Badged Patrol elsewhere, Armada has decades of off-road cred
Retro version of the body-on-frame SUV could take on Bronco for retro cool
Nissan is working on a new version of the Patrol, the go-anywhere body-on-frame SUV known here as the Nissan Armada and as a legend around the world to rival the Toyota Land Cruiser. But this latest Patrol, says a new report, could be taking a sidetrack down the Bronco route. Going for retro styling over the gargantuan excess of the current model in an effort to attract new buyers. Like a bigger version of what they’ve done with the Z Proto.
“It is a very interesting dynamic we have and now everything is out there and we might do something either very futuristic but you could think of doing something futuristic but at the same time you keep some of the iconic elements of the very original Patrol, for example the round eyes, the very straight lines at the front, so it is what we are now massaging around those things,” Nissan senior VP of product planning Ivan Espinosa said to Practical Motoring.
The Patrol badge has been on the market since 1951, and though it started as a styling copy of the Willys Jeep, the model has developed a character of its own over the decades. It’s not as iconic as the Bronco is here, but it’s definitely a well-loved classic workhorse around the globe.
Practical Motoring says that Espinosa’s description of specific elements of the older Patrols suggests that retro is one avenue the design team is exploring. Round lights, for example, call to the 1980s Datsun Patrol and the later GQ Patrol, still a staple of the bush.
Espinosa also said during the conference that designing a car to pull on older customer heartstrings while having an edge that appeals to young buyers is key, and that’s what they’ve done with the Z. The Patrol could be well served by the same idea, though function is a prime part of the Patrol’s reason for being.
The site suggests two models, one to take on the Patrol’s current roles, another, badged Patrol Safari (a name Nissan has used previously) which would be the retro-style option, something smaller and better-suited off-roading. Nissan also has the Xterra brand sitting around not doing anything, and that could work well here too.