The Nissan Gobi Is The Pickup Truck We Never Knew We Didn’t Want

The Nissan Gobi is a pickup truck that was conceptualized by Nissan and never came to light. It was oddly designed, awkwardly packaged, and honestly, most of us couldn’t care less that the Gobi never came to be. Regardless, the Gobi is a part of Nissan’s history as just a concept car, even if it was something we never knew we didn’t want.

An awkward design

The Nissan Gobi had a rounded, awkwardly designed cab that looked just as weird as it sounds, if not weirder. A full-scale model was introduced at the 1990 North American International Auto Show held in Detroit Michigan. The bubbly, rounded truck cab was supposedly designed to imitate the styling of a helicopter, which while it might if you use your imagination, it isn’t necessarily a good look.

The Gobi had the thick, ugly plastic cladding that we hated in the Pontiac Aztek, and it didn’t do the pickup truck any favors.

1990 Nissan Gobi Concept | Glendale Nissan

The Gobi had some odd but intriguing features. The storage containers were labeled whimsically as “stuff and things” and the other as “odds and ends” but that wasn’t the only interesting style choice. The glovebox was removable, and if you were so inclined as to remove it you could even take it with you because it transformed into a wearable backpack.

A cool feature you’ve probably never thought of but will appreciate is that the tailgate wasn’t the only part of the bed that could be laid down. The sides of the Gobi’s truck bed could be laid down as well, to improve the ease of loading and unloading cargo. This could be one feature we regret never actually getting.

On the other hand

While the Nissan Gobi wasn’t necessarily an attractive concept truck, it’s unique styling did have something to offer. In fact, the Gobi looks more like a toy car than an actual concept car that Nissan would create.

It is very different than the trucks we have come to know and expect from Nissan, like the Titan and Frontier, which are more classically designed boxy trucks. In a way, Nissan might have just been more ahead of its time in imaging a truck that is more rounded than your normal square truck body lines.


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Nissan did intend to make the Gobi a full-scale production truck but decided that the cost of production would greatly outweigh what the truck would be worth, and it seems to have been forgotten about ever since.

Although the Gobi probably wouldn’t have sold well in the United States if the concept car had become a reality, but it might have sold better in other countries where smaller pickup trucks were favorited over the normal oversized trucks we see in the States. Either way, I can tell you that personally, I’m indifferent about never having seen a Nissan Gobi.