New Nissan Navara Warrior
Engineered & Tested for ‘Down under’ Conditions
Nissan New Zealand will bring to market an exclusive halo version of its popular Navara as developed by Nissan Australia - the Nissan Navara N-TREK Warrior - featuring a range of engineering enhancements and changes that deliver the most stylish and capable Navara ever.
With customers in both Australia and New Zealand moving towards higher spec utes with enhanced capabilities, functionality and styling, Nissan Australia worked with automotive product development and engineering experts, Premcar, to develop, engineer, manufacture and validate a halo grade Navara – which sits above the Nissan Navara 450 Special Edition.
Based off the Nissan Navara 450 Dual Cab Pickup 4WD, and including the recently announced series four updates - including the new 8-inch infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® - Premcar delved deep under the metal to enhance the suspension, including off-road capable springs and dampers, resulting in a 15mm lift to the vehicle. Adding 32.2-inch Cooper All-Terrain tyres increases ride height by a further 25mm – for a total 40mm lift.
Hiring 40 people – with engineering and local manufacturing experience – to work exclusively on N-TREK Warrior, and establishing a dedicated manufacturing facility in Epping, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, Premcar sourced a range of parts from top tier OEM level suppliers, including a hoopless body colour steel bullbar with integrated 470mm LED light bar, to toughen up the look of the exterior.
The market has shifted considerably in the last two years with ute sales leading the way, but ute buyers are looking for a higher level of specification that deliver both capable and functional improvements, while making their vehicle stand out, said Nissan New Zealand managing director John Manley. The Nissan Navara N-TREK Warrior is locally designed and engineered for Australian and New Zealand conditions. We expect this to be a popular variant.
The initial focus was on lifting the front and rear suspension and including a larger diameter 32.2 -inch all-terrain tyre to enhance the Navara’s off-road capabilities and better negotiate rougher terrain.
Nissan’s approach was to ensure that the suspension upgrades did not result in any reduction in vehicle attributes such as durability, safety and comfort.
To maintain the new vehicle warranty, and Nissan’s renowned durability, the suspension changes were designed, implemented and tested to ensure that no excessive additional loads were passed into the vehicle’s chassis, and all ball joint, tie rod and drive shaft angles did not exceed the design limits.
For the N-TREK Warrior, Nissan opted for a softer primary spring for ride comfort and off road articulation, with a higher but more progressive secondary rate to maintain composure and performance – both in cornering, heavy duty off-roading, when laden and when towing.
In addition, the increased spring length takes the larger wheel and tyre further away from the body, providing ample clearance for the 32.2-inch Cooper all terrain tyres.
The dampers were upgraded from the Nissan original equipment part to provide added compression damping on top of the piston for quicker response.
The outer tube diameter is larger with greater oil volume to improve cooling and rough road capability. The piston rod diameter has been increased to improve strength.
Both front and rear dampers have a unique internal valve code tuned by Premcar to match the springs and tyres.
A comprehensive damper tuning program was carried out to lift all attributes – ride, handling, steering response, cornering balance and body control.
The updates to the suspension contribute to an overall lift of the vehicle by 40mm and result in better ride, better control in transient conditions, more control off road, more stability during both laden and unladen handling maneuvers and a better steering response.
New front jounce bumpers are larger, taller and engage the chassis rail earlier in the suspension travel, but at a more progressive rate. This controls wheel movement at maximum suspension travel and achieves a more compliant and softer transfer of energy into the chassis, significantly improving the harshness and noise transfer into the chassis and cabin over rough road conditions.
The tyres on the N-TREK Warrior are 275 /70 (32.2-inch) Coopers AT3 all-terrain tyres. This size tyre was chosen because it fits within the upper limit of what can be positioned within the wheel opening without interfering with the surrounding chassis components.
To accommodate the upsized N-TREK Warrior tyre package, Premcar modified the inner front fenders in combination with the body colour hoopless steel bullbar to provide the appropriate tyre clearance.
These tyres account for 25mm of the total 40mm lift in the N-TREK Warrior compared to the standard N-TREK and give a taller, wider, tougher stance, further improving its already tough road presence. A
speedometer recalibration was performed to ensure the 56.3mm increased overall tyre diameter reflected an accurate speed reading.
The Nissan Navara N-TREK Warrior maintains Navara’s 3.5 tonne towing capacity.
Local testing maintains Nissan’s new vehicle warranty
A critical part of the Nissan Navara N-TREK Warrior development was local testing to validate the changes made to the vehicle in ensuring it meets the needs, and the intended usage, of the Australian and New Zealand buyer profile, and maintains the warranty requirements.
Durability testing at both the vehicle and the component level were conducted, as was thermal performance validation, Noise Vibration Harshness testing, homologation, towing, laden condition, and ESC and braking vehicle safety testing.