Posts Tagged ‘titan’

Detroit Debut of 2016 Nissan Titan & Toyota Tacoma

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

To wrap up our coverage for the 2015 Detroit Motor Show, we’re going to showcase the two new Japanese pickup trucks that hit the stage at the event.

2016 Toyota Tacoma

2016 Toyota Tacoma

There’s no doubt that the old Toyota Tacoma was a truly impressive vehicle. It’s been on the market in its current form for over a decade, and yet it claimed a full 66% market share in 2014. However, while that’s certainly an impressive stat, Toyota knows that a big reason they’ve sold that many of their aging Tacoma trucks is due to a lack of competition. This year, that’s changed as GM has re-entered the compact pickup scene with two brand-new models.

Now, Toyota is updating their mighty Tacoma to maintain its status as the best pound-for-pound pickup in its class. Toyota says that the new 2016 Tacoma is the most powerful and fuel-efficient Tacoma ever… The ultimate lifestyle vehicle for today’s most active drivers.

2016 Toyota Tacoma on the road

With the Tacoma’s debut, Toyota revealed specific powertrain specs we’d been waiting for. The new compact pickup will offer drivers a choice between a 2.7L four-cylinder or a 3.5L Atkinson cycle V6, both of which will deliver power to the wheels via an off-road-ready six-speed automatic transmission.

But, the powertrains won’t be the only distinguishing factor between the Tacoma and its new American competition. Toyota has unleashed a bevy of new technology in the Tacoma to make it stand out from the crowd.

2016 Toyota Tacoma rear view

For example, this will be the first compact pickup ever to have what Toyota calls “crawl control”, which basically allows the truck to take over acceleration and braking while the driver devotes their undivided attention to steering through rough terrain.

Another new technology is the Tacoma’s multi-terrain system, which allows optimal throttle and brake responses depending on the specific off-road terrain you’re driving on. There are modes for rocks, mud and sand.

2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited

Finally, since there’s only so much aesthetic appeal that can be designed into a truck, Toyota has made sure theirs has an interior that truly stands out. From the new sound-absorbing materials in the roof and floor to the GoPro camera mount on the rearview mirror, every minute detail of the Tacoma’s interior serves a purpose, whether that be for fun, comfort or utility.

2016 Nissan Titan XD

2016 Nissan Titan XD

Moving up a weight class, the 2016 Nissan Titan is arguably just as impressive as the new Tacoma. Powered by a Cummins turbocharged 5.0L direct-injection V8 diesel, the new Titan XD will offer a hefty 310hp and 555 lb-ft of torque – enough to make this behemoth one of only two half-ton diesels on the market. The other is Ram’s EcoDiesel, which, as you can probably infer from the name, doesn’t offer near the same ‘oomph’ as Nissan’s new Cummins-powered pickup will.

2016 Nissan Titan XD woods

As you can see, the new 2016 Titan XD features a very rugged design with and an enormous front-end and eye-catching alloys.

2016 Nissan Titan XD interior

The interior is where things have really stepped up, though, with Nissan’s new NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats, a 12-speaker surround sound system from Rockford Fosgate, and of course Nissan’s latest Nissan Connect infotainment technology. You’ll also get standard safety features like Around View Monitor, rear-view display, and moving object detection.

All in all, both pickups look to be slated for success, but we’ll have to wait until later in 2015 to get full details on both models as neither automaker revealed fuel economy numbers or pricing.


Top Japanese Cars Coming to the 2015 Detroit Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, January 10th, 2015

The 2015 Detroit Motor Show opens doors next Monday. It’s the first major automotive event of the new year, so it’s a big one for enthusiasts everywhere. As you continue reading, we’ll quickly review every Japanese car you should look out for at the show next week.

2016 Acura NSX

2015 Honda Acura NSX

Perhaps the most highly anticipated car coming to the show, Japanese-made or otherwise, is the next-generation Acura NSX supercar. And this won’t just be a concept either, but a full-fledged production-spec model ready for dealership floors.

However, while you might assume that we know a lot about it because it’s a production model, the exact opposite is true. All we have are four darkened teaser images, similar to the one shown above, and a vague statement by the supercar’s chief engineer and project leader, Ted Klaus:

“After three years of intensive development work we are excited to reveal this next-generation supercar — the Acura NSX — to the world. We’ve developed a human-centered supercar that responds to the will of the driver and that builds upon the NSX heritage.”

The one thing we do know is what will lie beneath the hood. Acura promises a twin-turbocharged sport hybrid powertrain with three high-performance electric motors to help deliver power to the wheels. Other than that, we’ll just have to wait and find out next Monday.

2016 Lexus GS F

2016 Lexus GS F

Even though the Lexus GS F is also an extremely high performance model that will make its official debut in Detroit, for some reason there’s markedly less excitement for Lexus’ amped up saloon than the Acura NSX. Perhaps it’s because we’ve already seen a full suite of teaser images, thereby removing any mystery from the reveal…

Or, perhaps it’s because of the car’s naturally-aspirated 5.0L V8 engine with 467hp, which is borrowed directly from the Lexus RC F. Obviously, 467hp is a ton of output by any normal standards, but not when compared to the GS F’s competitors. The BMW M5, the new Cadillac CTS-V and the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG all offer anywhere from 100 to 200 more horsepower, with the best of the bunch being Cadillac’s 640hp 6.2L V8 behemoth, which can zoom from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds.

2016 Lexus GS F two-tone interior

Still, the new GS-F should not be counted out. Because of Toyota’s expertise with carbon fiber thanks to their previous LFA project, the car comes in at 200 to 500 pounds less than competitors, which means it can go faster with less power. Plus, it’s reported to continue the trend of truly top-notch driving dynamics from Lexus. On top of that, Lexus has once again proven their prowess for designing interiors, as you can see in the image above.

Infiniti Q60 Concept

2016 Infiniti Q60 Concept Preview

The next car to keep an eye out for, which we covered just earlier this week, is the new Infiniti Q60 Concept. You can read more about the upcoming concept here, but the short version is that this low-riding coupe is expected to compete with the BMW 4 Series with a plush interior, class-leading aerodynamics and probably the same 3.0L V6 engine that we’ve seen in the Infiniti Q80.

2016 Nissan Titan

2016 Nissan Titan spy shot

Finally, a non-sports car! Both Japanese pickups have remained relatively under wraps compared to the sports cars above, but the one thing we know about Nissan’s new Titan is that it’ll be powered by a custom-developed 5.0L V8 Cummins diesel engine. In order to appeal to the patriotic pickup niche, Nissan has put a heavy emphasis on the fact that their pickup is 100% American-made… Conceptualized in California, developed in Michigan, road-tested in the deserts of Arizona and built in the Midwest of Mississippi.

2016 Toyota Tacoma

2016 Toyota Tacoma

Alongside the Nissan Titan will be another new Japanese pickup truck, albeit a smaller mid-sized model, to compete with the likes of Chevy’s new Colorado and the new GMC Canyon. Again, Toyota has remained completely tight-lipped about the new model, but we do know what it looks like thanks to the numerous photos leaked ahead of the reveal.

We’ll find out exact powertrain specs when doors open next week, but we’re setting the bar pretty high after Toyota boldly claimed that the new Tacoma will be “better in every way” than the previous generation, which they point out was the best-selling midsize pickup for the past 10 years.

Other Possible Japanese Cars Coming to Detroit

Now, there are a couple other Japanese cars that aren’t totally confirmed for debut at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show, but that we highly suspect will make an appearance. Those cars include:

2016 Nissan Maxima – We know that the new Maxima will come sometime in “early 2015”, and all initial reports lead us to believe that Detroit will be that time. The car should showcase Nissan’s new design language, along with a more spacious interior and a possible new hybrid powertrain borrowed from the new Pathfinder.

2016 Lexus RX Facelift – The other Japanese car that we expect to see – but can’t absolutely guarantee that we will – is the facelift for Lexus’ 2016 RX crossover. Again, we really know nothing about this other than the fact that Lexus promised two new cars at Detroit, and this is the only other likely candidate.

Either way, you can clearly see that the 2015 Detroit Motor Show is going to be a big one for Japanese automakers. The three major Japanese brands each have multiple new cars making debuts, so you’ll definitely want to stay tuned next week to get the full reveal for each of the cars above.

Until then, thanks for reading!


