Rumor has it that the 2015 Nissan Frontier may not share a design with the new Navara as it always has in the past, but actually be based on the Mexican-market NP300 pickup truck— which is essentially what Americans will recognize as a 1990's Frontier.
The Truth About Cars says a trustworthy supplier source told them: "Nissan is currently attempting to engineer the old D22 [90's Frontier] technology to be both emissions compliant and pass FMVSS crash tests with flying colors – and according to our source, they are not having an easy time with the latter."
TTAC's Derek Kreindler thinks Nissan would be able to serve a wide-open niche in the US market for small, cheap trucks if they're able to adapt their old platform to modern safety and emissions standards and he may be on to something. Forgoing the development of new stuff has helped keep the current Frontier as affordable as it is now, I guess I could see the logic in maintaining that philosophy.
However, I can't help but think Nissan's going to run up a big old bill adapting their ancient D22 platform to meet modern standards while creating a product that lures buyers away from the Tacoma and upcoming Colorado/Canyon.
No word on pricing or a release timeline; Nissan's PR folks will only tell me to leave them alone and focus on the new Titan, which is coming out at the next Detroit Auto Show in January. As to where this truck would be built, if Nissan really is basing their next truck off the Mexican NP300 they might move Frontier production to their Mexican plant in Aguascalientes.
Does this sound like a logical, or feasible move for Nissan? Would you spend the money for a new truck running on 90's technology? Would you have beef with Nissan pulling Frontier production out of Mississippi?
Image: from Nissan Mexico, modified by Andrew Collins