The automakers of the Renault-Nissan Alliance are never shy about experimenting with new pickup truck concepts in South America, as we've seen recently like the Renault Alaskan and Dacia Oroch. Now Nissan comes out with its headlights blazing, revealing the monster-truck inspired Frontier Attack at the Buenos Aires Auto Show. The ruggedized pickup brings bigger attitude and physical stature.
Nissan's Rio de Janeiro design center looked to the wilds of Latin America and the world of monster trucks in developing the latest Frontier Attack design. With those inspiration points, it's not surprising to see a downright feral iteration of the NP300 Frontier.
The new concept starts with large Yokohama Geolandar A/T tires and a 1.6-in (40-mm) lift lending an imposing look and feel. Running boards and collision bars add to the tough, dirt-ready look, and bold red paint with plenty of chrome black creates the perfectly tailored suit that owns the room the minute it steps in. The concept also includes a luggage rack and black-mask headlights.
"Those who knew nothing about the project and had never heard of the Frontier Attack named it 'the beast' when they saw it the first time, a name that the design team soon adopted," says Robert Bauer, chief designer with the Rio de Janeiro design team. "With its aggressive design inspired by off-road fans in Latin America and imposing 'monster trucks,' the Attack is ready to overcome any barrier placed in front of it."
The "beast" is powered by the Frontier's standard 187 hp/332 lb-ft 2.3-liter diesel engine, along with a six-speed manual and push-button 4WD. Nissan's vehicle dynamic control system monitors steering and braking, detects over/under-steering, and reduces engine speed and brakes at specific wheels when necessary to maintain traction and prevent skidding, overturning or loss of control. The multi-link rear suspension, hill start assist and hill descent control further enhance the ride, on and off road.
Inside, Nissan's 6.2-in touchscreen Multi-App infotainment system with navigation serves as a centerpiece, and black leather comes to life with help from vivid red highlights and chrome trim.
In 2018, an Argentinian plant will join existing manufacturing facilities in Thailand, Mexico and Spain in building NP300 pickups. Whether something close to as vicious as the new Attack concept starts rolling out of that production facility will be in part up to those attending and watching the Buenos Aires show. Nissan will gauge reactions in deciding whether or not to pursue a production model based on the concept.