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.

The Nissan Titan has been significantly refreshed for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Forget the challenge of having the fastest lap around the Nürburgring. There may be no greater feat in the automotive industry at the moment than gaining full-size truck market share from the Big Three. That's exactly what Nissan is aiming to do with its refreshed 2020 Titan.

To get to the 2020 Nissan Titan, the automaker listened to its customers, who were vocal about a number of issues they had with everything from the truck's infotainment system to the dealership experience.

2020 Nissan Titan PRO-4X Nissan has given the PRO-4X trim a distinct new exterior design.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

On the outside of the truck there are more differences between trim levels than before. The PRO-4X grade is the most aesthetically robust with a big, black grille that features a blacked-out Nissan logo for the first time alongside 18-inch wheels; lava red badging, stitching, and tow hooks; and a skid plate. Other trim levels got flashy chrome trim and new chrome grilles.

There are numerous other highlights of the refresh. The Titan's new headlight design doubles the light output on low beams and reduces the glare for oncoming traffic. There are new LED fog lights that add an additional 15 degrees of visibility. Nissan has also given the Titan an available panoramic moonroof that is the largest in the segment. The company also employed new acoustic laminated glass to keep road and engine noise at bay.

2020 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve headlights front Nissan showed off their new LED headlight design as part of the first drive event.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Each trim level of the Titan is powered by a 400-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 engine that has 413 pound-feet of torque. That's a significant upgrade from the 2019 model and makes the engine the most powerful base offering of all full-size pickups. In testing on the roads and trails of Utah, Titan's nine-speed automatic transmission was sufficiently smooth shifting and its improved ratios worked in the Titan's favor. With 4,500 pounds of weight towed behind the truck and when traveling up steep off road climbs, the 2020 Titan did not show any strain while being tested.

2020 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve With its powertrain enhancements, the Nissan Titan didn't flinch when towing 4,500 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Inside, the Titan is improved where it matters. A new 9-inch touch screen is available and features the latest version of Nissan Connect and hardware. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. The system looks good, especially in its handsome housing, and works as advertised with much more responsiveness and quicker command activation than what you'll find in any other Nissan infotainment system to date.

Nissan has included numerous safety and driver assistance technologies in the Titan as part of the automaker's commitment to what they call "intelligent mobility." Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, high beam assist, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, and eight airbags are standard equipment on every 2020 Titan.

2020 Nissan Titan infotainment screen system The truck now comes with an available 9-inch infotainment screen.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

With the revisions, the Titan is a complete package that doesn't feel left behind. It's not as nice on the inside as the Ram 1500, nor is it as easy to drive. It's also not as capable as the Ford F-150. However, the Titan is nicer all-around than the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, mainly because of its interior.

Pricing and fuel economy numbers will be released closer to the model's on-sale date in early 2020. Those factors will be the tipping factor as to whether or not Nissan truly boast about its improvements and value. Either way, the Titan is worth cross-shopping, especially if you're getting into a full-size truck for the first time.

Kia has introduced a concept car that gives a hint at what future SUV design will look like.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia Motors is giving a hint of its future electric vehicle design with the debut of the Kia Futuron Concept, an all-wheel drive high-riding hatchback that they're calling a "sports car on an SUV platform."

The automaker choose the name of the vehicle because it's a portmanteau of the words future and on. They say that it will help give consumers an idea of what to expect from Kia in the future. Looking closely, it's likely that many hallmarks of this concept car will play out in future Niro designs and in a forthcoming subcompact SUV that is related to the Hyundai Venue.

Kia Futuron Concept side The high-riding coupe has sleek lines and a sophisticated overall aesthetic.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

With the design, Kia is emphasizing elegant proportions rather than funky characteristics like what you'll find in their Soul. Sweeping lines that flow from front to rear are common in modern concept vehicles and this is no exception. Kia's designers were drawn to the 360-degree styling because of its flowing shapes that easily move from the exterior to the interior, expanding and contracting.

The face of the car has a new interpretation of Kia's tiger nose grille, with a wide opening across the front of the car. That grille incorporates LED headlamps with a distinct light signature.

Kia has given the Futuron Concept an all-electric powertrain with all-wheel drive. It has a high-capacity battery (no exact numbers are available) and in-wheel electric motors.

Kia Futuron Concept top roof It features a panoramic glass roof.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The interior of the model features leaned back seats that allows for an "interactive driving experience suitable for urban city environments." The two front seats are made out of flexible materials that offer seating flexibility in the vein fo what first-class passengers would find on an airliner.

Its roof has diamond-shaped panoramic glass. Inside the greenhouse is a network of LiDAR sensors capable of Level 4 autonomous driving features.

Kia Futuron Concept seats Kia has given the SUV unique seating that is meant to provide first-class comfortability.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia touts the car's seamless cockpit area that features the instrument cluster wrapped in harmony with the rest of the car's audio and visual displays and through the steering wheel.