The theme at the upcoming Rebelle Rally seems to be retro this year. Nissan has joined Mitsubishi in yearning for the glory days with its own throwback livery that the carmaker’s team, Wild Grace, will run on their 2022 Frontier Pro-4x. It’s a decent attempt to stir up good memories but it really just makes me miss the Nissan Hardbody that much more.
The Toyota Pickup usually gets all the attention when we consider old-school, (truly) compact pickups, but I think the Hardbody is easily just as cool. Its squared-off, stubby hood and low slung headlights gave the little truck a bit of an attitude, even with those big, friendly lights. And when the Hardbody wears its colorful rally livery, it’s just glorious!
The colors remind me of the Bronco 4600, which was another attempt at paying homage, but from Ford. I said it then; I’ll say it now. Chrome wheels are overdue for a comeback. Nissan’s champion Hardbody just provides more proof that you can’t just wrap an off-roader in bold, primary colors and then mute its lower half with black or dark-colored wheels! And while we’re at it, why aren’t painted bumpers a thing? Holy shit, look at that blue bumper.
The ’22 Frontier is a vastly more capable machine, but next to the Hardbody it just looks boring. The following is what Nissan threw on its new rally-running pickup to set it apart from its stock Pro-4X counterparts, and to beef it up for the competition:
- Nismo Off-Road AXIS Wheels (17")
- Nismo Off-Road 4" Lights
- Nismo Off-Road Performance Suspension Kit (2" lift)
- Nismo Off-Road Performance Exhaust
You can catch the new Frontier ripping up the rally stage starting on October 7. The competition will run for eight days, and will cover more than 1,500 miles of desert in Arizona, California and Nevada. Follow it here.