Trucks & SUVs

Nissan’s Nismo Is Going Off-Road and the Frontier, Titan, and Xterra Are Invited

Nismo mostly acts as the equivalent of BMW’s M for Nissan—i.e., taking production cars and making them sportier. Usually, it starts with models already known for performance, such as the 370Z. And it has an extensive history with the GT-R. However, Nismo has started tweaking other Nissans, such as the Juke crossover. And now, it’s heading off-road to beef up the Nissan Frontier and Titan trucks and the discontinued Xterra SUV.

Nismo’s offering off-road parts for the Nissan Frontier, Titan, and Xterra

2020 Nissan TITAN PRO-4X parked on sandy road
2020 Nissan TITAN PRO-4X | Nissan

Nissan already offers off-road-oriented trims of the Frontier and Titan: the Frontier Pro-4X and Titan Pro-4X. And there’s an even more hardcore version of the latter, the Titan Warrior, on the horizon. Plus, Nissan once offered a Pro-4X version of the Xterra, too, Road & Track reports.

But Nismo’s new off-road parts aren’t just the Pro-4X upgrades. The only similarity is that Nismo’s new suspension package includes Bilstein dampers.

The Nismo Bilstein dampers for the 2020 Nissan Frontier
2020 Nissan Frontier Nismo Bilstein dampers | Nissan

However, these aren’t the same ones the Pro-4X models offer, Roadshow reports. They were jointly developed by Nismo and Bilstein, and are designed to cope with the added weight of camping gear and larger off-road wheels and tires. They also increase wheel travel, and give an extra 2” of ride height, Motor1 reports. Plus, the rear shocks have remote reservoirs for better heat tolerance.

A red 2020 Nissan Frontier with a black powder-coated Nismo winch-ready bumper
2020 Nissan Frontier Nismo winch-ready bumper | Nissan

Unlike the Nissan Frontier and Titan Pro-4X, Nismo isn’t offering its own skid plate. But it is offering a winch-ready powder-coated steel bumper that also acts as a radiator guard, The Drive reports. It also comes with 2 attachment points for recovery shackles, as well as housing for extra lights.

2020 Nissan Frontier Nismo
2020 Nissan Frontier Nismo | Nissan

Speaking of lights, that’s another new Nismo accessory; or rather, accessories. Developed in partnership with Rigid, the lighting selection will initially only include a set of 6” round 8600-lumen lamps. But the lineup will eventually include light bars as well as square and pod lamps.

Nismo’s new off-road parts lineup finishes off with new 17” wheels. They’re reportedly stronger than the factory ones.

Part pricing and availability

The rear view of a red 2020 Nissan Frontier modified by Nismo for the Rebelle Rally
2020 Nissan Frontier modified by Nismo for the Rebelle Rally rear | Nissan

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As of this writing, Nissan hasn’t released an official release date for these Nismo parts. It also hasn’t released official pricing details. However, we do know they’ll be available sometime in fall 2020.

A black 2009 Nissan Xterra on an off-road trail
2009 Nissan Xterra | Nissan

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These parts are designed for the 2005-2020 Nissan Frontier, the 2016-2021 Titan, and 2005-2015 Xterra. Nismo is also working on new parts specifically for the updated 2021 Frontier, Car and Driver reports.

But, if you don’t want to wait to see how these new parts perform in the real world, you won’t have to. That’s because Nissan is sending a 2020 Frontier equipped with them to the Rebelle Rally, Autoblog reports.

The Nismo-tweaked Nissan Frontier is getting tested in the Rebelle Rally

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The Rebelle Rally is a women-only off-road rally that takes place in California and Nevada. The 8-day, 1200-plus-mile rally isn’t a contest of sheer speed, but accuracy. The competitors can’t use GPS navigation or smartphones to navigate. Instead, they use compasses, paper maps, and roadbooks to guide themselves through a series of timed checkpoints.

Sedona Blinson and Lyn Woodward with the 2020 Nissan Frontier Nismo Rebelle Rally truck
Sedona Blinson (left) and Lyn Woodward with the 2020 Nissan Frontier Nismo Rebelle Rally truck | Nissan

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2020 marks the Rebelle Rally’s 5th year. As in every other year, the race starts at Lake Tahoe and finishes in the Glamis Dune; the route itself, though, changes annually. And Team Wild Grace, composed of veteran auto journo Lyn Woodward and preschool teacher Sedona Blinson, is racing in the Nismo-prepped 2020 Nissan Frontier. Interestingly, this will also be the 5th time Nissan is serving as an official race partner, too.

The race starts on October 8th, 2020. We’ll just have to wait and see how well Nismo’s new parts hold up.

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