Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Next Nissan Frontier to be a Diesel?? Or a Hybrid??

Sure sounds like it according to Fred Diaz who is head of US sales.  All powertrains are under consideration and given that Nissan has moved to put a diesel in the 2016 Titan would it surprise anyone if a smaller diesel ended up in the next generation Frontier?

Unchanged in terms of basic body design and powertrain options since its introduction as a 2005 model, the Nissan Frontier saw one of its best years of sales in 2013 with over 60,000 units sold in the US.  Worldwide the Navara is also a successful model but one that comes with a turbo diesel engine not available here.  Though the Truck Trend article mentions that they test drove just such a model at the Nissan 360 event in California in 2013, I wouldn't anticipate that this exact engine would end up in a US version of the next Frontier.  This engine has been in use for these past near 10 years and any updated Frontier would likely receive an updated and more efficient engine as well.  The suggestion of a small Cummins diesel is an exciting proposition

The more interesting possibility is that of a hybrid option.  Nissan likes to be seen as an innovative company on the cutting edge of automotive options--the first mini-pickup in the US, first truck with a crew cab option, first mass market all electric with the Leaf, etc.  So it wouldn't shock me to see Nissan be the first to offer a hybrid small pickup or perhaps a hybrid turbo diesel?  Or perhaps the "First Manufacturer to offer a Cummins diesel in a Mid-Size truck"??

In any case, the next Frontier is likely to stay "about" the same size as it is today given it will still need to differentiate itself from the new Titan though, as with the current version, the two models will see a number of identical parts--axles, hubs, frame, etc. to curb costs.  With the Titan rounding into its final form before its introduction to the world in less than a year, the next Frontier is definitely entering the design phase as we speak.

Nissan Frontier--Diesel? Hybrid? Cummins?

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