Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept is a powerful astronomy labs on wheels

Article by Christian A., on September 25, 2018

Nissan took visitors at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show to the stars when it collaborated with Lucasfilm and displayed six Star Wars-themed vehicles. Now, Nissan is taking the visitors at the 2018 IAA Commercial Vehicles (also called Hannover Motor Show) to the dark sky with its latest creation – the all-new Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept.

A product of collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), the United Kingdom-developed Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept is all suited to do its job. Astronomers at ESA have been mapping the stars through the Gaia satellite. In fact, this project has already resulted to the observation of more than a billion stars. However, light pollution – especially from urban – makes the stars less visible. Thus, astronomers have been conducted follow-up observations from remote, hard-to-reach locations, also called as so-called "dark sky" places. In doing so, ESA’s astronomers have to bring them powerful telescopes, which have to transported safely and easily.

Embodying the Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept is appropriately suited to support this project. It is a solution to the enigma of how to transport telescopes for dark sky observations of the universe. It is properly equipped to tow on a bespoke off-road trailer the ultrahigh-power, observatory-class PlaneWave telescope, which can deliver detailed views of distant galaxies and nebulae.

This is made possible by the so-called ProPILOT driver assistance technology, allowing the Navara Dark Sky Concept to be more than capable of safely and conveniently towing the PlaneWave telescope. Nissan’s upgraded ProPILOT technology essentially combines Nissan's Intelligent Cruise Control and Steering Assist technologies to maintain a safe distance with the vehicle up front as well as keep the Navara Dark Sky Concept centered when driving on a single lane or on curves.

The Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept also features an upgraded Intelligent Around View Monitor system that provides a bird's-eye-view around the pickup, as well as an enhanced Blind Spot Warning that can highlight objects in blind spots within the range of the trailer.

Likewise, the Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept features Intelligent Towing Hitch Alignment that allows it to automatically maneuver to align with the trailer for easy hookup. Its overall ride height has also been raised for extra ground clearance.

In addition, the Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept and its trailer are provided with portable xStorage ROAM battery power packs for auxiliary power supply even in remote locations. It is also equipped with Wi-Fi, a laptop station and UHF transmission.

In terms of looks, the Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept boasts of a cosmos-inspired design. Its exterior is wrapped in dark color with nebula motifs while the interior combines the orange shades of a setting sun with the deep hues of the night sky and. The seats also feature reflective orange piping. Moreover, both the Navara Dark Sky Concept and its trailer use only red lighting to prevent any visual disruption during observations.

The Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept is powered by a 2.3-liter twin-turbo diesel engine that delivers 190 PS of output and 450 Nm of torque.

Press Release


Nissan has unveiled two new vehicles at the Hannover Motor Show – the Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept and the Nissan Navara N-Guard.

Both models highlight Nissan’s increasing versatility in Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV), where conversions have seen a staggering 300% sales growth in the past three years. Through these conversions Nissan is able to provide commercial customers with tailored solutions that answer their specific business need.

The star of the show is the Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept. Developed in the UK, in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), and equipped with a more advanced version of Nissan’s ProPILOT driver assistance technology, it highlights how the robust capability of the Navara pickup can power and tow a mobile astronomy laboratory.

The concept includes an ultra-high performance PlaneWave telescope within a bespoke trailer module. Thanks to the Navara’s intelligent towing capabilities, the telescope module can be towed easily to remote off-road “dark sky” locations, where the best atmospheric conditions for stargazing are found.

Also making its motor show debut is the Nissan Navara N-Guard, a tough and stylish special version that’s now on sale. It features a number of exterior and interior design upgrades, extending the Navara’s appeal to those who want a superior pickup for off-road adventures.

Inspired by the Nissan Navara EnGuard Concept unveiled at the Hannover Motor Show in 2016, the Navara N-Guard is available with the OFF-ROADER AT32 conversion pack, and this can be also seen on Nissan’s Hannover Motor Show stage. With increased ground clearance, underbody protection and an optional snorkel, it is the most capable Navara ever offered to European customers.

Ashwani Gupta, Senior Vice President of the Nissan Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) business unit, said: “The tough pickup trucks on display are the perfect embodiment of Nissan’s dedication to excellence in conversions. Powered by Nissan Intelligent Mobility and including ProPILOT, the incredible versatility of each vehicle allows us to go above and beyond to support any business need and serve as an authentic partner for our customers.”

With their Go Anywhere capabilities and array of Nissan Intelligent Mobility features, Nissan’s LCV models continue to attract new customers worldwide, supporting Nissan LCV’s goal of 40% sustainable growth by 2022. Global LCV sales for the first half of 2018 reached 464,900 units, a 5.7% increase from the prior year.

The Nissan Navara occupies an integral position within Nissan’s global LCV lineup and is Nissan’s best-selling pickup truck globally.

Other key Nissan LCV models present at Hannover Motor Show include versions of the NV200, NV300 and NV400 vans, and the all-electric e-NV200 van. High demand, particularly from delivery, transport and private hire businesses across Europe, has led to 7,000 upgraded e-NV200 orders since launch in January 2018, a 136% increase in sales in the first half on 2018 compared to the same period last year.

The growing strength of Nissan’s LCV range is also reinforced by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi business unit. Bringing together Renault’s van expertise, Nissan’s truck know-how and Mitsubishi’s pickup prowess, the Alliance currently has a presence in 91 markets and aspires to become the world’s leading LCV manufacturer.

Full range of Nissan LCV Models at Hannover Motor Show:
Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept, Nissan Navara N-Guard, Nissan Navara N-Guard Off-Roader AT32, NV200 Van, eNV200 Van, NV300 Coffee, NV300 Camper, NV400, NV400 Dropside.

The press conference will be taking place at 10.30am on Wednesday 19th September.

Source: Nissan

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