SEMA 2019

Nissan goes all-in on power and performance with 4 tricked out SEMA vehicles

The Nissan Frontier Desert Runner is one of four custom vehicles the automaker is showing off at SEMA.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

With the prevalence of the Altima, Sentra, Versa, and Murano in the marketplace, it might take a second thought to see the Nissan community as a powerful presence in the aftermarket modifications world. Nissan's SEMA builds were created to put performance front and center in a way that involves none of the automaker's usual fuel economy talking points.

Here are the Nissan builds that can be found at the annual convention.

Nissan Global Time Attack TT 370Z

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Z1 Motorsports of Carrollton, Georgia built this 750-horsepower 370Z in conjunction with the Nissan Motorsports team.

Every aspect of the vehicle is designed to be functional and durable, as well as low weight. The team stripped and acid-dripped the 370Z unibody to start then added a full roll cage. The exterior got a custom carbon fiber aerodynamic package that includes a 3D front splitter, rear diffuser, and sideboards.

Its stock 3.7-liter V6 engine was prepped for competition adding Garrett GTX 3076 turbochargers, a new fuel management and electronics system, and a Z1 Motorsports race exhaust system. The engine is paired with a six-speed sequential transmission with a Tilton custom clutch and NISMO GT-R Pro 1.5 way differential to help direct power to the wheels.

The car's suspension and steering where completely custom-built for the competition using NISMO components. Then a custom Brembo brake system, NISMO radiatior, and oil, transmission, and differential cooling systems were added.

It rides on RAYS Volk ZE40 Diamond Dark Gunmetal 18 x 11-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and Yokohama Advan A052 315/30R18 high performance tires.

The driver sits on a OMP HRC-R Carbon Air FIA race seat.

This car will compete in the 2020 Time Attack racing season after its time on the SEMA show floor.

Nissan Frontier Desert Runner

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

This Frontier Desert Runner took a turn at the edge of the dunes and never looked back. This model was crafted by the team at MA Motorsports in Glen Arm, Maryland working in conjunction with the Nissan Motorsports team. It is a Frontier in name only, with a body, powertrain, and equipment designed specifically for off road racing.

The truck's original 4.0-liter V6 engine has been replaced with a 5.6-liter V8 from a Nissan Titan. It isn't your standard Titan engine, however. This one has gotten a race-spec rebuild that added a Garrett GTX3584RS turbocharger, custom intercooler, Jim Wolf Technology camshafts, pistons and valves, and MA Motorsports custom turbo header and exhaust system. It now achieves over 600 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission with Jim Wolf Technology clutch and lightweight flywheel.

Its suspension now includes a BTF Fabrication long travel front suspension kit, King Racing Triple Bypass front shocks and coil-overs, rear King Racing Triple Bypass shocks and Giant Motorsports Link Killer rear leaf springs.

The truck runs on Fifteen52 TurboMac HD wheels and 37-inch BFGoodrich Baja T/A tires. Its shock hoops, engine cage and bed cage were fabricated by MA Motorsports.

On its body, the truck wears Fiberworx Pre Running fenders and fabricated new front and rear bumpers along with a custom spare tire carrier. There is off road lighting by Ridgid Industries and a Speed Designs body wrap.

The model's no-frills cockpit includes a MA Motorsports custom harness bar and Sparco harnesses. There are also Sparco racing seats and a steering wheel with quick release steering wheel adapter.

Nissan Kicks Street Sport

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan has kicked the Kicks up a notch with this build, giving the model life with Kicks Color Studio touches and custom features by 360 Composites including an oversize front air dam, rear roof spoiler and side skirts.

MA Motorsports had their hands on this model too, adding fabricated wide fender flares that cover Volk Racing TE37V 17x8.5 +30 offset wheels mounted with Falken Azenis RT615K +245/45R17 tires.

A custom Kicks suspension was constructed using a combination of NISMO/Ohlins coil-over shock absorbers.

The powertrain in the Kicks found on dealer lots isn't known for its peppiness so MA Motorsports worked to give the Kicks some zest adding a custom turbocharger kit to the 1.6-liter four-cylinder power plant. It has a custom fabricated NISMO exhaust.

The Kicks' interior now has Sparco SPX carbon bucket seats and custom upholstery.

