Nissan is set to launch a new generation of its Frontier midsize pickup for the 2021 model year. And while the company has not officially revealed the truck to the public, it has shared a few important details ahead of its official debut.
The Japanese automaker first talked about the potential release of a 2021 Frontier at the Chicago Auto Show earlier this year. At the time, Nissan introduced its very own V6 powertrain that will be offered in the current-generation 2020 Frontier.
The thing with the truck’s current generation is that it’s old and long overdue for a makeover.
As it turns out, however, a redesign is actually on the table.
“It’s a major model change. So, it’s basically all-new,” said Melaina Velasko, vehicle performance development manager at Nissan. “It’s largely redesigned, the majority of it is brand-new,.”
But the upcoming model is said to still share a few features in common with the current model. Although which particular components, the Nissan executive refused to divulge.
What has been confirmed, though, is that both the 2020 and 2021 Frontier will feature the same powertrain—the V6 engine unveiled by Nissan this year.
Moreover, the company is reportedly introducing a new engine-transmission combo in the 2020 version. The combination consists of a 3.8-liter V6 that makes 310 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 281 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm, without the need for a premium-grade fuel.
The new engine was revealed to be about 93% new compared to the outgoing 4.0-liter V6 that powered the 2019 edition Frontier. The new V6 will take the place of both the 4.0-liter engine and the smaller I4 that was also previously offered with the truck.
For better performance, the engine will also be paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission, a huge leap from the outgoing five-speed gearbox.
According to Vasko, it’s the same transmission used in the half-ton Titan truck.
“The hardware is the same. But the gearing is not identical,” she said.
The 2020 Nissan Frontier is expected to go on sale this spring. The arrival of the 2021 version, meanwhile, will be announced in the next few months.