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July 27, 2021

Nissan Celebrates 70 Years Of The Patrol

The iconic Nissan Patrol has continued to drive into uncharted territory and become one of the longest-running continuous automotive nameplates as it celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.

The legendary four-wheel drive has been a mainstay for off-roading enthusiasts, adventurous families, and overland tourers since it was first released in 1951, collecting an enviable cabinet of trophies and assisting a number of milestone explorations across the globe along the way.

While the current Y62 Patrol is one of the most technically advanced vehicles in its class, equipped with a full suite of Nissan Intelligent Mobility safety features, cutting-edge hydraulically linked suspension, a powerful V8 engine and a spacious and luxurious cabin crammed with modern conveniences, the Patrol’s origins are much humbler.

Nissan’s first-generation four-wheel drive, the 4W60, was launched in 1951 and featured a 3.7-liter in-line 6-cylinder engine that produced 76 horsepower, and drove a part-time four-wheel transmission via a four-speed manual gearbox. It was sold exclusively in Japan and adopted the Patrol nameplate when it was updated with the 4W65 model in 1958.

After that, the G60, exported as the Datsun Patrol adopted a “modern” overhead valve 4.0-liter inline-6 that generated 125 horsepower. It went largely unchanged for almost 20 years until it was replaced by the hugely popular MQ-Series Patrol in 1980.

The MQ Patrol tapped into the growing popularity for recreational four-wheel drives with more car-like features and handling and introduced the seven-seat concept that the Patrol retains today.

It was available as a short wheelbase Hardtop model with a removable roof while the long-wheelbase configuration allowed for a wide range of pick-up, cab-chassis, and wagon variants. When launched, it came with a choice of either a 2.8-liter petrol or 3.3-liter diesel six-cylinder engine and was the first Patrol to be offered with an automatic transmission, a three-speed unit.

The MQ Patrol was also the first model to introduce a turbo-charged diesel engine option in 1984 with the addition of the optional SD33T six-cylinder engine producing 110 horsepower and 255Nm of torque.

Nissan re-set the benchmark for four-wheel drives in 1987 when the hugely popular GQ Patrol arrived with all-coil-spring suspension that offered an ideal blend of long-travel articulation for off-roading and comfortable on-road dynamics for everyday driving.

It was initially offered with a choice of all-new 4.2-liter gasoline or diesel six-cylinder engines with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. The powertrain range was expanded in 1990 with the addition of a 3.0-liter petrol six-cylinder—a unique version of the iconic RB30 from the Skyline sedan – in entry-level models and again in 1995 with a 2.8-liter turbo diesel.

The fifth-generation GU Patrol launched in 1997 and brought a sleeker, more spacious body as well as significant improvements to chassis, suspension, and driveline components that increased overall refinement. It was powered by either an improved version of the 2.8-liter turbo-diesel six, which now featured electronic fuel injection and an intercooler, or a revised 4.2-liter naturally-aspirated six. A turbo charged variant of the big six arrived in 1999, an all-new ZD30 3.0-liter turbo four-cylinder replaced the smaller six in 2000 and the petrol six-cylinder increased its capacity to 4.8-liters in 2001, producing 251 horsepower and 420Nm—making the Patrol the most powerful four-wheel drive in its class.

With the arrival of the high-tech Y62 series in 2014, the Patrol shifted up a gear and took on a more refined character. It was exclusively available with a 5.6-litre petrol V8 and focused more intently on its on-road performance than ever before, bringing world-first technologies such as the digital Intelligent Rear View Mirror (introduced in 2017) and a sophisticated fully-independent suspension set-up with Hydraulic Body Motion Control.

The Y62 Patrol was refreshed in 2020 with a stylish new exterior design and additional safety features, including a comprehensive suite of Nissan Intelligent Mobility functions such as Intelligent Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Active Cruise Control and Intelligent Lane Intervention.

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