The new Navara boasts a striking new design, particularly in this new Pro-4X adventure grade. Picture: SUPPLIED
The new Navara boasts a striking new design, particularly in this new Pro-4X adventure grade. Picture: SUPPLIED

Nissan has taken the wraps off the upgraded Navara one-tonner that will be built and sold in SA from 2021.

Available until now as a full import since its launch in 2017, the updated bakkie will be locally built for sale in SA and Sub-Saharan Africa from the first quarter of 2021. In a R3bn investment at Nissan’s Rosslyn plant near Pretoria, it will be produced alongside the existing NP300 Hardbody and half-tonne NP200.

For the first time the Navara will be available locally as a single-cab workhorse, having previously only offered double- and king-cab versions. Nissan hasn’t specified the engine line up but confirms that both diesel and petrol will be offered. Until now the Navara has been available as a 2.3l turbodiesel with outputs of 140kW and 450Nm, an engine that is likely to be retained.

The Navara has been extensively updated with a new design and a host of under-the-skin improvements that Nissan hopes will help it better challenge the market domination of the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger.

The bakkie has adopted a notably more aggressive design with a new “interlock” grille that creates a powerful front face for the vehicle, in what Nissan’s chief LCV designer Ken Lee calls an “unbreakable” design language.

This bolder grille is flanked by striking new C-shaped quad LED projector headlamps, with the new tail lights adopting a similar C-signature.

With the Navara’s revamped styling and increased payload capacity Nissan hopes to challenge the sales leadership of rivals Hilux and Ranger. Picture: SUPPLIED
With the Navara’s revamped styling and increased payload capacity Nissan hopes to challenge the sales leadership of rivals Hilux and Ranger. Picture: SUPPLIED

A new Pro-4X design grade for adventure lovers has been introduced featuring a distinctive athletic look with extensive black accents, all-terrain tyres, and lively orange detailing.

Under the revamped body is a strengthened rear axle providing an increased payload capacity up to a class-leading 1.2 tonnes. An integrated step in the new rear bumper makes bed access easier.

A new steering rack has been adopted to enhance manoeuvrability at low speeds and steering response across the speed range. The Navara also offers a quieter and more comfortable ride thanks to a significant decrease of vibration and improved noise isolation.

Inside, the updated bakkie features a redesigned instrument panel highlighting the 8-inch navigation screen and a 7-inch higher resolution TFT screen.

Reshaped rear seats provide improved comfort for passengers, and there’s a new rear armrest with built-in cup holders to store drinks or cellphones.

New safety technologies include intelligent forward collision warning, intelligent emergency braking, and rear cross traffic alert, all of which scan the surroundings and help prevent accidents.

There are also blind-spot warning and lane-keeping systems, along with a new intelligent around view monitor, which scans for surrounding people and cars when performing tasks such as parallel parking. The latter system features an off-road monitor to help avoid hitting obstacles.

Inside, the updated bakkie features a redesigned instrument panel. Picture: SUPPLIED
Inside, the updated bakkie features a redesigned instrument panel. Picture: SUPPLIED

When in four-wheel drive mode, an active brake limited slip differential system (ABLS) maximises traction by intelligently managing power delivery and wheel-braking between the front and rear axles, and the left and right wheels. It enables drivers to be more confident  when towing large payloads and driving through muddy terrain.

A trailer sway control system helps the vehicle maintain stability on the road when towing.

Initial production of the new Nissan Navara will start in Thailand and Frontier in Mexico. A new Nissan Connect infotainment system allows seamless smartphone connection enabling  features such as Bluetooth streaming audio, voice recognition, and navigation.

The Navara now has multiple USB ports throughout the vehicle to charge devices and ensure connectivity. It includes a new a generation type C USB port in the console which can support the charging of multiple devices.

droppad@businesslive.co.za

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