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Nissan hints at diesel Frontier

Frontier Diesel Runner show truck makes its debut at 2014 Chicago auto show

Published: February 9, 2014, 10:00 PM

Nissan Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins

Nissan unveiled a new show truck at the Chicago auto show this week that hints strongly at a possible diesel version of its mid-size Frontier pickup in the future.

The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins, as it is called, is said to be a one-of-a-kind 'technical study', based on a Frontier Desert Runner 4x2 model. It was created to gauge market reaction and help plot a potential future direction for the Frontier, the company says.

Translation: Nissan is considering offering a diesel engine in the Frontier and is probably well on the way to doing so.

The Frontier Diesel Runner is powered by a 2.8-litre, four-cylinder Cummins diesel engine producing nearly 200 horsepower and more than 350 lb-ft. of torque. It is said to improve fuel efficiency by 35%, compared to a V-6-powered 2014 Frontier 4x2.

Nissan previously announced a partnership with Cummins to provide a 5.0-litre turbo diesel V-8 in the next-generation Titan full-size pickup, which will arrive in calendar year 2015.

Special show touches to the Frontier Diesel Runner include a custom "Arrest Me Red" and Matte Silver paint treatment, aerodynamic add-ons, 16-inch wheels from a Frontier PRO-4X and a transparent acrylic hood insert that exposes the engine bay, where the powertrain-related elements continue the red theme.

The silver and red theme continues inside, with red accents throughout and carbon-trimmed seats and panels. A carbon film-wrapped instrument panel features red-tinted gauges and a special three-gauge pod on top of the centre cluster.

Its appearance may attract attention but it's the diesel under the hood that makes this show truck intriguing. Don't be surprised if it makes it into production in the near future.