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Nissan Patrol to get factory modifications?

The new Nissan Patrol has hit the market and Nissan has hinted it might give its big four-wheel drive the same Warrior treatment as the Navara.

Nissan’s Patrol could soon get a whole lot tougher, meaner and more capable – using the template set by the upcoming Navara Warrior off-roader.

Nissan is planning an even more capable Patrol that capitalises on the knowledge and engineering nous demonstrated in the Navara N-Trek Warrior.

While Nissan Australia managing director, Stephen Lester stopped short of nominating the just-updated Patrol as getting the Warrior treatment, he said it was one of the cars being considered for the “inevitable” creation of more Warrior models.

“We’re starting to exercise the creativity around what else could work for the Warrior nameplate on other Nissans,” said Lester, adding there would be “more (Warrior) models as we go into the future”.

The Navara N-Trek Warrior undergoes significant local updates to suspension, including larger, more off-road-focused tyres with a wider track (the left and right wheels are further apart), new coil springs and revised dampers. There’s also a new front bumper and significant underbody modifications, including thicker steel protection to protect vital components from damage.

All the Warrior modifications are performed by Premcar, a respected engineering and manufacturing firm based on the outskirts of Melbourne.

It’s that still-fresh relationship Lester wants to leverage to turn Warrior from a single model into a sub-brand that stands for capability and ruggedness.

“Behind the scenes we’ve been working with Premcar … to work on how we could roll Warrior out as a more robust and significant mainstay within the line-up.”

The Patrol large off-roader – which competes with the Toyota LandCruiser – is an obvious contender for the Warrior treatment. And Nissan’s popular X-Trail would also seem an obvious choice, adding better off-road credentials to its repertoire.

“I think at this point it’s inevitable,” said Lester when asked about the chances of other Warrior models. “There’s nothing to suggest from my standpoint that we haven’t produced something that can be repeated with another model or models.”

NEWS New Vehicles

WORDS TOBY HAGON

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Holden has announced it will drop the Commodore in 2020 to focus instead on 4X4s and SUVs which make up 76 percent of its new vehicle sales.

In a statement to the media, Holden Interim Chairman and Managing Director, Kristian Aquilina, said the focus of the portfolio was consistent with customer preferences, with the Acadia, Trailblazer, Equinox and Trax rounding out a comprehensive SUV portfolio; and the Colorado tackling rivals in the light commercial vehicle (LCV) segment.

“Holden is taking this decisive action to ensure a sharp focus on the largest and most buoyant market segments.

“So far this year SUVs and Utes have increased to 76 percent of Holden sales, a trend we only see continuing,” he said.

“The SUV segment is approaching half a million units, and LCVs over 200,000 units. That’s where the action is and that’s where we are going to play,” Mr Aquilina said.

The new Holden boss also paid tribute to the Commodore nameplate and its place in the Australian automotive industry over time.

“The decision to retire the Commodore nameplate has not been taken lightly by those who understand and acknowledge its proud heritage,” he said.

Sales and deliveries of Commodore and Astra will continue through 2020, albeit with diminishing model availability as part of an orderly runout.

Existing Commodore and Astra customers will continue to receive warranty and roadside assistance, with spare parts supply guaranteed “well into the future”.

Holden will be launching a significant MY21 upgrade to the highly-regarded Colorado in Spring 2020.

Holden drops the Commodore in favour of utes and SUVs

“The SUV segment is approaching half a million units, and LCVs over 200,000 units. That’s where the action is and that’s where we are going to play”

Jeep bosses want Australians to stop picking on them. The brand in this country is seriously under the pump right now, and it’s all your fault. Apparently.

While conventional wisdom has it that buyers are simply switching off to Jeep in the face of reliability concerns and a perceived lack of skill at dealership level, Jeep brass says that’s not the reason.

Even after FCA’s recent move to give all Aussie Jeeps a five-year warranty, lifetime roadside assistance and capped-price servicing, the brand continues to struggle. From a high of more than 30,000 units in 2018, Australian Jeep sales had slumped to just 8270 in 2019 and are still in free-fall.

That contrasts dramatically with Jeep’s global performance, where sales grew from 300,000 in 2009 to about 1.5 million this year. But Jeep bosses maintain the problem is not about quality or reliability. According to recently appointed Australian Jeep boss, Kevin Flynn, “It’s not a product issue”.

“We don’t have these problems elsewhere in the world,” he claimed at the recent international launch of the new Jeep Gladiator in New Zealand.

Instead he blames Australian social-media commentators for the brand’s poor reputation. “It’s (Jeep-bashing) almost become a sport.”

Jeep’s global president, Christian Meunier, speaking at the same press conference, was a little more circumspect, preferring to lay the blame on previous management teams.

