LIFE-SAVING BAKKIE: Nissan has unveiled its all-new vehicle at the 2016 Hannover Motor Show. It's called the Navara EnGuard Concept. Image: Motorpress
• Debut of Navara-based emergency rescue concept
• New Nissan EV portable battery pack prototype
• Equipped with a drone
Germany - Nissan has unveiled an all-new vehicle at the 2016 Hannover Motor Show – the Navara EnGuard Concept.
The new bakkie could serve as a life-saving rescue vehicle in some of the world’s most harsh and extreme environments.
Based on a Double Cab Tekna version of the Nissan Navara, the EnGuard Concept features many bespoke design elements and performance upgrades. It’s also packed with vital equipment suitable for emergency and disaster recovery work, including an advanced drone to provide vital intelligence about what dangers rescue crews might face.
Mechanical, design tweaks
Mechanically, the vehicle has also been enhanced with new fully adjustable performance suspension system with uprated nylon bushes to further improve off-road capability.
Compared to the standard Nissan Navara, the overall ride height of the Navara EnGuard Concept has been raised by 50mm. The wheel arches feature bespoke overfenders, with new moulded side steps between them.
Equipped with a drone
Key to the car’s rescue role is a drone, a DJI Phantom 4 with an operating ceiling of 6,000 metres. Weighing just 1.3kg, it can fly at speeds of up to 20m per second for close to 30 minutes and can relay images back to the concept car. These are viewed on a pop-up HD screen hidden in the load bed wall.
The passenger compartment features a completely redesigned roof line, which is 136mm higher than on the standard Navara. It incorporates a powerful 360 degree LED lighting rig, with emergency blue strobe lights fitted to the four corners and visible from any angle.
Matching strobes are integrated into the top of all four overfenders, plus in the redesigned front fog lights and redesigned rear light clusters.
Portable battery pack
The concept bakkie marks the world debut of a prototype portable battery pack, designed and developed by Nissan. It utilises the automaker’s EV battery technology, already available on the road in the LEAF and e-NV200.
When docked in place the battery packs are constantly in ‘charge’ mode, using power generated by the vehicle’s 2.3-litre twin-turbo diesel engine to ensure they’re ready for emergency use when required. Each is a 2kW unit and utilises seven Nissan EV battery modules inside a weather-proof machined aluminium housing.
Two input (charge) sockets and five output (discharge) sockets are integrated into each battery pack, which features recessed ends to allow it to be carried easily. In a rescue environment they could be used to operate specialist cutting or heavy-lifting equipment, and have been specifically designed to provide an efficient alternative to a petrol generator.
Occupying the rest of the space in the load bed are two pull-out fibreglass trays. The shallow upper tray contains lightweight items such as two-way radios, ropes and an axe. The lower tray is deeper and narrower, storing larger items such as an oxygen tank and resuscitation kit, life jackets and buoyancy aids.
Nissan South Africa says its still the leader in electric vehicles locally as it was the first automaker to introduce an all-electric vehicle in the form of its battery-powered Leaf.
The automaker says:"Nissan SA continues with joint ventures with other manufacturers here, with the latest being with BMW charging and its charging stations for the Leaf, BMW i3 and i8 in Gauteng and at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town."