Cape Town - Much like Mzansi, the motoring citizens of South American countries prefer bakkies to passenger cars.
Rugged landscapes, enormous agricultural estates and isolated mining quarries mean our South American friends have a similar predisposition to driving double-cabs which are dual-purposed as part family car, part workhorse.
The Latin-America love of all things bakkie is the reason it became home to the Dakar rally raid after the event went in search for new terrain. No surprise, then, to find that Nissan selected the Buenos Aires Auto Show for the global reveal of a terrifically upgraded new Navara.
It’s called - rather unsubtly – the Attack, and in principle, it’s what Nissan envisions as the ultimate evolution of its new Navara. The project was conceptualised and executed by Nissan’s Brazilian design centre, in Rio de Janeiro, and is based on the 2.3-litre turbodiesel double-cab 4x4.
Nissan’s left the engine untouched, which means you still get 140kW and 450Nm from the twin-turbo 2.3-litre diesel, but this Navara’s ability to convert all those torques to forward momentum over even the most challenging of terrain has been significantly improved.
Enormous Yokohama off-road tyres provide floatation in sand and mud, whilst a 40mm suspension lift aids ground clearance and individual wheel stroke at all four corners, making this Navara capable of truly ‘Attacking’ a succession of grade 5 off-road obstacles.
Beyond the forestry vehicle red paint finish there’s a proper steel skid plate underneath, to protect vulnerable engine and transmission snag points in rocky terrain, and a roll bar to resist roof-crushing if things do go really wrong – and you manage to roll it over.
Cosmetic upgrades include tinted headlights and regulation running boards, with Navara Attack adding a luggage rack too.
Inside it is a world of Nismo themed red piping and scarlet contrast stitching, which is quite OTT for such an off-road focussed bakkie, but – hey – they weren’t going to do capybara leather seats, now were they?