manufacturers will end up doing an electric car,” he said.