Every now and then, tuning companies make their presence felt at motor shows with their own amped up versions of everyday vehicles; common cars, bikes and trucks made to look like a million bucks with bold colours, aggressive bodykits and bright neon accents. That's the genre that first comes to mind upon first sight of the 2021 Nissan Navara Pro-4X; it really does look like a Navara that has spent the better part of a year in the garage of an upmarket custom builder, what with its hints of bright orange and chunkier panels that scream for attention. That what you're seeing is exactly what you'll be getting straight out of an authorised Nissan dealership is quite surprising. This is probably the coolest set of wheels in Edaran Tan Chong Motor's (ETCM) line-up today, and it's arguably one of the more adventurously-styled pick-ups we've seen in recent years. And that includes the established likes the Ford Ranger Raptor and Toyota Hilux Rogue.
Officially, the Navara Pro-4X isn't something you can find on showroom floors just yet. The actual launch will fall sometime next month, but ETCM was kind enough to let us have an early look at its heavily redesigned pick-up truck, and what a sight it is. The two colours on display - Stealth Grey and Burning Red - wouldn't look out of place on a GT-R or a Z sports car. There's black and white too, but these bolder hues work well with the styling bits that make up the Pro-4X package. For a rough idea of how much liberty Nissan's designers were given, the Navara Pro-4X is a bigger car in every dimension bar the wheelbase than its predecessor despite riding on the exact same platform. That's an extra 5mm in length, 25mm in width and 15mm in height made up components that really ramp up the truck's presence. These include a new 'Interlock' front grille, pronounced fender flares, roof rails, 17-inch wheels and a host of visually dominant Navara branding.
The most functional of the Navara's new exterior bits are its redesigned light clusters consisting of quad-LED projectors up front and new taillights with C-shapped LED signatures. The tailgate is supposedly lighter too while a new integrated rear bumper step makes getting in and out of the truck bed a lot easier than it used to be.
That what you're seeing is exactly what you'll be getting straight out of an authorised Nissan dealership is quite surprising
Under the hood is a familiar YD25 2.5-litre intercooler turbodiesel mill good for 190PS and 450Nm of torque. Although they aren't quite as heady as the Navara Pro-4X's styling make them out to be, the figures are still pretty healthy, with maximum twist gushing in from just 2,000rpm. Power delivery is managed by a seven-speed automatic with manual mode while there's a new electronic locking rear differential in place to make it easier for drivers to get unstuck in sand or mud. The Navara's opinion-dividing multi-link suspension in the rear stays in place with dual rate coil springs as Nissan quotes a maximum payload of 1.1 tonnes.
Things are relatively unchanged inside with the exception of a few subtle styling tweaks and connectivity upgrades - you get four USB ports and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay - but the real improvements lie in the safety department. The Navara Pro-4X gets the Nissan Intelligent Mobility package and 360-degree Safety Shield. These fancy words translate to features such as a surround-view monitor with off-road vision, predictive front collision warning and emergency braking, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert and high beam assist among many other driver aids.
Since this is just a preview, there's no word on prices yet. It also remains to be seen if the Pro-4X will be the sole flavour of the new Navara - a more affordable base variant would make sense for commercial users. All will be answered once the official launch takes place in April.