The true arabian gazelle of the desert is Nissan’s iconic Super Safari. And it’s back thanks to Nissan finally listening to it’s die hard fans. A true example of an all rounder, which is robust and family friendly and reminds us of how SUV’s used to be when we were growing up. The nostalgia of being in one is like going back in time and reliving the happy memories. Long live the king of SUV’s.
Nissan Super Safari 4800 VTC Y61 Review in UAE
The Y61 as it was called kind of faded into the background when Nissan launched their present Patrol (Y62) back in 2010. It went dead against the Toyota Land Cruiser (LC200) and was bigger in proportion than the Y61 in all aspects. From size and power, the present Patrol took over the reigns as a more usable and livable daily SUV. But, purists always stuck with the Y61′s though the Super Safari trim eventually went extinct. The Y61 survived with just the “Safari” trim which was essentially the same as the Super Safari but did not come with leather and wood.
The Y61′s started gaining popularity soon as it was appreciated for being light on its feet in the desert and was able to cope with the terrain much better than the present Patrol. There are many reasons but three things that worked well for the Safari’s were light weight, more torque low down in the rev range and a steep approach angle. At 39 degree, the approach angle is 4 degrees steeper than the Gen 2 Raptor which is a huge deal as you wont be scraping off your bumper in the Y61 when you are traversing through different dunes unlike the present Patrol which is more tuned for the city and has a much shallower approach angle, just so that it looks more family friendly.
The super Safari is powered by the Nissan’s legendary 4.8L, inline 6 cylinder engine which produces 280Hp @ 4800 rpm and 451 Nm @ 3600 rpm – Gross. I have a reliable source who told me that normally these days manufacturers present Nett figures and taking that into account the Nett Hp and Torque would be 248 Hp and 420 Nm respectively. It would seem to be significantly less than the present Patrol’s 400 Hp but then again the Safari is lighter and delivers all the torque much earlier which is noticeable as it tends to stand up as soon as the accelerator is pressed, yet another favorite feature of the locals.
The Safari’s have evolved into the minds of the locals and expats alike as being bulletproof. We have seen heavily modified Safari’s with huge turbo’s spitting out flames as it races towards dunes, some are used for massive burnout at RAK’s drag stips and not to mention a modded Safari which beat Porsche’s 918 super-car at a drag race conducted by Top Gear. Well, the power plant is not what you would get in the Y61 and was borrowed from the GT-R and even then it was heavily worked on, that’s another story, but the fact remains that they chose the Y61 as a base vehicle.
Such was the demand of the Super Safari that Nissan finally relented and started building, at least for this region. The Super Safari comes with dual color scheme with the roof line in dark grey, 17 inch machine cut allow wheels painted gloss black, rear spoiler, over fenders, Super Safari body stripes and a sunroof to differentiate externally with the regular Safari’s. The interior gets tan leather seats, leather and black wood print steering finish and wood print dashboard along with navigation and 8 way powered driver seat and automatic climate control.
We can go on and on about the Super Safari but it’s probably best enjoyed in the desert. It has an uncanny ability to float like a butterfly and not dig down into the sand. Novices who would otherwise get stuck easily would benefit from being a bit careless as the steep approach angle allows it to come unscathed when coming out of a dune and the fact the this is a proper 4×4 with rear diff locks enables it to come out of any sticky situation. When stuck, engage the diff lock and keep the rpm to 1500, turn the steering wheel left full lock and right and soon enough you would climb out of any situation. On road, the inline 6 is smooth as any V8′s out there and the ride compliant even in todays standard. This was way ahead of its time.
For those living in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, this Y61 Super Safari could be yours if you head down to Arabian Automobiles. I am sure that they would have a few in stock as we speak.
I have tested many SUV’s but the Super Safari would always have a special place in my heart. Yes it is not modern and lacks dynamic drive capabilities but it more than compensates all that in its spirit. The Super Safari is the vehicle I would like to have till the end of time. It is on my wish list as one of the very few vehicles which I would own one day.
Price and Specs: Nissan Super Safari 4800 VTC Y61 Review in UAE
|Nissan Super Safari 4800 VTC|
|Displacement||4.8L, 6-cyl in-line, DOHC|
|Gearbox||5 Speed Automatic|
|Rated Output||280 Hp between @ 4800 rpm – SAE Gross 242 Hp – Nett|
|Rated Torque||480 Nm @ 3600 rpm – SAE Gross 420 Nm – Nett|
|Suspension||Front | 3-link coil type|
|Rear | 5-link coil type|
|Length – Width – Height (mm)||5080 – 1940 – 1855|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||95L + (40L sub tank)|
|Fuel Consumption||15.8L/100KMS Combined as tested|
|Price (AED)||AED 182,700|
|Super Safari with Winch||As tested AED 198,975|