2001 Nissan Frontier

"The (Nissan Frontier) needed something ballsier (about the truck)."
- Nissan Design Institute President, Jerry Hirshberg

What began as a simple facelift turned into an exercise in aggressive industrial design. For 2001 the Nissan Frontier receives

Nissan Design Institute President Jerry Hirshberg introduces the 2001 Frontier Crew Cab
at the Chicago Auto Show

a dramatic facelift, interior upgrades, and the addition of a new supercharged V6 engine.

Working from the existing Frontier platform and panel structure, the designers started with the front end, integrating a new bumper all the way into the new taller, sweeping hood. "The idea with the front end was to make the Frontier look big and powerful, in conjunction with its new available supercharged engine - like the look of a box glove," said Diane Allen, Frontier Chief Design Engineer.

New larger headlights integrating projector style turn signals and fog lamps from the 2000 Maxima bring charisma and balance to the pugilist look. A distinctive grille, sporting actual brushed aluminum in the production model, adds to the tough appearance.

Prominent fender flares, that brazenly sport the divot holes and bolts hold the fender flares to the body like some World War II fighter, give muscle to the sides of the truck. Access to the fuel tank however cuts a rigid swath into the rear passenger-side flare that looks much better for some reason on the SC model than the other trucks in the Frontier line.

The rear of the Frontier features a new tailgate fascia as well as a standard tailgate lock. The cargo bed is essentially a carryover from the 2000 model.

The interior of the Frontier was also freshened to be more consistent with the new exterior styling. Radio, heater controls and knobs are larger. A new instrument cluster with reversible gauges has been added for easier visibility in both daytime and nighttime driving situations. New fabric for the seats looks like woven metal and optional leather is available on supercharged models and the SE Crew Cab.

Cruise control switches have now been located on the steering wheel and a new lineup of audio systems, including an available in-dash 6-disc CD changer, has been added.

A new optional supercharged 3.3L V6 will be offered in Frontier SC models. The engine, with its modified Eaton Supercharger, produces 210 horsepower and 240 ft-lbs. of torque. Nissan expects Frontier SCs to account for approximately 10% of total Frontier sales. The SC 3.3L V6 joins the already exisiting 143 horsepower 2.4L inline 4 cylinder and 170 horsepower 3.3L SOHC V6.

With all the engine and truck configurations 14 different models of the 2001 Nissan Frontier will be available.

The 2001 Frontier model lineup begins with the XE Regular Cab 4x2 model. It features a 143-horsepower DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine with an electronic multi-point fuel injection system, rear-wheel drive and a 5-speed manual transmission.

An independent double wishbone front suspension with stabilizer bar and rear rigid axle with multi-leaf springs provides car-like handling and ride, while the power-assisted front vented disc/rear drum brake system with standard rear anti-lock brakes offers secure braking control.

Other standard equipment includes 15-inch styled steel wheels with Bright Silver Sparkle paint, 225/70R15 all-season steel-belted tires, rear step bumper, woven cloth bench seat, LCD odometer with two trip

The new 3.3L Supercharged V6 engine

meters, tinted glass, full carpeting, cupholder, power-assisted steering, dual outside mirrors and 3,500-pound towing capacity (manual transmission).

Standard equipment on Frontier Crew Cab is the SOHC 3.3-liter V6 engine, with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed electronically controlled overdrive automatic transmission and a 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive driveline.

Standard safety equipment includes supplemental front dual air bags with a passenger-side air bag shut-off switch, front crumple zone, energy-absorbing steering column, hood buckling creases, pipe-style steel side-door guard beams and a 3-point ALR/ELR seat belt system with seat belt pretensioners. Regular Cab XE 4x2 is available with automatic transmission, air conditioning, Sport Package and Value Truck Package.

The Frontier King Cab comes standard with a 60/40 split bench seat and carries all of the added equipment found on XE Regular Cab, along with additional seating for two passengers in the fold-down rear jump seats. Frontier XE King Cab 4x2 is available with a choice of 5-speed manual or an optional 4-speed automatic transmission. To offer customers an easy way to order the Frontier they want, a number of value-oriented packages are available on the XE King Cab 4x2 model. Among the choices are automatic transmission, Sport Package, Value Truck Package and Power Package.

The King Cab 4x4 is available in three different models - XE, SE and SC. XE and SE models come standard with a 3.3-liter V6 engine and the SC model features the factory-installed supercharged engine.

All XE models feature 15-inch styled steel wheels with P265/70R15 tires, auto locking hubs, woven cloth bucket seats and dual black outside mirrors and a center console with cup holders.

Adding to the XE model, the SE come standard with 16-inch wheels with P265/70R16 tires, dual body-color outside mirrors, sliding rear tinted window, privacy glass, air conditioning, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, fog lamps and variable intermittent windshield wipers.

Besides the supercharged engine, all SC models come with 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels with P265/55R17 tires, body-color fender flares, knit bucket seats, 100-watt AM/FM/CD audio system and titanium-colored gauges.

The 2001 Nissan Frontier King Cab Desert Runner

Frontier Desert Runner is built on the heavy-duty 4-wheel drive Frontier chassis, giving the 2-wheel drive the same rigidity, ride height, ground clearance and tough look as the 4-wheel drive model. Standard equipment on Frontier Desert Runner is the SOHC 3.3-liter V6 engine, and, at roughly 500 pounds lighter than a 4x4 Frontier King Cab V6, Desert Runner offers the best power-to-weight ratio of any Frontier pickup. Additionally, a supercharged 3.3-liter V6 engine, which produces an estimated 210 horsepower and 240 ft-lbs of torque, is available with the Desert Runner SC.

Similar to the 4x4 Frontier V6 models, the new Desert Runner is equipped with standard P265/70R15 tires (XE), P255/65R16 tires (SE) or P265/55R17 (SC), fender flares, skid plates for the engine and fuel tank, a full-size spare and 4-channel, 4-sensor 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).

All Frontier Desert Runners are King Cabs and are available with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed electronically controlled overdrive automatic transmission. Special badging distinguishes Desert Runner from other Frontier models.

Frontier Crew Cabís four real doors, combined with the rugged look of the Frontier, offer a stylish statement and effectively combine the practicality of an SUV with the open-bed utility of a pickup truck.

All Frontier Crew Cabs are built on the heavy-duty 4-wheel drive Frontier chassis, giving the 2-wheel drive the same rigidity, ride height and ground clearance as the 4-wheel drive pickup.

Four real doors allow up to five passengers to enter the vehicle with ease. The bed is about 20 inches shorter than the standard Frontier but you can purchase an optional bed extender to enlarge the Crew Cab bed length.

All Frontier Crew Cabs come standard with a 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), actuating on the front disc and rear drum brakes. Also standard is air conditioning, privacy glass on the rear door windows and back glass, rear window defogger, 100-watt AM/FM/CD audio system and heavy-duty skid plates.

Optional on XE is the Deluxe Package, Sport Package and Power Package. Optional on SE and SC is the Utility Package, Sport Package, Power Package, Leather Package and Sunroof.

Look for the new Frontier this fall.