Trucks & SUVs

The Nissan Frontier Can Now Get the Nismo Treatment

Dual-sport motorcycles, side-by-sides, and dirtbikes have all seen a rise in sales throughout 2020. The overlanding community has joined in the growing love of off-road motorsport. Still, Nissan has stepped its game up significantly with Nismo performance parts for the Nissan Frontier. 

The allure of off-road motorsport has been on the rise for a few years now. Between the assault of COVID-19 and social issues, the safety incentives of being in the remote and peaceful outdoors have an added shine to it these days.

Out of the frying pan and into the dirt

Nismo, like AMG, is to Mercedes or Roush is to Ford, caters specifically to Nissan vehicles. Nissan offers certain cars that have been Nismo’d new from the factory, like skylines, 350Zs, and even the Juke. They typically have specially tuned motors, brakes, and suspensions for high-performance driving. These mods have mostly been geared toward road-going vehicles, until now.

GTR Nismo of Nissan is displayed during Dubai International Motor Show 2017
Nismo GTR | Mahmoud Khaled/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Nissan will premier the line of Nismo performance parts on a 2020 Nissan Frontier that will be running in the Rebelle Rally in early October. If you are unfamiliar with the Rebelle Rally, it is a killer women’s only race that encourages women interested in off-road racing and navigation to take to the dirt and get after it. 

Nismo truck gear

Nissan Nismo Frontier at Rebelle
2020 Nissan Nismo Frontier at Rebelle | Nissan

RELATED: What is the Rebelle Rally?

Upon first glance, you might notice the beefy shoes wrapped around the Nismo 17-inch off-road wheels. Right away, the 106-lb off-road bumper with holes for mounting LED utility lighting, shackles, and a winch plate, stands out. No off-roader is worth its salt without auxiliary lighting, and clearly, Nismo understands this. They developed these 6-inch LEDs with Rigid Industries for this bumper, according to Autoblog. Nissan says other sizes and lighting configurations will eventually be available and that all lights come with switches, wiring harness, and lens covers. 

The major attraction here is the unique Bilstein shocks that Nismo put on this 2020 Nissan Frontier. The shocks were specially tuned with off-road needs in mind. Bilstein configured these shocks to handle heavier loads while traversing the rough track. The Bilstein’s account for extra wheel travel and support a 2-inch lift when combined with different springs. The rear shocks feature remote reservoirs, to boot. 

Anyone whos has done any serious off-roading with older or non-specific off-road suspension can attest that it simply won’t cut it. Power output and clearance welcome features in an off-roader, but without agile and stout suspension, none of those other things get to matter. 

The 2020 Nissan Frontier

The 2020 Nissan is probably a decent platform to start with. The base model has a 310-hp 3.8-liter V6 paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Basic features include ABS and traction control. If considering the 2020 Frontier as an off-road option, the base model won’t cut it with RWD only. You have to step up to the PRO 4X for four-wheel drive. Although the PRO 4X is about $7,000 more than the base, it does include some interior comforts like heated leather seats, heated mirrors, navigation, and parking assist. 

Don’t fret if you own an older Frontier; Nismo has your back too. It will offer these parts and more when they come out for any Nissan Frontier as far back as 2005. The pricing for these parts has yet to be released, but knowing what we know of Nismo, they should make for a pretty fun rip in the dirt.