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An SUV based on pick-up underpinnings is quite familiar ground – Mitsubishi has its Pajero Sport, Ford its Everest, and there’s the Toyota Fortuner as well as the likes of the Chevrolet Trailblazer up and about. Nissan had it too, in the form of the previous-gen Pathfinder.

Now that the current fourth-generation R52 Pathfinder has moved away from a truck-based, body-on-frame layout for a unibody one, there’s an obvious gap in the automaker’s portfolio, and an offering based on the new NP300 Navara would provide the necessary solution.

Two months ago, during the NP300 launch in Thailand, Nissan chief planning officer Andy Palmer did hint of the possibility of such a spin-off being developed, but there was no official indication that plans were in place for this.

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Now, it has been reported that the automaker has said it has begun development on an SUV based on the NP300. No details have emerged, but powertrain choices shouldn’t differ from that offered on the truck, these being the new YS23 2.3 litre and updated YS25 2.5 litre, with a seven-speed auto being the primary transmission pick.

In case you missed it earlier, rendering wiz Theophilus Chin’s depiction of what a Navara-based SUV could shape up like shows a rather buff vehicle, with plenty of bulges fore and aft. Will the real deal be more muscular than this?

We’ve of course driven the Nissan NP300 Navara – read our Thai test drive report of the truck.