Nissan has used the Hanover motor show in Germany to unveil a high-end Navara ute, specially toughened up and equipped for search and rescue operations. It’s called EnGuard, a play on the French preparatory fencing term ‘En Garde’.
Based on a standard double-cab Navara, the EnGuard concept is designed to showcase both the ute’s all-terrain ability and a new life-saving vehicle platform.
The concept’s roof is 136mm higher, the ride height has been boosted by 50mm, front and rear tracks are wider, suspension is adjustable, tyres are 285-profile for off road, and a snorkel helps when wading through water.
Once EnGuard gets to where it’s going, the kitted-out loadbay comes into its own. Two pull-out fibreglass trays carry items such as a resuscitation kit, oxygen tanks, life jackets, climbing gear, powerful torches and even a axe.
There’s a state-of-the-art DJI Phantom rescue drone fitted as well, which can fly to almost 6000 metres and relay images to a pull-out 20.5-inch high-definition screen.
A pair of heavy duty battery packs housed in weather-proof aluminium and using seven modules from the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle occupy much of the bed.
When docked, the batteries are fed by the Navara’s 2.3-litre twin-turbo diesel engine and are designed to act as more efficient generators, operating heavy lifting or specialist cutting equipment, or powering search lights and heat sources.
The list of changes continues with a winch built into the reshaped rear bumper, along with a full-size spare wheel underneath the load bed, and a towbar to haul up to 3500kg.
While the concept is designed purely to showcase new technology, Nissan LCV Vice President Phillippe Guerin-Boutard claims it could have real-world uses in future.
“The Navara EnGuard Concept opens a new chapter in the Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision, featuring our commitment to zero fatalities and zero emissions,” he said.
“Our prototype EV portable battery pack reveals how Nissan will integrate its world-renowned EV battery technology and expertise into new sectors in the future.”