2021 Nissan Patrol Nismo: Race-inspired version of UAE's most popular SUV tears into the Middle East

The latest pumped-up model has just been revealed

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It was already a force to be reckoned with, but Nissan has just unveiled a new, race-inspired version of the famous Patrol, and it’s called the Nismo.

The car was revealed to the Middle East on Wednesday in a virtual launch, and the marketing people made what we were about to see clear – the new Patrol Nismo, they said, has been crafted to conquer.

Judging by the presentation, there is evidence to back up these claims.

The 2021 Patrol Nismo looks tougher than ever before. The production team were intent on giving the new vehicle a series of features to differentiate it significantly from its siblings. There is a reinvigorated dark-chrome grille, as well as an updated roof spoiler and side ducts. The rear bumper has been adorned with a falcon-wing design – clearly a nod to the Middle East – and there are 22-inch, two-tone alloy wheels. Red accents adorn the exterior, and the Nismo logo has been liberally scattered around the entire vehicle.

Four unique exterior colours are available (white pearl, silver metallic, grey metallic and black solid), but you only get the choice of red and black on the inside.

The 2021 Patrol Nismo has had its suspension modified, and its 5.6-litre V8 engine tuned up. In fact, the powertrain has been tuned by the "takumi", Nissan's master craftsmen (there are only five of them in Japan).

In this form, the engine will produce 428 horsepower. The car shows its sportiness as it almost leaps when it accelerates in its most dynamic mode. However, stability, we're assured, will never be an issue.

It is only customers in the Middle East that get these exclusive models though, so interest is high in the region

Inside, you’ll find Alcantara and leather seats with a quilting pattern, which Nissan says are more comfortable than ever before, and a refreshed centre console features both seven and eight-inch screens. There is a Nismo illuminated running board, visible as you enter the car, and carbon veneer finishings throughout the cabin. And the 13-speaker Bose sound system should be suitable for whatever you fancy listening to.

The Patrol first got the Nismo badge in 2010. It is only customers in the Middle East that get these exclusive models, though, so interest is high in the region.

That Nismo name then … it’s a compression of Nissan Motorsports, and the brand uses it as an add-on to describe some of its most high-performance vehicles. As an organisation, Nismo exists as the manufacturer’s in-house tuning and racing division. The first production car to get this badge was the Skyline, back in 1987, but there have been many more since. Well-known models, including the 370Z, the Juke and the Micra, have all had the Nismo treatment.

Nissan unveils the 2021 Patrol Nismo

Nissan unveils the 2021 Patrol Nismo

The word "icon" is frequently overused, but the Patrol is exactly that in terms of its impact on the Emirates. There is no let-up in its popularity, either. Al Masaood Automobiles, for example, reported a 25 per cent increase in sales for the vehicle in 2020 versus 2019. Research by the Abu Dhabi and Al Ain distributor suggests it is still the top choice of car for both citizens and residents alike, and, for the last decade, it has been the UAE capital's most popular car.

Being in constant production since the 1950s, the Patrol can claim a reputation as one of the most durable vehicles, off-road or otherwise, in the region. And this latest version is the top of the tree.

The 2021 Nissan Patrol Nismo is available in the Middle East now, and costs Dh385,000.

Take a look at the Nissan X-Terra here: