Remember the Nissan Frontier? For those not in the know, the Frontier used to be the name of the automaker's premiere pick-up truck in the Philippines way before the Navara nameplate replaced it. From the Philippines, Thailand, Spain, as well as other parts of the world, Nissan's midsize pick-up truck is now known as the Navara.
But don't think that the Frontier name is done and dusted. Across the Pacific, the Frontier is still alive and kicking as the US market is still selling the second-generation (also called the D40) Frontier. While most of the world have moved on, the good ol’ Frontier refuses to go quietly into the night in ‘The Land of The Free’.
In fact, the long-running pick-up truck actually got quite an update. Making its official debut at this year’s Chicago Auto Show is the 2020 Nissan Frontier. This comes as a surprise as its last facelift was way back in 2010. Cosmetically, it’s hard to see what Nissan did as the pick-up truck still looks exactly the same. Apparently, that was the ultimate goal as the automaker was actually busy underneath the metal skin.
Gone is the 4.0-liter V6 engine as it has been replaced by a new 3.8-liter, direct-injection V6. It produces an impressive 310 PS along with 381 Nm of torque. This gives the new six-cylinder 49 more horsepower while torque remains as before. The five-speed automatic has also been replaced by a newer nine-speed automatic gearbox.
But why did Nissan only upgraded the Frontier’s powertrain? That’s because Nissan USA is actually setting up the launch of the all-new Frontier. The powertrain that currently sits underneath the 2020 Frontier will actually power the next-generation model according to Nissan.
“The 2020 Frontier lays the groundwork for the exciting, next-generation Frontier – an all-new pickup truck slated to arrive soon. While looking ahead, we're also celebrating our strong heritage – including the innovations, versatility and reliability of past models,” said Tiago Castro, Director of Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, Nissan North America, Inc.
With the next-generation Frontier set to make its US debut soon, could it be that the D23 Navara (the current generation) body style will now be offered stateside? Without a definite answer just yet, it looks like we’ll just have to wait and see if that will indeed be the case. Here’s to hoping the V6 engine will be offered across other markets, including Thailand and The Philippines.