Nissan unveils Frontier Sentinel go-anywhere rescue car idea

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Nissan has unveiled the Frontier Sentinel Concept at the Sao Paulo motor show, previewing a go-anywhere rescue vehicle.

Finished in a seriously eye-catching shade of Thunder Blue, the Sentinel is based off the regular Frontier dual-cab ute, known as the Navara in Australia.

The highlight is undoubtedly the tray, which is home to a take-off and landing platform for rescue drones, a layered storage system, and two batteries from the Leaf EV serving as auxiliary power sources.

The finish on the Navara -as it's known in Australia - is a seriously eye-catching Thunder Blue.

The finish on the Navara -as it's known in Australia - is a seriously eye-catching Thunder Blue.

The tray is home to a take-off and landing platform for drones.

The tray is home to a take-off and landing platform for drones.

The electric yellow colour which continues inside the cab is inspired by electric circuits.

The electric yellow colour which continues inside the cab is inspired by electric circuits.

Hiding inside is useful rescue equipment like walkie-talkies, a hard hat and power tools.

There’s a strengthened rollbar running along the side of the cargo bed to protect the new hardware, while a snorkel and bespoke lighting system burnish its off-road credentials.

Those wheels are unique to the car, wrapped in a set of special off-road tyres. The whole package has a very ‘Tonka Truck’ feel about it.

According to Nissan, the Thunder Blue paint used on the exterior is inspired by the Brazilian hyacinth macaw, a parrot native to central and eastern South America, while the Electric Yellow highlight colour has been inspired by electric circuits.

Nissan also themed a Frontier called the Dark Sky Concept in collaboration with the European Space Agency.

Nissan also themed a Frontier called the Dark Sky Concept in collaboration with the European Space Agency.

The stargazing trailer and bespoke telescope was described as a 'mobile astronomy lab'.

The stargazing trailer and bespoke telescope was described as a 'mobile astronomy lab'.

This isn’t the first themed take on the Frontier – nee Navara – from Nissan. Earlier this year, the Dark Sky Concept was revealed in collaboration with the European Space Agency.

Bearing a special stargazing trailer and a bespoke telescope, along with its distinctive paint job, the car was described as a ‘mobile astronomy lab’ for intrepid scientists.

Nissan wasn’t alone in showing what it can do with its utes at the Sao Paulo show.

Toyota unveiled the HiLux GR Sport, a racier take on its ever-popular dual-cab.

Toyota unveiled the HiLux GR Sport at the Sao Paulo motor show.

Toyota unveiled the HiLux GR Sport at the Sao Paulo motor show.

Unlike the Frontier Sentinel, or production cars like the Ford Ranger Raptor, there’s little in the way of serious hardware changes on the GR Sport.

Instead, it’s more of a visual and equipment upgrade than anything else, with a stiffer suspension set-up than the standard car working with a fresh body kit, new wheels, grille inserts and a graphics package to help the car stand out.

Power comes from the same 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine as the standard car, making the same 130kW and 450Nm. A six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are both standard.

It will be built at Toyota’s factory in Argentina initially, rather than the Thai factory where Australian cars are sourced.

Don’t expect to see it on Australian roads anytime soon. Speaking with 9News, a Toyota spokesperson said there are no plans to bring that particular model to Australia” at the moment.

“Having recently released the Rugged, Rugged X and Rogue to fulfil a similar market need for a HiLux that can be used more recreationally, we believe that this concept would need to be studied in more detail before any solid plans are made,” the company said.

“Nonetheless, we always like to keep tabs on global HiLux programs like these and are always studying possibilities for any new product that would meet our market needs.”

© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018

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