Nissan’s Technical Center in Stanfield, Arizona, owns a huge 3,050 acres proving ground. The engineers who work on Nissan cars there needed something to get around the facility in; something preferably electric and with enough room to haul some cargo around.
Since such a thing didn’t exist, they just went ahead and built one by marrying two most unlikely partners! The result of this secret operation is Nissan Sparky which is half LEAF and half Frontier pickup. It looks really odd, but it works. The Sparky also serves as a proof of Nissan engineers’ ingenuity and resourcefulness.
“We tried to keep it a secret and be exciting for everybody. But we have visitors and they come and they see that truck and they go straight to ‘what is it?’ and they start looking at it, and it makes great conversation,” said Roland Schellenberg, Nissan Durability & Reliability.
“After he (Schellenberg) told us it was going to be the LEAF that we would redo, I went home and stayed up till like four in the morning making all kinds of designs for what would work. We basically got the stock LEAF, and after reviewing a bunch of designs of pickup trucks that we have here at Nissan, we decided to go with a Frontier bed. My main job here is working on rough-road vehicles, rough-road testing. I’m pretty good at taking cars completely apart to the bare frame and putting them back together again to resume testing,” said Moulinet.Nissan Sparky Is the Lovechild of a LEAF and a Frontier!,