Ford may have grabbed the headlines with its CNG/LPG-prepped F-150 earlier today, but on a global basis, it's far from the only manufacturer offering a natural gas pickup. Just a few days ago, Nissan also introduced a CNG-powered version of its Navara pickup, better known in the U.S. as the Frontier.
As are many of the trucks sold in the Southeast Asia region, specifications and equipment are basic, with the only engine option being Nissan's tried-and-true QR25DE 2.5-liter I-4 engine, essentially the same as the base engine offered on the U.S.-spec Frontier. In Thai CNG spec, it produces 154 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque, mated to a six-speed manual transmission (U.S.-spec four-cylinder Frontiers only offer a five-speed manual).
Although the Frontier starts at a competitive $18,835 in the U.S. in 2WD King Cab trim, the Navara CNG starts at a smokin' 465,500 baht. If that seems like a small fortune, it comes to only $17,147 in greenbacks. That's for the not-available-in-the-U.S. single-cab version. The King Cab CNG truck starts at a still-reasonable $20,525.
So far, there have been no indications of a factory-prepped CNG midsize truck in the U.S., possibly due to the large chunk of bed real estate the CNG tank would take up. But if CNG starts becoming a popular fueling option, it seems the basic hardware has already been developed to potentially offer a CNG Frontier in the U.S.