Nissan exec pushes for Ford Ranger Raptor rival

Nissan exec pushes for Ford Ranger Raptor rival

The company's Australian boss wants the Navara to get a higher-output V6 or V8 gasoline engine.

Nissan is apparently facing pressure from its global executive ranks to build a rival to the Ford Ranger Raptor.

Speaking to CarsGuide, Nissan Australia head Stephen Lester says he is pushing the company's Japanese decision makers to add a gasoline engine with "a coupe of extra cylinders" to the Navara for a high-performance model, complementing the pickup's existing four-cylinder turbodiesel powertrain.

"I can only hope that [light commercial vehicles] team heeds some of that pressure from our group - we're not the only ones around the world that would like to see it. We're always keeping the pressure on," he added.

If such a project does get a green light, it may not matter for American buyers. Ford has downplayed the possibility of seeing a Ranger Raptor in US showrooms. The latest Nissan Frontier rumors, meanwhile, suggest the company will update the pickup's aging F-Alpha platform in the US rather than switching to the global Navara platform.

The company is said to be focused on keeping the Frontier competitive in terms of starting price. The Navara adopts a more expensive coil-spring rear suspension, while a revised Frontier will likely keep its cheaper leaf-spring setup.