The new Nissan Armada is channeling its rugged heritage

Nissan Armada 2017Nissan2017 Nissan Armada.

The Nissan Armada SUV is finally getting the second generation that it has so desperately needed.

Nissan unveiled the new 2017 Armada at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show last week.

After debuting in 2003, Nissan’s flagship SUV has soldiered on with only minor updates for more than a decade.

All the while Nissan has completely revamped its crossover and SUV lineup with the introduction the new Rogue, Murano and Pathfinder models.

The Armada is more than ready for some fresh blood.

And the model’s market performance has reflected this.

In 2015, Nissan sold just under 13,000 Armada’s in the US, which equates to a relatively unimpressive 1.5% of share of the full-size crossover/SUV market.

That’s down more than 15% from 2014, at a time when SUV sales are surging.

For 2017, the Armada will receive fresh styling, an updated interior and a more powerful 390 horsepower, 5.6-litre V8 engine.

Unlike the first generation Armada, 2017 model will not be based on the Nissan Titan pickup. Instead it will be engineered like the company’s Patrol SUV that’s sold in numerous markets around the world.

As a result, it will retain a truck-like, body-on-steel-frame construction — and will be able to tow 8,500 pounds.

Although the Patrol moniker may be unfamiliar to most American SUV buyers, it’s a nameplate that has been in production for more than 60 years.

Nissan Patrols can also frequently be seen shuttling United Nations staffers, diplomats and freedom fighters around some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world.

“While the new Armada is intended primarily for family adventures here in North America, Armada owners will benefit from its underpinnings as a strong, durable and authentic full-size SUV with ruggedness to spare,” Nissan North America vice president of product planning Michael Bunce said in a statement.

The 2017 Armada will join the Infiniti QX80 as the second Nissan Patrol-based SUV sold in the US. The Patrol-based QX80 has been on sale in the US since 2011 as the QX56. In fact, the the Armada and the Infiniti will share similar eight-passenger cabin designs and infotainment systems. Although the Infiniti’s interior appointments will likely be much more plush.

Business Insider had opportunity to test out a 2015 QX80 and were impressed by the Infiniti’s athletic driving dynamics, strong V8 engine and luxurious cabin.

The Armada will be assembled in Japan, while its V8 engine will be forged in Tennessee.

Nissan will announce official pricing for the 2017 Nissan Armada sometime before it arrives in US Showrooms this Summer. The 2015 first generation Armada started at $38,510.

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