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The next option we wanted was the $450 Tow Package. It adds a Class IV hitch receiver, 7-pin wiring harness, heavy duty battery, and extendable doubled-armed electric tow mirrors that really beef up the Titan’s looks and improve visibility with regular and wide-angle mirrors mounted on each arm. Australian supplier Schafenacker makes the tow mirrors for Titan. It’s the same company that also supplies mirrors to Ford for its F-250 to F-750 trucks.

We can tow up to 9,300-pounds with the Tow Package option – 2,100-pounds more than if we deleted it.

In the cargo box we opted for the PRO-4X High Utility Bed Package. For $850 you get Nissan’s Utili-track aluminum bed rail channels, four adjustable cleats, bed lighting, and the only factory-provided spray-in-bedliner in the segment. We could have gone aftermarket on all of this gear but we figured we saved a few dollars and a lot of time not having the bed sprayed and custom fit for a cargo management system.

The last three options were a sliding bed extender, $280, underseat storage bins, $150, and floor mats, $125. This brought the grand total for the truck, including $745 in destination charges, to $37,700.

We went online to check Nissan’s inventory of Titans in Southern California that best matched our desired options. We were able to find similarly configured Titans at three dealers around Los Angeles. Without telling the dealers who we were or why we were purchasing the truck, we targeted a ‘Galaxy Black’ truck and negotiated a sales price of about $32,000, almost $1,000 under invoice before Nissan’s $3,500 promotional Crew Cab rebate was applied. After tax, title, and license costs, we drove away with the truck for $32,580.

So far the truck is bone stock with 927-miles on the odometer. Overall first impressions are favorable, after driving it around Los Angeles and to Las Vegas, Nevada for the annual SEMA show.

The truck has excellent throttle response and plenty of power unloaded. It’s fast and smooth through all the gears. It’s even spent a bit of time off road in the Mojave Desert, outside Vegas, where it had no problem handling moderately sandy and rocky trails and fairly steep hills.

In the near future we’ll be running the truck in the quarter-mile and putting it on the dyno to benchmark its performance before installing new powertrain components.

The information display in the instrument panel is also appreciated. It provides all the basic stats plus a cool instant fuel efficiency meter that helps control pressure on the accelerator from the driver’s right foot. We haven’t asked Nissan but we suspect the gas-saving readout is a vacuum gauge keyed to the 5.6L V8’s intake, measuring engine load and translating that data into an instant miles-per-gallon figure.

Switching between 2WD and 4HI is seamless and quiet. Twist the dial on the dash and the only way you can tell the transfer case engaged is to look at the drive indicator on the dash showing all four wheels lit up instead of just two.

Fuel economy has been average – 13.9 mpg at an average speed of 42-mph over its life. We’re expecting that will rise as the engine is broken in, or we keep the fuel efficiency meter on instead of just the odometer in the vehicle information display. Our road trip to Las Vegas didn't necessarily prioritize fuel economy over travel time either.

The minuses. There’s wind noise intrusion on the driver's side at speeds over 40-mph. It sounds like it's coming from the tow mirrors. The seats could also use better support and bolstering for long trips. The black carpet also shows lots of dirt after getting out of the truck to take pictures in the desert sand. Our bad.

Over the next six months we're going to be building this truck up and we’re going to need your help.

We've teamed up with well-known custom truck company Performance West Group. PWG is responsible for many cool past and present SEMA trucks we've shown you over the past few years, including the Explorer Super Trac, Big Sky F-150, and Ram HD Cannonball Express.

As we lock in our design direction with PWG, we'll look to our readers to vote on the final look of the truck’s exterior, wheels, and other aftermarket treatments we’ll be revealing. One potential look is pictured below.

By the time we're done our truck won't end up as specialized as Carl Renezeder's CORR PRO-4 Titan, but this PRO-4X won’t be a truck you’ll find anywhere else either. Stay tuned for more info!

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