A Frontier Ford Ranger Raptor Killer? Nissan Boss Says It’s a Possibility
According to reports from Australia, Nissan Global is at least studying the idea of building a Ford Ranger Raptor rival. They would build it on the Nissan Nivara mid-size pickup platform that’s sold in Asia, Australia, and South America. Motoring spoke with Renault-Nissan light commercial vehicle boss Ashwani Gupta who told them the Japanese automaker is exploring the idea.
The report says Nissan even filed a trademark application for the “Navara Off-Roader” nameplate with the EUIPO showing it could be more than a passing fancy with the automaker. The application was just recently filed on March 6 under the Nice Classification Group 12, for land, water and air vehicles and vehicle components.
Gupta told Motoring last month his team became interested in the rugged off-road machine after seeing what Ford had dreamed up with the Ford Ranger Raptor. “If you would have asked me this question yesterday, I would have said this is not on our priority list. But if you are asking this question today then I am saying this is an opportunity we would like to study.”
Ford’s Ranger Raptor is powered by a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine developing 210 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque. It’s fitted with a raised suspension, off-road tires and wheels, skid plates, tow hooks, more powerful brakes and a more rugged-looking redesigned exterior styling. It also features a terrain management system getting the most from the diesel power to surfaces like sand or dirt.
Will it be available in the U.S. market? Nissan has not confirmed it, but they could bring a version of the rugged mid-size pickup to North America under the Frontier nameplate. Nissan might use the optional 2.8-liter Cummins Turbo-Diesel engine reported to be put in the next-generation 2019 Nissan Frontier. The new-generation Frontier “Off-Roader” would likely be a big hit in the U.S. Stay tuned.
Photo credit: Nissan Global