The opposite day, we discovered of Ford’s new Ranger Raptor, a machine unveiled in Thailand with solely the slightest of indications it might be bought in America. To not achieve this can be asinine on this writer’s opinion, given the F-one hundred fifty Raptor’s halo and the truth that people can stroll into a Chevy or Toyota supplier and simply decide up a Colorado ZR2 or Tacoma TRD Professional.
Including fuel to the midsized hearth are feedback garnered by Motoring in Australia, alluding to Nissan’s curiosity in creating a Raptor fighter of its personal. T’can be based mostly on the Navara, in fact, a truck not obtainable right here.
Is it time for Nissan USA to make the leap and convey the Navara right here? Or is it higher off persevering with to pump out examples of the confirmed however older-than-Methuselah midsize Frontier?
Taken at face worth, changing the Frontier — a truck that’s almost sufficiently old to get its personal driver’s license — is a simple determination. Midsize truck choices from GM, Toyota, and (quickly) Ford are full of extra know-how and feature extra environment friendly engines.
Strolling it a step again, although, and the picture for Nissan isn’t as clear. Gross sales of the Frontier aren’t precisely within the dumps. The truth is, the Frontier handily outsells its huge brother Titan whereas reliably shifting extra models than the GMC Canyon and Honda Ridgeline mixed. In January 2018, Nissan bought a new Frontier roughly each seven-and-a-half minutes. That’s not F-one hundred fifty territory (it’s about one-tenth the tempo, truly) however neither is it something to sneeze at.
Contemplate this: the tooling for the present Frontier is lengthy paid for by now. Analysis and improvement on the truck, whereas not at a standstill (witness the brand new-for-2018 gear ranges on the bottom trim) certainly doesn’t hoover dollars from Nissan’s checking account like different fashions in its portfolio. But, the machines proceed to promote at a respectable tempo. The corporate have to be making scads of cash off each single one, even a budget seats.
The truth is, it’s in all probability these low cost seats which are contributing to these wholesome gross sales numbers. Priced at simply $18,999 for an extended cab four×2 outfitted with air con, Nissan can rightly lay declare to the most cost effective new truck in America. That’s value one thing. It’s value $18,999, actually. Why plow cash, time, and energy into a new truck when the previous one is promoting properly and making financial institution?
One could make a protected wager, then, that the corporate will cling on to the Frontier because it at present exists till market demand or CAFE laws forces it to make a transfer. Its present secure of engines obtainable within the Frontier, a 152 horsepower 2.5-liter inline-4 and a 261 hp four.zero-liter V6, in all probability don’t assist with Nissan’s fleet-large fuel financial system.
However, the noises reportedly being made by Renault-Nissan international mild business vehicle boss Ashwani Gupta to Motoring are encouraging for followers of midsized off-roaders. “For those who would had requested me this query yesterday [about a Raptor rival] I might have stated this isn’t in our precedence record,” Gupta stated. “However in case you are asking this query in the present day then I’m saying this is a chance we wish to research.”
Clearly, the corporate is paying attention to what different corporations are doing within the phase and no less than contemplating some plans of its personal. The remarks have been reportedly spurred on by a assembly with Nissan Australia execs who made their case for a butch Navara. Consider, the corporate now additionally has the bandwidth to draw upon the expertise of Renaultsport and Mitsubishi’s Ralliart divisions to craft sporty or particular variations of Nissan machines.
The prospect of a Raptor rival from Nissan is interesting, as is the Navara itself, however North American clients shouldn’t base their shopping for selections on these abroad plans. But.
– Abroad, Nissan Mulls Ranger Raptor Rival – Is It Time to Explore a New Frontier? –
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