Nissan touts Desert Camel Power performance index

Nissan has announced its development of an empirical unit called “Desert Camel Power” for determining the performance of vehicles in off-road desert conditions

Desert Camel Power will act as a touchstone for Nissan engineers going forward.
Desert Camel Power will act as a touchstone for Nissan engineers going forward.

Nissan has announced an empirical calculation for what it calls ‘Desert Camel Power’, and index for determining the performance of vehicles in off-road desert conditions.

The method for the calculation of Desert Camel Power was developed by Nissan engineers working with a team of scientists after the manufacturer noted that horsepower was insufficient to determine desert performance.

“Over the past two years we have been researching what make a vehicle such as the Nissan Patrol well suited to desert driving,” said Eng. Joseph El Hachem. “Basically, it comes down to the interplay between the vehicle’s weight, its velocity and its trajectory.

“Other factors including manoeuvrability, engine torque and, of course, the skill of the driver cannot be discounted, but if we standardise a vehicle’s approach speed and trajectory in a given environment we can time how quickly it travels a set distance and subsequently factor in its weight to work out its Desert Camel Power.

The formula is rendered as the velocity, times the weight, times sin of the trajectory, and can be applied to any off-road vehicle, anywhere in the world that positions itself as being desert-capable.

Samir Cherfan, MD at Nissan Middle East, said: “In some ways, it is perhaps surprising that such a formula has not been developed before now, given the amount of time and energy the off-road community puts into making claims and counter-claims about what constitutes a good desert vehicle!

“We are also confident that the concept will find widespread acceptance among those who live and work in areas where off-road capability in a vehicle is essential.”

A scientific paper has been presented to the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) for testing and verification.

Cherfan added: “The arguments have raged for decades about what makes a vehicle capable in the desert. Desert Camel Power is a means to scientifically measure a vehicle’s fitness to take on the dunes, and will act as a touchstone for our engineers as they build upon the Patrol’s capabilities as a conqueror of the dunes.”


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