June 12, 2014
Japanese automaker looking to boldly go where they’ve already gone before
Nissan took the wraps off the next-generation Navara yesterday, destined for global markets. It was widely believed the Navara would also usher in a new Frontier for North America, as the two trucks have been basically the same vehicle in the past. However, according to TTAC, we could be in for a surprise in the form of a much smaller, budget-minded pickup.
Speaking with a supplier source, TTAC has learned that the next Frontier will abandon the current F-Alpha platform used on this generation Frontier/Navara, and instead use an updated variant of the D22 Frontier.
The D22 series Frontier was sold in US and Canadian markets from 1997 to 2004 and is still sold in other markets. It’s an older architecture with smaller dimensions, more in line with the Nissan Hardbody pickup of the past than the new Navara. Nissan is attempting to engineer the platform to meet modern safety and emissions standards, with the goal of filling a segment currently served only by the smallest Toyota Tacoma. It is expected to be much smaller than the upcoming Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.
The automaker could see significant savings in developing the truck by using the old architecture, allowing them to pass this cost cutting onto customers. It may also give them an advantage when it comes to CAFE in the US, as the truck could weigh significantly less than the current Frontier.