New Nissan NP300 Navara Caught Testing in U.S. – Next Frontier?
Test Mule Shows Minimal Changes from Global Model
Working in the public relations department for a global automaker can be an interesting and challenging business, especially when nosy journalists grill you on whether or not a certain model will be coming to the U.S. When the global Nissan NP300 Navara was unveiled, we quickly reached out to Nissan to ask if it was an accurate preview of the next-generation Frontier midsize truck. We got back a non-committal response that “the new Titan is our main priority at the moment.” Well, the Titan news isn’t over yet because the Cummins-powered XD model is about to be followed up with a gas-powered version, as well as lighter-duty non-XD models. However, there is keen interest among many Nissan fans about the new Frontier, considering the current truck is going on more than a decade since its last clean-sheet redesign.
Assuming this mildly taped-up Navara is indicative of the next U.S. market Frontier, there have been minimal changes to styling of the Navara. We’re certainly not complaining. We think the new Navara is quite a handsome truck inside and out. While some think the dashboard is too swoopy and carlike, we think it’s a refreshing departure from the current Frontier’s dated, boxy interior. One detail on this particular specimen that warms our hearts is a manual transmission, giving us hope that the new model will still offer this option in the States.
Of course, the big question everyone’s awaiting an answer for is if the new Frontier will offer a diesel option and, especially pertinent to U.S. buyers, if it will be a Cummins. The global Navara offers a 2.5L I-4 diesel making up to 188 hp and 332 lb-ft. However, we got a chance to test a prototype development mule stuffed with 2.8L of I-4 Cummins goodness making 200 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. We know which one we’d like to see under the hood.