I can't overemphasize how exciting it is to witness the birth of a new half-ton truck challenger to entrenched powerhouses Ford, Chevy, and Ram. Just (five years after) the Nissan Titan melts into "oh, you're still here?" status, they come back swinging for the fences.
Vocal American truck buyers have been begging for a down-home diesel in what's basically "standard truck" size forever. Now they're gonna get one. From fucking Nissan. Are the fanboys going to riot or jump ship to the brand that's basically had the least-cared about trucks since the 60's?
Yeah, Nissan has let their Titan stagnate with no interesting updates or refresh for way, way too long. (Props for those little storage cubbies in the side of the bed, but I can still peel the headliner back with my pinkie.)
If you believe the hype, and you know I'd love to, Nissan's done playing also-ran in half-ton truck segment. They have to know they're up against three of the most dug-in competitors a market could have... and each with better offerings than ever to boot.
It looks like they figured out that facelift, shock-and-sticker package, or football endorsement could put a dent in the steamrolling marketing machines run by the Big Three.
So Nissan's giving us something no other automaker will: a hardcore stump-pulling titty-twistin' motherfuggin' diesel with a cool brand name in a half-ton truck.
Sourcing the motor from Cummins was the obvious choice for Nissan here. Developing their own diesel truck engine would have cost a fortune, and they would have needed to spend twice that money again selling it to the sticker-loving American public. Buying Cummins' R&D and decades of brand-development looks like the best use of Nissan's resources from where I'm standing.
Nissan's taking the opportunity to carve out a great niche for themselves with a Cummins-powered Titan, and I can't decide if I'm more excited to drive it or see the public reaction to this thing.
A new powerplant and big boost in capability will do a lot for Nissan's relevance, if they can bring the rest of their truck up to speed we're looking at an unprecedented shakeup in a huge American automotive market segment.
Image by the author