Decontenting the Patrol? That used to mean hosing it out after a hard weekend in the boonies. But the new car's long and sophisticated list of standard features would discourage that: six airbags, stability control, lane-departure warning, intelligent cruise control, a forward-collision warning system, an individual multiscreen DVD system, new roof mounted air vents, 9.3 GB hard drive, sat-nav, a 360-degree camera monitoring system, and a power liftgate.

Nissan even claims some world firsts among all this; none of it would be out of place in the QX.

Bailo spoke to Motor Trend at the global launch of the Patrol in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. This region is the other reason the Patrol has gone upmarket. They like their luxury 4x4s here, and the old Patrol was just too utilitarian. It had gotten to the point where the archrival 200 Series LandCruiser controlled 90 percent of the market.

Emphasising just how important correcting this imbalance is, global boss Carlos Ghosn flew in for the first public viewing of the new generation, a vehicle that's taken six years and $500 million to bring to reality. It's just he and 1000 of his closest friends at a swanky function on the grounds of the beyond-luxury seven star Emirates Palace Hotel. When the Patrol rolled onto the stage, Ghosn was dwarfed. Admittedly, he's not the biggest guy in the world -- he'd just about stroll between Ed Whitacre's legs -- but this is one huge vehicle.

"The last Patrol? People said, 'It's a great car, but you are off the mark in terms of comfort and luxury, it is too frugal, too austere,'" Ghosn explained. "So we listened, we corrected it, we have presented it, and now you have seen it."

Well, you could hardly miss it. Dimensionally, at 202.4 inches long, 78.5 inches wide, and 76.4 inches high, its profile eclipses the old Patrol, the current Cruiser, and probably the sun. And at around 6150 pounds, it's in an even weightier division. The only thing that compares for sheer size and heft is the Armada.

And that's no coincidence because the Patrol employs a vastly uprated form of the Armada's F-Alpha body-on-frame architecture (variants of which also underpin the old QX, Titan, Pathfinder, and more), as well as an overhauled version of the 5.6-liter V-8 petrol engine, a seven speed automatic transmission, and a hydraulic body control system that banishes mechanical stabilizer bars to the trash bin.