“When you have problems (with brand perception or customer service) it’s your responsibility to jump on it. And that wasn’t done”.

Jeep Australia blaming social media for poor sales

WORDS DAVE MORLEY

From the man who brought you a flamethrower anyone could buy, comes the Tesla Cybertruck.

Meet the Tesla Cybertruck, a mental, steam-punk-esque Bladerunner-style pickup that might just be a glimpse at the future of 4X4s. And it looks nothing like the teaser image we saw earlier in the year... that said, this is the guy who built and sold flamethrowers, so...

Elon Musk promised the Cybertruck would, "out-truck an F-150, outperform a Porsche 911, be literally bulletproof, and start at under $50,000 USD". And the bloke has delivered. It's available to order right now in Australia with a $150 deposit - a couple of us in the office have already joined the queue for one - for a laugh. While details are still thin on the ground, what we do know is mind-blowing.

The Cybertruck credentials are intriguing indeed. The air suspension can be raised by four inches, and while the tyre size is as yet unspecified, we're guessing something like 34-inches. It can also carry a serious load, with 1.6 tonnes (3500lb) carrying capacity. Nothing else comes close in the dual-cab market. And if indeed nothing succeeds like excess, the towing capacity is a case in point. The Cybertruck can tow more than 6.3 tonnes (14,000lb). Although we're not sure how that will hurt the 500+ mile range. You might even have seen the tug-of-war between the Cybertruck and a Ford F-150. No? It’s below for your enjoyment – Ford isn’t happy, saying it wasn’t comparing apples with apples (and Ford is busy developing its own electric F-150, so watch this space).

The Cybertruck comes in three models: Single motor rear-wheel drive; dual-motor all-wheel drive, and tri-motor all-wheel drive. The entry-level RWD can do the 0-60mph dash in over six seconds, while the top-spec tri-motor edition can do it in 2.9 seconds (around 600kW and 1350Nm) – that's Nissan GTR territory.

Oh, and did we mention it has a vault? We would call it a ute tub. Although your fibreglass canopy probably doesn't feature Tesla Armoured Glass, and a retractable rolltop lid that you can stand on. There is also imagery on the website of a camping edition complete with pop-up tent and fold-out kitchen, but that's probably just PR spin for now. Although we couldn't help but notice the sharp lines of the electric quad bike in the back – that would seem to be a comparatively easy machine for the Tesla boffins to design.

Tesla Cybertruck – can tow 6300kg

The new Nissan Patrol has hit the market and Nissan has hinted it might give its big four-wheel drive the same Warrior treatment as the Navara.

Nissan’s Patrol could soon get a whole lot tougher, meaner and more capable – using the template set by the upcoming Navara Warrior off-roader.

Nissan is planning an even more capable Patrol that capitalises on the knowledge and engineering nous demonstrated in the Navara N-Trek Warrior.

While Nissan Australia managing director, Stephen Lester stopped short of nominating the just-updated Patrol as getting the Warrior treatment, he said it was one of the cars being considered for the “inevitable” creation of more Warrior models.

“We’re starting to exercise the creativity around what else could work for the Warrior nameplate on other Nissans,” said Lester, adding there would be “more (Warrior) models as we go into the future”.

The Navara N-Trek Warrior undergoes significant local updates to suspension, including larger, more off-road-focused tyres with a wider track (the left and right wheels are further apart), new coil springs and revised dampers. There’s also a new front bumper and significant underbody modifications, including thicker steel protection to protect vital components from damage.

All the Warrior modifications are performed by Premcar, a respected engineering and manufacturing firm based on the outskirts of Melbourne.

It’s that still-fresh relationship Lester wants to leverage to turn Warrior from a single model into a sub-brand that stands for capability and ruggedness.

“Behind the scenes we’ve been working with Premcar … to work on how we could roll Warrior out as a more robust and significant mainstay within the line-up.”

The Patrol large off-roader – which competes with the Toyota LandCruiser – is an obvious contender for the Warrior treatment. And Nissan’s popular X-Trail would also seem an obvious choice, adding better off-road credentials to its repertoire.

“I think at this point it’s inevitable,” said Lester when asked about the chances of other Warrior models. “There’s nothing to suggest from my standpoint that we haven’t produced something that can be repeated with another model or models.”

Nissan Patrol to get factory modifications?

NEWS New Vehicles

WORDS TOBY HAGON

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

Holden has announced it will drop the Commodore in 2020 to focus instead on 4X4s and SUVs which make up 76 percent of its new vehicle sales.

In a statement to the media, Holden Interim Chairman and Managing Director, Kristian Aquilina, said the focus of the portfolio was consistent with customer preferences, with the Acadia, Trailblazer, Equinox and Trax rounding out a comprehensive SUV portfolio; and the Colorado tackling rivals in the light commercial vehicle (LCV) segment.

