Where is the new Nissan Frontier and why doesn’t the US get this Raptor-like truck that Australia does? In many parts of the world, Nissan’s midsize truck is the Navara, and in Australia, there’s this cool beast; the Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior.
What Is The Navara N-Trek Warrior
The Warrior is a collaboration between Nissan Australia and race-engineering company Premcar. The result would warm any Raptor-lover’s heart. The closest thing to the Warrior Nissan has in the US is the Frontier Pro-4X. It has none of the gusto the Warrior is bursting with.
This Down-Under Frontier started as a Navara N-Trek Dual Cab four-wheel-drive pickup. Premcar upgraded the springs and dampers for an extra 0.6-inch lift and shod the N-Trek with 32-inch Cooper All-Terrain tires on 17-inch black alloy wheels. Total lift is over 1-½-inches over a stock N-Trek. Spring rates are adjustable as the outback gets rougher.
Besides the suspension and lift, Premcar added a hoopless steel bullbar painted to match the truck’s factory color. A stainless steel front underbody protects the undercarriage, with a 470-mm LED light bar, towbar, full-size spare, orange fog lamp bezels, and a long list of blacked-out components including the side steps, mirror caps, grille, door handles, and roof rails.
As a package anointed by Nissan it is backed by a five-year warranty.
The Obvious Frontier Replacement
So, why doesn’t the US get this obvious replacement for the Frontier that isn’t replacing it? The Navara is built in Thailand, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, and China. Without being made in the US it is subject to the “Chicken Tax” a 25% tariff on imported light trucks.
Why wasn’t the Navara built in Nissan’s Canton, Mississippi, Frontier manufacturing plant? Good question. We know that plans call for the next Frontier to be built there, but the Navara debuted in 2014, so there has been plenty of time to change-over the plant to start cranking out Narvanas.
Nissan isn’t saying, nor is it hinting at when the all-new Frontier will start production. The Nissan Titan is the next truck to see a major reworking, and it’s due sometime in 2020. We would have to assume we’d see a new Frontier by 2021 if not sooner. It’s unknown why Nissan didn’t deem it necessary to launch the Navara as the new Frontier around 2015 in the US.
Even stranger is that Nissan licenses a version to Renault as the “Alaskan” and Mercedes-Benz as its “X-Class”.
Current Frontier From 1997
The current Frontier came out in 1997. Though it has been able to catch up with its midsize brethren through continual updates it’s still over 20-years old. Even the Navara is based on the ladder bar frame and suspension of the 1997 Frontier, so know it’s an aging platform in need of some tweaks and improvements.
With the recent new management change at the top of the Nissan company, we’re sure it is addressing this most urgent matter as it is with each aging vehicle Nissan makes.