This is Sparky – The Nissan Leaf Pickup You’ll Never Drive

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, September 20th, 2014

What do you get when you cross a Nissan Leaf with a pickup truck?

Sparky Nissan Leaf Pickup

Nissan has a unique way of approaching corporate team-building exercises. Where most companies might build a bike, Nissan’s engineers build a car. That car is Sparky the all-electric ute (utility coupe), a green car that’s used as a parts hauler at Nissan’s Reliability Group in Stanfield, Arizona. Although this cool little car probably won’t ever become commercially available, it’s too cool not to cover.

Nissan Sparky with Reliability Group engineers

In case it’s not obvious from the front-end, this eco-friendly cargo hauler started life as a conventional Nissan Leaf. It’s the brainchild of Rolland Schellenberg and Arnold Moulinet, two head durability and reliability engineers at the expansive Stanfield premises. It started when Moulinet had to kill two birds with one stone – he needed a team-building project and a small truck to haul parts around the Reliability Group’s sprawling campus. He instantly thought of a Leaf pickup, and after a bit of research with Mr. Schellenberg, he knew it could be done.

To build Sparky, the engineers took the body of a Nissan Leaf and fused it with the cab of a Titan and the bed of a Frontier. The project took several months, not made any shorter by the fact that neither engineer held back on the bells and whistles. In the video at the bottom of this post, you’ll see how they added a power rear-window to the back of the cab and woody-style beams along the truck’s bed.

Sparky Nissan Leaf Pickup rear view

On top of that, Sparky is fully wired with head- and taillights, and has a surprisingly stylish finish with a voluptuous rear-end and distinct rear spoiler.

Apparently, Schellenberg and the rest of Nissan’s humble engineers actually wanted to keep their creation a secret, but visitors to the Stanfield center had other ideas. “We tried to keep it a secret and be exciting for everybody. But we have visitors and they come and they see that track and they go straight to ‘What is it?’”

For those of you food like to create your own version of Sparky the Leaf-based ute, all you have to do is spend years in the field of rough-road vehicle testing. Moulinet explained that his “main job here is working on rough-road vehicles … I’m pretty good at taking cars completely apart the bare frame and putting them back together again to resume testing.”

To hear the full story of how Sparky came to be, watch the video below:


Nissan Project Titan Pickups Are Ready for Adventure

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Nissan has a really special way of saying thank you to some of their most passionate fans. As a way of paying homage to the 170+ thousand people who like Nissan Trucks on Facebook, the Japanese automaker has created the epitome in off-road adventure. Meet Nissan’s second-ever crowdsourced vehicle – the Project Titan pickup truck:

Nissan Project Titan Pickup

The Project Titan truck is the result of collaboration between Nissan’s Facebook fan base and the Wounded Warrior Project. Nissan asked their fans to vote on 10 ways they should augment an ordinary Titan pickup to create the ultimate off-road vehicle. Then, Nissan teamed up with the Wounded Warrior Project to actually outfit the pickup that you see here.

Nissan Project Titan Pickup rear view

So, what did Nissan’s fan base want in their ultimate off-road truck?

Starting with a stock 2014 Nissan Titan Crew Cab PRO-4X, here are the changes Nissan made:

Wheels: 18×9-inch Fuel Revolver D525 wheels

Tires: 35×12-inch Nisso Trail Grappler M/T off-road tires

Suspension: 4” PRG Long Travel Kit

Front Bumper: ARB Deluxe Bull Bar w/ Bulldog LEDs & Winch

Exhaust: Borla Catback Dual-Exhaust System

Utility: ARE Camper Topper w/ ARB Fridge, Dry Storage, Shower, Slide-out Rack

Trailer: Manley Off-Road Trailer

Exterior: 3M Custom Desert Digital-Camp Wrap

Roof: Custom-Fabricated Rack w/ Bulldog 360˚ LEDs

Interior: Katzkin Leather Seats, Rockford Fosgate sound system, Custom Extra-Large GPS Nav., Stiffer Shift-Knob and Steering Wheel

As you can see, even though Nissan only added onto 10 areas of the Titan pickup truck, they actually upgraded a lot more than just 10 parts. What you see above is surely one of the most off-road ready vehicles in the world, and Nissan wants to prove it.