“Holden is taking this decisive action to ensure a sharp focus on the largest and most buoyant market segments.

“So far this year SUVs and Utes have increased to 76 percent of Holden sales, a trend we only see continuing,” he said.

“The SUV segment is approaching half a million units, and LCVs over 200,000 units. That’s where the action is and that’s where we are going to play,” Mr Aquilina said.

The new Holden boss also paid tribute to the Commodore nameplate and its place in the Australian automotive industry over time.

“The decision to retire the Commodore nameplate has not been taken lightly by those who understand and acknowledge its proud heritage,” he said.

Sales and deliveries of Commodore and Astra will continue through 2020, albeit with diminishing model availability as part of an orderly runout.

Existing Commodore and Astra customers will continue to receive warranty and roadside assistance, with spare parts supply guaranteed “well into the future”.

Holden will be launching a significant MY21 upgrade to the highly-regarded Colorado in Spring 2020.

Holden drops the Commodore in favour of utes and SUVs

“The SUV segment is approaching half a million units, and LCVs over 200,000 units. That’s where the action is and that’s where we are going to play”

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

Jeep bosses want Australians to stop picking on them. The brand in this country is seriously under the pump right now, and it’s all your fault. Apparently.

While conventional wisdom has it that buyers are simply switching off to Jeep in the face of reliability concerns and a perceived lack of skill at dealership level, Jeep brass says that’s not the reason.

Even after FCA’s recent move to give all Aussie Jeeps a five-year warranty, lifetime roadside assistance and capped-price servicing, the brand continues to struggle. From a high of more than 30,000 units in 2018, Australian Jeep sales had slumped to just 8270 in 2019 and are still in free-fall.

That contrasts dramatically with Jeep’s global performance, where sales grew from 300,000 in 2009 to about 1.5 million this year. But Jeep bosses maintain the problem is not about quality or reliability. According to recently appointed Australian Jeep boss, Kevin Flynn, “It’s not a product issue”.

“We don’t have these problems elsewhere in the world,” he claimed at the recent international launch of the new Jeep Gladiator in New Zealand.

Instead he blames Australian social-media commentators for the brand’s poor reputation. “It’s (Jeep-bashing) almost become a sport.”

Jeep’s global president, Christian Meunier, speaking at the same press conference, was a little more circumspect, preferring to lay the blame on previous management teams.

“When you have problems (with brand perception or customer service) it’s your responsibility to jump on it. And that wasn’t done”.

Jeep Australia blaming social media for poor sales

WORDS DAVE MORLEY

From the man who brought you a flamethrower anyone could buy, comes the Tesla Cybertruck.

Meet the Tesla Cybertruck, a mental, steam-punk-esque Bladerunner-style pickup that might just be a glimpse at the future of 4X4s. And it looks nothing like the teaser image we saw earlier in the year... that said, this is the guy who built and sold flamethrowers, so...

Elon Musk promised the Cybertruck would, "out-truck an F-150, outperform a Porsche 911, be literally bulletproof, and start at under $50,000 USD". And the bloke has delivered. It's available to order right now in Australia with a $150 deposit - a couple of us in the office have already joined the queue for one - for a laugh. While details are still thin on the ground, what we do know is mind-blowing.

The Cybertruck credentials are intriguing indeed. The air suspension can be raised by four inches, and while the tyre size is as yet unspecified, we're guessing something like 34-inches. It can also carry a serious load, with 1.6 tonnes (3500lb) carrying capacity. Nothing else comes close in the dual-cab market. And if indeed nothing succeeds like excess, the towing capacity is a case in point. The Cybertruck can tow more than 6.3 tonnes (14,000lb). Although we're not sure how that will hurt the 500+ mile range. You might even have seen the tug-of-war between the Cybertruck and a Ford F-150. No? It’s below for your enjoyment – Ford isn’t happy, saying it wasn’t comparing apples with apples (and Ford is busy developing its own electric F-150, so watch this space).

The Cybertruck comes in three models: Single motor rear-wheel drive; dual-motor all-wheel drive, and tri-motor all-wheel drive. The entry-level RWD can do the 0-60mph dash in over six seconds, while the top-spec tri-motor edition can do it in 2.9 seconds (around 600kW and 1350Nm) – that's Nissan GTR territory.

Oh, and did we mention it has a vault? We would call it a ute tub. Although your fibreglass canopy probably doesn't feature Tesla Armoured Glass, and a retractable rolltop lid that you can stand on. There is also imagery on the website of a camping edition complete with pop-up tent and fold-out kitchen, but that's probably just PR spin for now. Although we couldn't help but notice the sharp lines of the electric quad bike in the back – that would seem to be a comparatively easy machine for the Tesla boffins to design.

Tesla Cybertruck – can tow 6300kg