Nissan Titan: New Models, New Upgrades
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CHICAGO – For the 2008 model year, Nissan is doubling the number of full-size Titan pickup trucks it offers, and even more variations figure to be on their way through the product pipeline.
The new Titans are long-wheelbase models: a Crew Cab with a seven-foot bed and a King Cab with an eight-foot bed. Both were shown in public for the first time here at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show.
Previously, Crew Cabs were available only with a 5-foot, 6-inch bed and King Cabs with a bed only 6-foot-6 in length.
But now, with their added length, the newest versions of the Titan can carry things such as motorcycles, quads and even 4x8 sheets of building material with the tailgate in its upright and locked position.
“This is a logical step for us,” says Larry Dominique, who not that long ago went from being head of product planning for Nissan’s trucks to vice president of product and strategic planning for all of Nissan (and Infiniti) North American vehicles, cars and trucks.
But, we wonder, are there more steps coming, and just how soon?
Dominique holds his hands out in front of him to represent the spectrum of full-size pickups. On one hand, he says, are entry-level pickups with V6 engines and short beds. On the other hand, he says, are $55,000 crew cabs with eight-foot beds, torque-rich diesel engines and dualie rear axles.
The overall segment counts more than two million sales a year though, Dominique notes, as we move from one hand toward the other, “sales drop rapidly.”
As a newcomer to the full-size pickup marketplace, Nissan designed the Titan to compete for a specific segment of the spectrum. It disdained the base truck for one with a powerful V8 engine and such innovations as spray-in bed liners and wide-opening rear access doors. Once launched and established, the plan was to expand step by step into other segments and thus the new long-wheelbase models, which stretch the wheelbase by 19.6 inches (to 159.4 inches) and overall length by 19.7 inches (244.3 inches). The longer trucks also get new 37-gallon fuel tanks
In addition, all 2008 Titans get a revised front bumper and headlamps; new wheels, including a new 20-inch option; front brakes with a larger swept area, Dominique underscores, than those on the new Toyota Tundra; revised interiors featuring a new center stack, an optional 350-watt Rockford Fosgate audio package with Bluetooth hands-free telephone and XM satellite radio; enhanced NVH (noise/vibration/harshness) control, and higher gross vehicle weight ratings.
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