A 4-wheel drive Nissan Patrol has been in production since 1951. The name of the car was changed to Nissan Safari for Japanese market in 1980. Nissan Patrol has a huge market base and is sold in Australasia, Central and South America, South Africa, parts of Southeast Asia, Western Europe, Iran and the Middle East. The car was offered in United States and Canada in 2010 as an upmarket 2011 Infiniti QX56 sharing its platform with the US-made Nissan Armada produced from 2004 to 2010.
The Patrol has been offered both as short-wheelbase (SWB) 3-door and a long-wheelbase (LWB) 5-door chassis. Utility and cab chassis variations are also available alongside wagon for LWB version. Ford Australia also sold the Patrol as the Ford Maverick from 1988 to 1994. Both Nissan Patrol and Maverick were sold alongside each other. It was also sold as Ebro Patrol for a short period of time in European markets. In several countries including Australia, Middle East, Europe and The Caribbean, the Patrol was considered as a strong 4×4 vehicle. The Patrol is one of the most popular cars in Australia, Middle East, New Zealand, Japan and some European countries. Toyota Land Cruiser, Land Rover Discovery and Mitsubishi Pajero are its major rival vehicles.
In Asia and Middle East, the second generation Y60 (GQ) platform is still utilized as a military vehicle. Similarly, a wide range of Patrol versions are used by different United Nation agencies. The fourth and fifth generation models were considered as the main troop transport and were used by Irish Army.
First Generation (4W60 series; 1951–1960)
The first generation 4W60 series Patrol was launched by Nissan In September 1951. It was pretty much similar to the Willys Jeep. It was powered by the 3.7-L (75 hp) Nissan NAK engine used in Nissan 290 bus. It featured a 4-speed manual transmission and a part-time 4-wheel drive system. The 4W60 was substituted by 4W61 in August 1955.
The 4W61 was very much similar to the previous 4W60 but with few exceptions. It also featured a 3.7-L Nissan NB engine, developing 92 hp. The later model came equipped with larger 4.0-L Nissan NC engine generating 105 hp. The 4W61 was taken over by 4W65 in October 1958.
The 4W65 was in close resemblance with the 4W61 except for some slight differences. A hardtop wagon version called the WG4W65 was also released. The short lived 4W66 replaced the 4W65 in December 1959. It received a 125 horsepower 4.0-L P40 engine. In June 1960, the company ceased the production of 4W66.
In 1950, Nissan also introduced the Nissan 4W70 Carrier which shared its platform with Dodge M37. The chassis used in 4W70 belonged to M37, but it shared its drivetrain and engine with 4W60 Patrol.
Second Generation (60 Series; 1960–1980)
In 1960, the first soft-top Nissan Patrol 60 and G60 were introduced in Australia. Patrol 60 was a 2-door with 2200 mm (86.6 inch) wheelbase, while the Patrol G60 was 2-door with 2500 mm (98.4 inch) wheelbase. L60 and GL60 were the left-hand versions and offered in markets outside Australia. The Patrol 60 became the center of attention when it appeared to be the first vehicle to drive across the Simpson Desert, Australia. The Patrol was not introduced in US market until mid-1970s.
Nissan Patrol G60 was available in shirt, medium and long wheelbase versions. Initially, it came with a manual transmission type-F3B83L with 3-speed transfer case, but later 4-speed and 2-speed transfer case was also introduced along with part-time four-wheel drive. It featured P40 engine with 3956 cc (241.4 cubic-inches), inline overhead-valve 6-cylinder motor featuring bathtub-shaped combustion chambers and fully balanced 7-bearing crank shaft. The G60 generally offered a seating capacity for eight passengers.
Third Generation (1980-1985)–(1986-1994)
The third generation Patrol was available in three different versions including 160 (1980-1985); 161 (1985-1987); and cab chassis (1990-1994). The third generation Patrol was launched in 1980. Different body styles offered were: 3-door soft top/hard top, 5-door wagon/van, 2-door Pickup, 4-door Pickup, and fire truck.
Several different engines were also available for third generation Patrol including: 4.0L P40 I6, 2.8L L28/L28E I6, 3.3L SD33 Diesel, and 3.3L SD33T Turbodiesel.
The Spanish built version of 160 was known as 260. It was introduced in 1986 and remained in production until 1994. It was offered in both short and long-wheelbase and powered by L28, SD33 and RD28T engines. 260 Series was sold in European markets.
Fourth Generation (Y60; 1987–1997)
The fourth generation Y60 Patrol was introduced in 1987 and it was mechanically different from the previous generations as coil spring suspension was introduced with rear axle being built on a 5-link setup. There were few models that came with rear Limited Slip Differential; while others received a vacuum operated manual rear differential lock. The model also featured rear disc brakes and few of them also came with PTO-driven front-mounted winch.
In Australia, the Ford Australia renamed the Y60 (GQ) Patrol as Ford Maverick from 1988 onward until 1994. This was done in response to the Button car plan setup by Australian Government.
Fifth Generation (Y61; 1997–Current)
In 1997, the fifth generation Y61 (GU) Patrol was launched by Nissan Motors. It was offered with a range of engines: 4.5L petrol and 2.8L Turbo Diesel, 3.0L Turbo Diesel, 4.2L diesel, 4.2L Turbo Diesel, 4.2L Turbo Diesel Intercooler.
An extensive work has been done by Nissan on this particular generation to make it reliable and stronger than its predecessors. For this purpose, Nissan has strengthened the underbody hardware of the vehicle. Nissan has also made some modifications in the interior to make it more comfortable for the driver and passengers.
A facelift was introduced in 2004 featuring new headlights, box flares on each guard and larger taillights. Because of poor sales, the Nissan Safari was discontinued in Japan the same year. 2- and 4-door pickup version called the Y61 series was also introduced by Nissan.
It was powered by TB48DE engine which is extremely popular among UAE tuners who can easily alter and upgrade it to levels where it can beat some of the supercars manufactured by Lamborghini, Ferrari, Nissan and other supercar producers in performance. Surprisingly, a modified version of the TB48DE engine was once able to achieve 2000 hp (1491 kW) for the sand hill challenges.
Although, sixth generation Patrol has already been launched, fifth generation Patrol is still produced and sold in many countries especially in Australia and Europe, where the new generation has not offered yet. It is said that Nissan is planning to introduce a diesel variant of the fifth generation Patrol so as to keep it alive as a cheaper version.
Sixth Generation (Y62; 2010–Present)
The sixth generation Patrol made its debut on February 13, 2010 and the company marketed as ‘Hero of All Terrain’ at a VIP event in Abu Dhabi, UAE. This generation led the basis for the new Infiniti QX56.
The 2010 Patrol is offered with a VK56VD, 5.6-L V8 engine, generating an impressive 400 hp (298 kW) and torque of 560 Nm (410 lb-ft) and equipped with a VVEL (Variable Valve Event) and Lift and DIG Gasoline direct injection. The engine is coupled with 7-speed automatic transmission. It also features a variable 4×4 Mode package offering drivers to switch between four drive modes with a flick of switch: sand, on-road, rock and snow. Some of the other available features include: Hydraulic Body Motion Control System, an electronic-locking rear differential, hill start and hill descent control, lane-departure warning, automatic braking and stability control. In 2010, United States received its first Infiniti version. The Nissan Patrol is scheduled to launch in Australia and other countries this year. The engine offered in US market is 5.6-L V8 while the other markets receive V6 petrol and V8 turbo diesel engines.
There are six different models offered in Middle East while three trim levels of Nissan Patrol are: LE, SE and City Package.