That brings us to what comes next for the two Project Titan trucks… Nissan has charged two Wounded Warrior Alumni, Kevin McMahon and David Guzman, with the task of “beating the heck out of” these two trucks with a trip through the Alaskan wilderness. Their journeys will be shared as a web series due out this fall, and we’re sure that each man will enjoy his share of adventure.

Oh, and we should mention that on top of all the changes listed above, Nissan quietly took the liberty of outfitting the Titan’s 5.6L V8 engine with a NISMO cold-air intake to keep it running smoothly in even the most extreme conditions. After all, winter is coming in Alaska and these trucks will definitely be driving in snow.

If you’d like to learn more about Nissan’s Project Titan, you can either visit the Nissan Trucks Facebook Page or you can watch the three build videos below:


Nissan News: Cube Dropped, Self-Cleaning Leaf EV & More

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Immaculate Nissan

After the departure of Infiniti boss Johan de Nysschen last week, it has continued to be a busy month for Nissan. In fact, so many things are happening with the world’s second-largest Japanese automaker that we don’t have enough blog posts to cover every single one. So, today we’re going to give you a bird’s eye view of Nissan’s latest goings on with three different news tidbits:

Nissan Cube Dropped for 2015MY

2013 Nissan Cube

If you’ve been saving up for a brand-new Nissan Cube, you’d better plan on buying one before the end of the year. At last week’s Nissan Product Day, the Japanese carmaker released their full 2015 lineup, and the Cube was eerily absent from the list. When questioned about the missing vehicle, a Nissan representative evasively praised to the 2014 Cube instead of giving a real answer.

If Nissan has indeed decided to discontinue the Cube in next year’s lineup, no one can blame them for the decision. Honestly, it probably should have been upgraded before now, as sales have continued to decline year after year. But why give it the chop? This is a modern icon that really just needs a reboot, not termination.

The upside is that Nissan also announced a few key updates at their Product Day. Among the most noteworthy improvements, we can expect a refreshed Juke, a refreshed Nissan GT-R and GT-R NISMO, and a next-gen Nissan Murano due at the end of this year. And also …

Nissan Titan Confirmed for Detroit Debut

We already knew that the next-generation Nissan Titan would make its debut early next year, and we had a sneaking suspicion that it would be at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show. Now, Nissan has officially confirmed it.

While we’re sure we’ll love all the aesthetic updates that Nissan will make to their aged full-size truck, the changes we’re most excited about are those to the powertrain. The current Nissan Titan is only available with a 5.6L V8 petrol engine, but the new one will get two more powertrain options – a smaller V6 petrol and the highly-anticipated Cummins 5.0L V8 diesel, plus an updated version of the current 5.6L.

Self-Cleaning Nissan Leaf

Self-Cleaning Nissan Leaf

Dubbed “the world’s cleanest car” by the proud, EV-loving Japanese automaker, Nissan showed us a self-cleaning Nissan Leaf EV at their Product Day last week. Apparently, they took a normal Nissan Leaf and treated its exterior with an advanced Ultra-Ever Dry paint that repels all the common filth found in typical road conditions. Rain, standing water, mud, sleet and oils stand no chance against the superhydrophobic and oleophobic paint job, which keeps itself clean by creating a microscopic layer of air between the paint and the outside world.

Nissan NA’s VP of Product Planning, Pierre Loing, said, “The 100% electric Leaf provides the perfect canvas for this and new, advanced paint technology. This is one Leaf that never has to stop at gas stations – not even for a car wash.”

Unfortunately, this self-washing paint won’t be available as a stock option for any Nissan vehicle, EV or otherwise, anytime soon as Nissan is still testing the technology. However, there is a reasonable chance that it will eventually be offered as a manufacturer-installed aftermarket option.


Nissan Teases a New “Special” Pickup Truck

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

It looks like a new generation for an as-yet-unknown Nissan pickup truck is coming just in time for summer. Earlier this week, Nissan posted the picture seen below on their global Instragram account with the tagline, “There’s a special member of the Nissan family on the way. Due date: June 11”.

New Nissan Pickup Truck

The picture alone doesn’t tell us very much about whatever this new pickup truck might be. All we can see is that it features a totally new grille unlike anything on any current Nissan pickup, along with new boomerang LEDs.

But, what exactly are we looking at?

