Diane Allen is a design manager at Nissan Design America, Inc. In addition to her leadership of the design of Nissan's first full-size trucks, she led the NDA team in global design development of the 350Z sports car and the Infiniti M45 luxury sedan.
TT: What were your objectives for the Titan?
DA: Our key guiding words were "massive precision through vanguard design" and "bold and thoughtful." We felt there was a lot of conventional design in the truck world, and our research showed there's a large body of truck buyers open to more progressive design. One umbrella concept was, because of the success of Xterra, rather than going where a lot of the domestics went, to the farm and the cowboy tradition, we pushed the other side of the spectrum, to this modern adventure lifestyle.
TT: Was there any change in direction during the program?
DA: No, never. Because it shares so much sheetmetal with the Armada, we had to develop both a full-size truck and a full-size SUV. We boiled it down to two sets of designs, and the one that didn't get selected was very handsome, almost pretty. We thought this one had a little more teeth to it, more guts. It fit our product concept of this adventure lifestyle.
TT: How might the Titan design evolve with the next restyle?
DA: Right now it's known as the stylish truck. People have said they're afraid to get it dirty because it looks so stylish. I think we need to move it in a direction where the capability part of the truck is loud and where the styling addresses that capability. Fashion and progressive attitude will stay in it, but we're going to add to the character by making it tougher, with more surface dimension in front and a bigger grille. The way the front is put together, it's a flush quality. We're looking at making the design statement much more dimensional.