The Nissan Sunny Fuels Wild Compact Truck Desires

As compact trucks enter the market, Nissan is toying with us! A revamped Nissan Sunny model joined the lineup at the 2022 SEMA show, and it’s stealing all of the attention. However, the Nissan Sunny EV includes a twist. 

The vintage Nissan Sunny displays tiny truck potential 

1987 Nissan Sunny truck at SEMA
1987 Nissan Sunny | Nissan

One of the most exciting attractions at the 2022 SEMA show, the annual automotive after-market trade show in Las Vegas, includes the vintage Nissan Sunny. This compact truck from 1987 could represent what’s missing in the Nissan lineup. 

However, this truck has been modified. According to Green Car Reports, Tommy Pike Customs (TPC) from South Carolina took the old Sunnyand gave it a Nissan Leaf powertrain transplant. The surgery was a success, and a new little electric truck was born. 

The Sunny is powered by an electric motor and a 40-kWh battery pack that combine to generate 147 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. Truck enthusiasts may want a little more muscle, but this has double the ponies and almost triple the torque of the original gasoline inline-four engine. 

What modifications does the Sunny have? 

The Nissan Sunny has a motor connected to the stock manual transmission. This is a pretty common move because it’s simple. The driver will probably hardly think about shifting or using the left pedal. 

It gained an uprated suspension that combines the setup from an S13 generation Nissan 240X in the front with heavy-duty leaf springs in the rear. It rides on a set of 17-inch Rotiform wheels wrapped in Toyo Extensa tires. 

Also, the truck is plastered with references to Nissan’s heritage. It’s wearing a body kit that pays homage to the Hakosuka Nissan Skyline GT-R wide-body kit from the 1960s. Its livery is based on one used by Brock Racing Enterprises on the Datsun 240Z and Dastun 510 race cars. 

The white sides, red paint, and blue stripes with the number 46 provide a sense of nostalgia from a forbidden era. The Nissan Sunny was never sold in the United States! However, now it’s comfortably past the 25-year limit that exempts vintage vehicles from being imported. 

Does the Sunny mean a new truck is on the way? 

Nissan Surf-Out concept
Nissan Surf-Out concept | Nissan

The revamped Nissan Sunny truck could mean that Nissan is working on a new compact truck. Rumors have already been circulating about something to fight the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz for months. 

We’ve already seen the Nissan Surf-Out truck, which features a single cab. A new two-seater truck would certainly shake things up. But information about that model has gone quiet. 

Also, Nissan has some lofty goals. Nissan and Infiniti plan to launch 23 new models by 2023, and 15 of the vehicles will be electric. This is an excellent sign because that leaves room for a new truck. 

However, time is ticking! We need to see more Nissan trucks in action. Luckily Nissan has factories in Mississippi and Tennessee that can be used to produce EVs. 

We should learn more about Nissan’s plans in the upcoming months as more automotive shows circle around the bin. Stay tuned for the latest info, and check out the Sunny!

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