Click here for more show coverage from Detroit

2004 Nissan Titan
By: Tom Keefe, Michael Levine, JJ GertlerUpdated: 01-08-03 13:00
© 2003

Page: [1] [2] [Specs]

Yes, Nissan's new pickup is a true full-size truck. With a name like Titan it better be.

But the Titan is not only big. Nissan promises the Titan will break new ground in functionality and performance its rookie year versus the veteran truck competition from Ford, Chevy, Dodge and Toyota.

PUTC was the first to speak with Nissan President Carlos Ghosn after he unveiled the Titan. We asked him why, with so many new Nissans being unveiled at Detroit, he appeared only for the Titan launch.

“This is the king of our lineup,” Ghosn replied. “The (2004) Maxima, the Quest, the (Infiniti) FX45 are all important products. But the Titan is our king.”

In developing the Titan Nissan engineers spent over 2-1/2 years researching what truck owners think a full-size pickup should be and they gave 14 examples to prove Titan is a full-size truck owners will embrace:

1. 300+ horsepower, which we estimate to be between 345 to 355-hp
2. 375+ pound-feet of torque, more than Dodge's new 5.7-liter HEMI motor
3. A 5-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode

17-inch or 18-inch wheels and tires - Nissan engineers tested the Titan extensively off road. All that testing proved to the engineers that a higher sidewall was more important than a larger wheel. While the larger wheel may look a little better the decision was towards performance rather than looks

5. Four wheel disc, four channel ABS brake system that is used to assist traction on and off road
6. A full size 6 ½ foot bed with 50 inches between the wheel wells.
7. Lockable storage compartment outside the truck that can hold up to 3 cubic feet of hitch, tow strap, chains or other stuff
8. 9400-pound trailering capacity, the highest of any full-size extended cab
9. Rear doors that don’t trap you when you are parked next to a vehicle and need to open both doors at the same time. The rear doors open a full 168-degrees
10. A center console that can hold hanging files
11. 79-inches width - if it were one-inch wider it would require cab, tailgate and rear fender marker lights
12. Electronic rear locking differential for 4x4 that engages in low-range first-gear, otherwise the brake system limits slip
13. 29 gallon fuel tank
14. 140-inch wheelbase

The Titan isn't the radical departure in styling hinted at in Nissan’s Alpha concept from the 2001 North American International Auto Show but with precision milled industrial looks it’s quite a departure from other full-size pickups.

The front of the Titan shares familial design cues with the Nissan Hardbody, a version of the compact Frontier pickup sold overseas. Its V-framed Nissan logo, a traditional Nissan truck cue, sits squarely in the center of the mesh grille between two prominent angular headlights. A massive front bumper surrounds the lower air inlet with shiny chrome bordered by rounded fog lamps. The A-pillar and windshield are steeply raked and broad front fenders sweep back to meet the front doors.

Its sides are glass smooth with front doors that feature contemporary pull-type handles. The bed tightly hugs the rear of the cab. Just ahead of the rear wheels a vertical edge rises and then sweeps back to the tailgate as a sharply defined shoulder. Angular tail lamps balance out the front headlights.

Only the King Cab model was shown in Detroit - the Crew Cab will debut at the New York Auto Show.

Page: [1] [2] [Specs]