Is this Nissan's turbocharged, V8-equipped Ranger Raptor rival?
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For a while now, there have been rumours that Nissan is working on a beefy ute that could take on Ford's Ranger Raptor with decent power and off-roading ability. No one has heard anything official from the Japanese brand, until now.
Hailed as the star of Nissan's booth at SEMA in America, this Frontier is ready to take on any terrain that is thrown at it, but we'll never see it sitting in a showroom.
For those who aren't familiar with Nissan's American line-up, the Frontier is the equivalent of the Navara, and sits underneath the larger Titan pick-up truck.
To build this off-road beast, Nissan started by pulling out the 4.0-litre V6, and replacing it with a 5.6-litre V8 that's usually found in the Nissan Patrol. Because this simply wasn't enough, they then turbocharged the engine in order to pull some serious power from it.
This translates to a whopping 450kW and 950Nm of torque, AKA more than enough to send the Frontier over the dunes at a serious pace. Nissan didn't reveal any performance figures with this Frontier, but we can imagine that it's fast enough.
All this power is sent exclusively to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission that's fitted with heavy-duty clutch and racing flywheel.
Surpisingly, it looks like Nissan has left most of the interior intact when building this desert racer, with the main modifications being the seats and the hydraulic handbrake.
In terms of suspension, the front and rear ends get triple-bypass shocks and coilovers with a whole lot of travel. The set of Fifteen52 wheels are wrapped in 37-inch BFGoodrich Baja tyres.
Despite the fact that a Nissan-built Ford Ranger Raptor rival would appeal to fans both in New Zealand and Australia, those rumours look like they are staying as just that, and a high-performance Navara isn't on the cards.
Reports out of the Tokyo Motor Show indicate that the Japanese brand is more interested in exploring hybrid ute technology than building gas-guzzling beasts.