What do you get when you cross a cargo van and an off-roader? Apparently the NV Cargo X concept van. Made possible by Nissan Commercial Vehicles along with legendary off-road builder Ian Johnson, the new cargo van concept blends off-road capability with the practicality of a spacious workhorse.

“We thought it would be interesting to take an NV Cargo to the extreme – pushing it to where no cargo van has ever gone before. We weren't disappointed,” said Fred Diaz, vice president and general manager of Nissan North America Trucks and Light Commercial Vehicles.

High-riding Nissan NV Cargo X concept unleashed

Standing at 2,286mm tall, the NV Cargo X concept gets a custom suspension system, along with 37-inch General Grabber X3 tires. With it, the cargo van now has nearly 560mm of ground clearance, dwarfing the standard 205mm ground clearance. According to Johnson, the rigid box ladder frame allowed them to modify the undercarriage like any body-on-frame SUV.

Other revisions done on the concept van include: off-road LED lighting system, a 4,535 kg power winch mounted at the front and a special white-black wrapping for the exterior.

Also making its way in the NV Cargo X concept is a 5.0-liter Cummins turbo-diesel V8 lifted from the Titan XD. It generates 314 PS along with a hefty 752 Nm of pulling power. Not only that, they were also able to fit the pickup's 6-speed automatic transmission and advanced 4WD system in the NV Cargo X concept.

The custom off-road suspension on the Nissan NV Cargo X concept

“When I looked at the NV Cargo, I saw a hard-working van with a heavy-duty foundation. And I also saw possibilities for a rock crawler that could serve as its own support vehicle,” said Johnson.

When it came to the interior, the team decided to transform the van into an off-road support vehicle. With that in mind, the team installed several goodies normally found in such a vehicle like: onboard air system, full-size spare wheel/s, recovery rope and tracks, high-lift jack, portable welder, tool bag and fluid containment and storage.

It was then off to the Pyeatt Draw trail near Payson, Arizona where Nissan and Ian Johnson decided to test the custom cargo van through its paces.

The Nissan NV Cargo X concept standing tall

“We asked the NV Cargo X to do work that's way outside of its normal job description, and it rose to every challenge,” said Johnson.

The Nissan NV Cargo X concept will be making its official public debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. It will take place from February 11 – 20, 2017 at the McCormick Place.

Nissan has no plans on producing a production version of the NV Cargo X concept.