Nissan has taken the wraps off a hardcore version of its Frontier bakkie (effectively North America’s equivalent of the Navara), complete with 5,6-litre V8 petrol power and a six-speed manual gearbox.
Revealed at the 2019 SEMA show in Las Vegas, the one-off off-roading Frontier Desert Runner was created with help from the “extreme performance specialists” at MA Motorsports.
The 4,0-litre V6 petrol engine (standard in the US) was ditched in favour of a 5,6-litre V8. The latter was given a “complete race-spec rebuild”, including the addition of a Garrett GTX3584RS turbocharger, custom intercooler and Jim Wolf Technology camshafts, pistons and valves.
An MA Motorsports custom turbo header and exhaust system were also added, with the result being “600-plus hp [447-plus kW]” and 949 N.m. The V8 is matched to a six-speed manual transmission with Jim Wolf Technology clutch and lightweight flywheel.
The bakkie's suspension makeover, meanwhile, includes a BTF Fabrication long-travel front suspension kit, King Racing triple bypass front shocks and coil-overs, rear King Racing triple bypass shocks and Giant Motorsports Link Killer rear leaf springs.
The Frontier Desert Runner rides on Fifteen52 TurboMac HD wheels wrapped in 37-inch BFGoodrich Baja tyres. The shock hoops, engine cage and bed cage were fabricated by MA Motorsports.
The company also installed Fiberworx Pre Runner fenders and fabricated new front and rear bumpers. A full package of off-road lighting from Rigid Industries and a body wrap by Speed Designs complete the exterior makeover.
Inside, you’ll find what Nissan calls a “no-frills cockpit”, with a coated floor, MA Motorsports custom harness bar and Sparco harnesses. Sparco also supplied the racing seats and steering wheel.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.