As you may know, Nissan currently manufactures two different pickup trucks – the full-size Nissan Titan and the mid-size Nissan Navara / Frontier. As you continue reading, we’ll examine what model this pickup will likely be and why.

Let the speculation commence!

First, let’s look at what evidence supports that this could be the next-generation Nissan Titan. Even though it it’s hard to judge the truck’s size from a single veiled image, it definitely does look like it’s got the proportions to be a full-size pickup. Furthermore, the humongous grille that’s barely visible beneath the curtain looks a lot closer to the current Titan than the current Navara. With these two factors in mind, it’s easy to see why several other auto blogs believe that this new truck is the next Nissan Titan.

The only problem?

The Nissan Titan is a US-exclusive model. Why would they tease a US-only pickup truck on their global Nissan account when they have a perfectly good Nissan USA Instagram? For the record, Nissan USA hasn’t posted anything about this new truck on either their Instagram or Twitter. In addition, Nissan has already sort-of hinted that we’ll see the next-gen Nissan Titan at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

This leads us to believe that the image at the top of this post actually previews the next-gen Nissan Navara / Frontier. It also makes more sense that this would be the “special member” of Nissan’s family since the Frontier has been around, in one form or another, since 1986.

Therefore, even though both Nissan pickups are long in need of updates (the Titan hasn’t seen any major updates since its launch in 2003), it seems most likely that the Frontier is the one getting a new generation. The current Frontier debuted in 2004, so it really is past due.

As for our Titan fans, don’t worry… Nissan has already hinted that the next-generation Titan will likely debut early next year, so you’ve only got a little while longer to wait.

In the meantime, you can watch the promo video for the new Nissan pickup below:


New Nissan Titan Will Be First Diesel Japanese Pickup in US

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Apparently, there’s a huge gap in the pickup truck market right now. That gap happens to go by the name of diesel, and Nissan plans for the next generation Titan to be the first Japanese-made pickup truck to fill it. Furthermore, they’re going to do it America-style with the help of Indiana-based engine designer, manufacturer and distributor, Cummins Inc.

News of the Titan’s upgraded powertrain came at the launch of this year’s Nissan 360 convention, which is more or less a personalized brag-fest Nissan uses to show off all their cool new technology and ideas. Not that there’s anything wrong with bragging, especially when it’s regarding such an important development. Speaking of development, the press release tells us that the Titan’s new Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel engine is in the final stages of testing. Apparently, the engine is being mule-tested on public highways even as we speak.

All in all, we couldn’t be more excited. The Titan hasn’t received an update since 2003, and it’s always lived as the neglected stepchild in an American-made pickup market. However, according to Fred Diaz, Nissan’s newly appointed VP of divisional sales and marketing in North America, “We’ve done our homework on the next-generation Titan. Truck owners told us there’s a demand for the performance and torque of a diesel in a capable truck that doesn’t require the jump up to a heavy-duty commercial pickup.” Nissan intends to be the supply to that demand.

In other words, you can rest assured that Nissan will do a lot more with their revamped Titan than Toyota did with their ‘new’ Tundra. We already knew that the next-gen Titan would add powertrain options and an extended range of cab-and-box configurations, we just didn’t realize we’d be getting a diesel, much less a high-caliber Cummins diesel engine. The press release tells us to expect upwards of 300hp, and some sources are even reporting as high as 550hp.

What’s particularly interesting about this new Cummins-powered Nissan Titan is the name behind the idea. For those of you who don’t know, just four months ago Fred Diaz was the CEO of Chrysler’s Ram Trucks division. Back in 2009, it was under Diaz’s leadership that Ram had partnered with Cummins to develop a diesel engine for the Ram 1500. However, once the US economy busted and the automotive market crashed (along with every other market), the Cummins-Ram deal fell by the wayside. Now that Diaz is at Nissan, he’s come back to Cummins, and this time he intends to see it through.

If you’re an American automotive manufacturer, there’s one simple lesson to be learned from this announcement: Nissan is serious about their pickup trucks. The new Titan will be a legitimate challenger to the dominant Ram 1500s and Ford F-150s of the world. As of Tuesday, Nissan is officially doing their best to break the chokehold of US manufacturers on the pickup truck market.

Source: Car Scoops