Speed Design added exterior graphics to the model.

2020 Nissan TITAN with Genuine Nissan Accessories

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Performance isn't always about power. The 2020 Nissan Titan is being shown off at SEMA following its debut at the State Fair of Texas in September. The version on the show floor is much different than the version at the premier, though with a wide range of Genuine Nissan Accessories, including:

  • All Season Floor Mats
  • Rear Bumper Step Assist
  • Sliding Bed Extender
  • Tie-Down Cleats
  • Assist handle (tailgate access)
  • Mud flaps – front and rear (PRO-4X)
  • Front and rear mud flaps (PRO-4X)
  • Sport bar with off-road lights and light covers
  • Illuminated kick plates
  • Door scuff protector
  • Rugged Step Boards
  • Marker lights for fenders and grille
  • 4-inch drop hitch ball mount, Class III
  • Hitch Ball Class III (2-inch coupler)

All the parts were custom fit to the vehicle and are available to be ordered when the truck arrives on dealer lots later this year.

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Electric vehicle concepts

Nissan shows off new concepts and plans for future EVs

Nissan showed off a group of funky concept vehicles at the announcement.

Nissan

Nissan is approaching the release of Ariya, its brand-new EV, but there are plans for much more in the automaker’s near future. Today, the Japanese company announced Nissan Ambition 2030, its plan to develop electrified vehicles and become a more sustainable company. Beyond new vehicles, the roadmap includes investments in battery recycling and charging infrastructure, new battery tech, and more widespread safety technologies.

Nissan Ambition 2030 The automaker plans for 50 percent electrification by 2030.Nissan

Nissan’s plans include 23 new electrified models by 2030. The target covers 15 new EVs and a target of 50 percent electrification. The automaker says it plans to launch a proprietary solid-state battery by 2028, and notes that it will develop a pilot production facility in Yokohama, Japan by 2024. Solid state technologies are not yet commercially viable but will offer faster charging times and better energy densities than lithium ion battery packs.

Nissan Surf-Out Concept Surf-Out is a concept truck with super funky styling.Nissan

While the focus was on the news of its electrification plans, Nissan’s concept vehicles stole the show. The Surf-Out concept truck features a long, low cargo surface and unique all-terrain tires. Typical of concept cars, the Surf-Out’s styling and design are over-the-top. The cabin is surrounded on three sides by glass and open to the bed in the rear. Instead of a grille, there’s a glass panel with an illuminated Nissan logo. It's unlikely Surf-Out or the other concepts shown will make it to production unchanged, but they show that the automaker is looking to explore bold designs with its electrified vehicles.

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Chevy has offered the regular cab short bed configuration in global markets for years.

Chevrolet Bahrain

The pickup truckhas been the vehicle of choice for working people for decades, but they've become rolling luxury lounges in recent years. A new full-size American truck can be decked out with as many tech and luxury features as a German luxury sedan, but there's hope for people who love basic trucks. Chevrolet confirmed to The Drive that it will begin offering a regular cab, short bed version of the Silverado 1500, and it'll be one of the purest pickups on sale when it arrives.

The configuration was popular in the 1970s and 1980s, when GM's square body trucks were rolling off the production lines by the thousands. A small but dedicated of enthusiasts have kept hope alive in places such as Reddit's r/rcsb (regular cab, short bed). According to reporting from The Drive, Chevy will soon offer buyers two bed lengths for their regular cab Silverado. There's a catch, though. The short bed will only be available for the WT (Work Truck) trim, so opting for the combo means you're also opting for features like cloth seats, a barebones stereo, and plastic flooring with no mats.

2022 Chevrolet Silverado LT Even the most basic non-WT Silverado is quite nice. Chevrolet

The upside here is that there are fewer things to break and you'll still have a choice of three engines, but you'll miss out on all of the great updates that Chevy gave most Silverado models for 2022. That means no refreshed interior with neat new tech and no off-road features. You really have to want the short bed to opt for the basic WT, and though you'll have a cool, rare truck, you'll also likely miss many features that even a lower trim regular Silverado gets.

Chevy hasn't released pricing for the shortbed WT yet, but looking at the rest of the trim lineup, it should carry a price tag of around $30,000 when it hits the market.

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