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Comments Welcomed on Potential Diesel-Powered Nissan Frontier

Nissan did not design its Frontier Diesel Runner to attract the attention of law enforcement.

However the unique project truck is likely to stop a few Chicago Auto Show visitors in their tracks. The truck is powered by a distinctly red Cummins 2.8-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine, and painted in highlights of “Arrest Me Red.”

“This is a legitimate truck that you have to take a look at. I know that if we can get them in there, to come in and look at this truck, nine times out of ten, we are going to send them home in this truck,” said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Parts and Service, Nissan North America.

The two-wheel drive diesel Frontier maintains and even increases the usability of a Frontier truck. This announcement follows the previous news that Nissan intends to offer a 5.0-liter turbo diesel V8 in the next-generation Titan. That full-size pickup arrives in 2015.

“I look at it as a one-two punch. To be able to have that kind of affiliation and partnership with a brand like Cummins and put it together with a great brand like Nissan, and then put it in our two trucks – I think that sends a message to the truck world and to truckers across the U.S. that we are serious about our trucks,” said Diaz. “We are going to create that awareness and create the buzz that makes truckers come in and take a look at us.”

“For us it is the fit of this engine, the weight of this engine, the performance of this engine. The horsepower and torque capabilities that we can get out of this power package will really play well in a Frontier-size application, especially how people tend to use this product,” said Jeff Caldwell, general manager, Pickup Trucks Business, Cummins Inc.

Nissan has been building pickup trucks in the United States for more than 30 years and selling them here even longer than that. This project truck, based on Nissan’s Frontier Desert Runner 4×2 model, is looking for customer feedback to a mid-sized pickup with a diesel engine, and to plot a potential future direction for the Frontier.

“The guys from Cummins came and let me get behind the wheel of this truck. I drove it and tried as hard as I could to hurt the baby. I abused it and pushed it as hard as I could. The thing handled everything I could throw at it with ease,” said Diaz. “I don’t even think I came close to testing the limits despite everything that I tried within the legal limits of where we were driving. So, I was quite impressed. Impressed with the get-up-and-go, the torque, horsepower, and everything that that truck is going to mean to the potential truck buyer if we end up bringing it to market.”

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