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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The 2022 Frontier gets a brand-new face and updated tech.

Nissan

After 16 years on sale in its current form, the Nissan Frontier is a familiar face on our roads. The truck, which is technically old enough to get a driver's license and drive itself, is being totally overhauled for 2022, and the new look is a big departure from the ute we've seen for so many years. Nissan announced that production has started, so we don't have much longer to wait to see it in action for ourselves.

The new truck's 3.8-liter V6 has already been in action powering the 2021 Frontier. It produces a class-leading 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, and sends its power to either the rear or all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission.


2022 Nissan Frontier Production is underway in Mississippi.Nissan


This is the first new Frontier we've seen in over a decade, so the upgrade in technology is steep over the previous truck. The 2022 Frontier can be optioned with a surround-view camera system with off-road mode that automatically displays terrain around the truck when it's shifted into 4LO. The system displays guidelines and can help the driver navigate tough obstacles on the trail. A host of safety features will be available that includes automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure warnings, high beam assist, and more.

Other than its age, there was nothing particularly wrong with the previous Frontier's interior, but the new truck looks to be considerably more upscale and modern. Various trims come with interesting contrasting color schemes and the truck gets Nissan's excellent Zero Gravity seats as standard. New hydraulic cab mounts should help quell vibrations inside, and traditional hydraulic power steering will provide excellent steering feel and feedback.

Nissan is building the new frontier in its Canton, MS facility, while the truck's engine is being built at the automaker's powertrain plant in Tennessee. We'll start seeing the new model on dealers' lots sometime in late summer 2021, and you can find a first drive review of the truck right here in a few weeks.


2022 Nissan Frontier The new trucks will arrive on dealers' lots later this summer.Nissan

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The Nissan Pathfinder is just at home on the trial as it is on the road.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken". The message is about making choices and, how the road taken made all the difference. Often in life and on the road, we have to make one choice. Take one road. No turning back. I thought of this poem on my recent test drive in the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder in the hinterlands of Montana, when I could take two different roads—paved and dirt—and that made all the difference!

Nissan has redesigned and retooled its fifth-generation Pathfinder instilling greater latitude for buyers who want to travel both types of roads and expand their adventure footprint. After seven decades of off-road development, 35 years in the business of selling Pathfinders, and with more than 1.8 million sold in the U.S., this Japanese automaker has moved the needle with a ground-up revision of the previous-gen model.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a capable off-roader.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The full-sized sport utility is available in four trims (S, SV, SL and Platinum) and two- and four-wheel drive versions; Nissan expects that nearly 60 percent of buyers will choose four-wheel drive. The Pathfinder is in a segment that has grown larger each year as more families want a vehicle for around-town, school and playdate runs and for weekend getaways with traction technology that allows travel in the backcountry and good towing capability. Direct competitors are the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Ford Explorer.

A day-long drive of approximately 150 miles on tarmac and over a variety of dirt roads and tracks provided the opportunity to assess the Pathfinder's updates. A late-spring snowstorm added slickness to all the road surfaces in the region and allowed the Pathfinder to show off its traction capabilities at both slow and higher speeds and with lane change and emergency-braking maneuvers, when towing. I concentrated my evaluation on the augmented hardware and software designed to enhance the crossover's capabilities for backcountry travel and towing.

What I found most notable over every road surface was the comfortable ride and responsive handling that come from a collection of upgrades—and, in particular, as a result of the following: the gearing on the new nine-speed transmission, with paddle shifters for personal and more precise shifting for sport driving and slowing over rough terrain; the new terrain mode system that's engineered for different driving conditions; the four-wheel drive system that moves torque more quickly to avoid wheel slip; the improved suspension system; and new tires with a larger contact patch and more aggressive tread pattern, among other changes.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Pathfinder's drive modes are designed to inspire confidence. Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Pathfinder provided sure-footed motoring and comfort over uneven surfaces. Its 7.1 inches of ground clearance easily maneuvered over the small obstacles on the trail and hill descent control took the reigns without hesitation for steeper and longer downhills on traction-compromised surfaces.

I was also impressed with the Pathfinder's towing competence and appreciated the standard trailer sway control onboard all trims. It offered notably strong, mannered acceleration from a standing start and excellent straight-line braking without porpoising for either exercise.

The new 2022 Pathfinder brings off-road and towing attributes that are important to families who are seeking to spend time in the backcountry for days trips and longer and for overlanding in terrain that doesn't require a true off-road vehicle with a low range. It's will appeal to buyers who want don't want to have to choose only one road.

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