Nissan has built a dune-bashing V8-engined pickup truck

By topgear, 09 November 2019

Seen anything this cool yet today? We doubt it. This is the Nissan Frontier Desert Runner, and it’s absolutely fantastic.

It’s a full-blown race truck conversion of the Frontier pickup truck (basically a previous generation Navara sold in the US) that Nissan Motorsports has built in collaboration with Maryland-based customisers MA Motorsports. 

The first thing both teams did was to chuck out the Frontier’s standard 4.0-litre V6 engine in favour of the 5.6-litre V8 from the Titan. Said engine was then given a complete race-spec rebuild and a Garrett turbocharger was bolted on. 

With the help of that awesome new custom side-exit exhaust system, the V8 now produces over 600bhp and 950Nm of torque. Oh lord yes. The Desert Runner is also rear-wheel drive and features a six-speed manual gearbox

The suspension setup is properly hardcore too. There’s a BTF Fabrication long travel front suspension kit and King Racing Triple Bypass front shocks and coilovers, as well as rear King Racing Triple Bypass shocks and Giant Motorsports Link Killer rear leaf springs. Those wheels are Fifteen52 TurboMacs and they’re shod in gnarly 37-inch BFGoodrich tyres.

What do you reckon to the overall look? The cutaway bumpers help with ascent/descent angles and that mega skid plate is a rather obvious sign of intent. Also – lightbar.

Inside there’s a Sparco steering wheel and racing seats, as well as a coated floor and custom harnesses. We don’t know what Nissan has planned for the Desert Runner other than its appearance at the SEMA show, but it’ll likely conquer anything that’s put in front of it.

STORY Greg Potts

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