Talk about a tricked-out SUV. The Nissan Armada Mountain Patrol shows what guts can do in the accessories department.
And a little help from the Internet.
Nissan solicited social media to determine the looks of the eight-passenger off-roading experiment, which Nissan makes clear will not be offered as a factory package.
What the company ended up with is a backcountry camper's delight.
Working from consumer suggestions on Facebook, Instagram and elsewhere, Nissan added a heavy-duty coil-over suspension, rock sliders, a spare tire swing-away, heavy-duty steel front and rear bumpers and auxiliary fuel storage. For getting unstuck, if necessary, it received a 12,000-pound Warn Platinum winch and rack-mounted MaxTrax vehicle recovery boards.
A Magnaflow cat-back exhaust system was installed, along with a roof-mounted LED light bar, bumper-mounted fog lights and wheel well lighting.
Nissan topped the vehicle with a roof-mounted, four-person Mount Shasta tent and a custom awning. Inside, it received a Lowrance navigation system and off-road radio system.
To understand why Nissan would go through so much trouble, the answer might be in the name: Mountain Patrol — with emphasis on Patrol.
The Mississippi-made Armada is built on Nissan's global Patrol platform. The rugged full-size Patrol has been sold since 1951, and is marketed in countries around the world — but not the U.S., where the nameplate remains virtually unknown.
Nissan officials have made no comment about whether the Patrol name might be introduced in the U.S. But in recent months, the automaker has given its global light commercial vehicle business unit a freer hand in making such product decisions. And that group is now looking for new market opportunities in light trucks.