At this year’s Chicago Auto Show, Nissan teamed up with Cummins, a Fortune 500 corporation that designs and builds heavy industrial machinery, to present a diesel-powered version of the Frontier pickup truck to the American public. This is to gauge the market reaction to a diesel pickup, which can eventually lead to the launch of a production version of this model.
Based on the Desert Runner 4×2 model, Nissan Frontier Diesel Runner features a 2.8-liter 4-cylinder Cummins diesel engine with 200 horsepower and more than 350 lb-ft. of torque, and is 35 percent more fuel efficient than comparably powerful petrol engines.
The concept has a ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic transmission and two-wheel-drive, which means it isn’t a very capable truck. But the point of this thing is to show how economical pickups can be. And it’s brilliant at that.
The Nissan Frontier Diesel Runner show car also features a chin spoiler, mesh grille, roof rack, aerodynamic full-bed tonneau cover, tailgate spoiler, carbon fiber engine cover, and special badging, all carbon film-coated. A set of 16-inch wheels, borrowed from a Frontier PRO-4X, complete the look.
Nissan and Cummins are not waiting for the market reaction to do more work together, as they have already signed an agreement to put a 5.0-liter turbo diesel V8 in the next-generation 2015 Titan full-size pickup.