- nissan has rolled a nismo version of the patrol suv in dubai, and it's destined for middle east sales only, at least for now.
- the patrol gets a frankly aggressive exterior with a nice touch in back: a rear splitter with an integrated fog light that looks nearly identical to what you'd find on nissan's formula e race car.
- the 428-hp 5.6-liter v-8 engine is built by members of the same team of master craftsmen who build the nissan gt-r engine by hand in japan.
it's not an april fools' joke; we checked. yes, this body-on-frame suv wears nismo badges. nissan says that for now, this special patrol, sold as the armada stateside, is for the middle east only. and even if it can't pound pavement as hard as the 523-hp bmw x7 m50i or 475-hp dodge durango srt, that doesn’t mean we aren’t a little jealous.
it looks tough, of course, but the nismo dna is more than just skin deep. a team of four master engine builders, part of the same takumi craftsmen who build each nissan gt-r engine by hand in japan, are responsible for bumping the output of the patrol nismo 5.6-liter v-8 to 428 horsepower with 413 pound-feet of torque. there are also dual mufflers on this model, with real exits from that wild rear bumper.
this isn't exactly brand new stuff, as the patrol nismo was made available with a similar powertrain in 2015 if you lived in the middle east, but like the refreshed armada, these are distinctive updates. the civilized 2021 armada has new front and rear bumpers and headlights for 2021, with a small bump up to 400 horsepower for its v-8, and the interior was given a makeover to boot. the new patrol nismo cranks each of those improvements up a few notches.
the patrol nismo gets far more aggressively styled front and rear bumpers. similar to what's found on the new nissan rogue, the nismo-specific front bumper has vertical ducts to move air around its bread-truck mass. maybe the most daring part of the exterior design is the rear splitter with an integrated fog light that looks nearly identical to what you'd find on nissan's formula e race car. the usual red details and trimmings found on any nismo model are here, and a longer spoiler protrudes from the roof to help with airflow but mostly to give it that too-cool for-school look. the patrol nismo will be sold in four paint options: white pearl, black solid, and metallic gray or silver.
although the current armada offers 22-inch wheels on platinum models, nissan says patrol nismo wheels each weigh almost two pounds less, and they have special nismo badging. surely these wheels will eventually find their way onto nissan titan trucks here in the u.s. for those willing to pay extra to play nismo dress-up. a bilstein suspension should help this sporty patrol stick to the road.
the inside of the patrol nismo has what its high-flying 600-hp nissan gt-r and 370z nismo relatives don't: modern infotainment touchscreens that appear to be the same as what's in the infiniti qx50. the inside also features a carbon-fiber-wrapped heated steering wheel, larger heated and cooled leather seats with alcantara inserts, and "nismo" stitched into the front and rear headrests.
the patrol nismo might be godzilla-sized, but the most it has in common with the gt-r is its six-digit price. pricing starts at $105,000, or $38,505 more than the most opulent armada platinum. but hey, it's still over 50 percent cheaper than the gt-r nismo, and you can fit your bike in it.