The 2015 Nissan NP300 Navara, the company's global-market moniker for the Frontier, has officially landed. The shape, which will undoubtedly be shared by the long-awaited 2015 Nissan Frontier; is a tidy porting of Nissan's corporate design language to the pickup truck shape, and the interior is heavy on car-style comfort.
Update: Nissan remains adamant that "this is not an indication of an impending launch of a new Nissan Frontier for the U.S. market." Followed of course by "Regarding your questions about what differences a US version might have versus the Navara, I have to say that we cannot comment on future plans for Frontier."
I stand by my speculation that the truck we're seeing in these pictures will be all-but identical to the next Frontier. Why would Nissan choose this generation to differentiate their design across markets, when just about every automaker is synchronizing their lineup around the world?
To provide some more depth on the vehicle's development, check out this interview with Nissan Executive Design Director Mamoru Aoki and product planner Keno Kato curiously set to a funky soundtrack.
As to why they're limiting the unveiling of their new truck shape to South East Asia, Nissan says "the compact/mid-size pickup segment is 42 percent of the market in Thailand."
There's a 360º rotator on their Thai website for you to explore the truck at your own pace, but you'll get way more fired up watching the primer video. Nissan stuck lots of fun footage from their exciting history in here:
And here's the extended version from the reveal-presentation in Bangkok:
The 2015 Navara/Frontier has a lower roofline and higher ground clearance than the outgoing truck, as well as a larger cargo bed
As we've seen hints of, the interior is a lot more refined looking than what's in other pickups. It would be an easy transition from a Rogue, or even an Altima into this space and I'm sure Nissan's hoping for exactly that. With a small footprint and accessible interior, the Navara/Frontier is a great "gateway pickup" to hook new drivers.
"Zero-gravity seats" are meant to provide an exceptional level of adjustability to get your ass dialed right in.
For the Asian market, the new truck is available "with improved versions of Nissan's 2.5-liter DOHC in-line 4-cylinder Diesel engine or 2.5-liter in-line 4-cylinder Gasoline engine. The new 2.5-liter DOHC in-line 4-cylinder Diesel engine features maximum power of 140kW (188 horsepower) and 120kW at 3600rpm, maximum torque of 450Nm (332 lb-ft) and 403Nm at 2000rpm, and higher boost from a turbocharger with electrical actuator. Fuel economy has been improved by as much as 11% over the previous model."
A seven-speed automatic or six-speed manual are the transmission choices.
However, those engines and transmissions won't necessarily show up stateside so we'll be watching for the American appointments as soon as they come out.
The Navara's other features, like 4x4-shifting-in-motion, VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) which system helps improve 4x4 driving performance and safety, ABLS (Active Brake Limited Slip), HSA (Hill Start Assist) and HDC (Hill Descent Control) probably will get a direct port to other markets though.
Well... here it is, and here's the launch report from Nissan if you want to read what's above plus some PR buzzwords. what do you think of the design and what are you hoping for in options on the American-spec version?