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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So the Gen 2 Frontier is long overdue for a makeover. If you were in charge of engineering, what would you do for the next gen Frontier? What would your goals be?

Here's what I would do.

Engine- a Direct-injected version of the VQ35 would replace the VQ40 for fuel economy, size, and weight reasons. With proper tuning it should have more HP and torque than the outgoing engine.

Transmission- options are a 7-speed dual-clutch auto or 6 speed manual.

Body- the whole truck is scaled down very slighlty for more trim proportions. Increased Cd and better approach and departure angles. A new bumper is designed with an integrated trailer hitch reciever. Better turning radius (if possible). LED daytime running lights.

Suspension- the front suspension should be redesigned to provide more wheel travel, but still provide a smooth ride.

Ground clearance- increased slightly overall.

Tires- no more Long Trails and Rugged Trails, Firestone Destination A/T is the current standard tire for 4wd models.

Front diff- a new more robust front diff design.

Interior- bluetooth connectivity and an 8" touchscreen are available. Dual USB ports and dual 12v aux outlets. Info display in instrument cluster between tach and speedo.

Weight- the previous truck is too heavy. Current goal would be to reduce the weight of every model/package by 10% over current. This could be accomplished by using some aluminum instead of steel, a composite bed, etc. Lower weight means better fuel economy too. This would be a huge challenge to provide the strength and capability with less. But look at what Mazda was able to accomplish with Skyactiv on the 6.

Any ideas you have?
I think going forward fuel economy is the biggest challenge and the greatest need, as well as modernizing some safety and convenience features.
 

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Engine - I would NOT introduce direct injection. DI increases soot, causes carbon build-up inside engines, is dirty at the tail pipe, and provides little to no benefit in power or mileage in the real world. I would keep the current VQ40 but increase power to a 270 horse/300 lbs. ft. target. I would also make the 4-cylinder Cummins diesel an option on all models.

Drivetrain - I'd keep the existing drivetrain. It's proven. It's reliable. There are no real world benefits whatsoever to 8-10 speed auto transmissions. I would upgrade the front and rear differentials to handle more power/offroad ability/towing ability.

Suspension - The suspension needs better shocks out back and more payload capacity. I would drastically increase the ride quality of the current truck (which completely sucks) and I would give the truck a little more payload at the same time.

Interior - Just a refreshening is all that's needed. I would make audio options that are currently available only on high end models options on lower end models.

Exterior - Just a refreshening is all that's needed. The rocker panels need to be raised. The body of the truck needs to be "squashed" because currently it's way too thick through the belt line. Ground clearance, approach angles, breakover angles, departure angles all need to be signficantly increased. Very similar to the 1990s Nissan and Toyota offerings. That's what a truck should function like from a body design standpoint. I would also eliminate the two piece rear door glass on crew cabs. I would use 7.5" wide wheels with a slight decrease in backspacing to give the truck better looks and more balance on and off road.
 

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These are interesting comments. The only thing I have to add is noise reduction. The current engine noise is only moderate and fine by me; I need/use it for shift points, but road and wind noise seem excessive at highway speeds. I know that stuff is heavy and therefore not a good tradeoff for many but I'd like to see a noise reduction option.

Since my Frontier is really a personal vehicle more than a work or off-road vehicle I probably would enjoy an Infiniti Frontier. I know, no market, and just as well - I couldn't afford one.
 

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I'd look at it from making 2 sets of changes. One set to the standard truck, one for the Pro-4x

First- NO UNIBODY This is a mid size truck, not a SUV with a bed.

Standard truck- I think the looks are going to be more like a scaled down version of the new Titan, which I like, so I say go with that. BTW, you notice there are similarities between the new Titan grill and the Equator's?

Improve the ride, better fuel economy.
Update interior to shut up the reviewers (I like the current interior but I know the reviewers always knock it).

Engine- I agree the diesel should be an option for all models. Make turbo an option on all engines.

Transmission- would like to see an 8 speed. They do show improved real world gains once you get off level ground and in towing as you can keep the truck in the HP/torque sweet spot longer.

Beefier differentials.

Driving option. Do like the big boys and have a simple button for turning on off road / towing mode. This would have a pre programmed adjustment for HP, torque, WOT restrictions, AND transmission shift points. I think calling it both Off road and towing mode would be more appealing to the general public because it is nice to have more torque and a crisper response off road.

Pro-4x
Add 1 inch of ground clearance. Means bigger tires and more open fender wells. (beefier diffs would help here)
Go with the new release Nisttec system set at minimum lift and let owners know the lift can still be increased.
Different rear bumper and change lower front bumper profile for better approach and exit angles.
These changes would separate the Pro-4x capabilities even further from the other models and would make people feel the price increase for this model is well justified.
 

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Interior- bluetooth connectivity and an 8" touchscreen are available. Dual USB ports and dual 12v aux outlets. Info display in instrument cluster between tach and speedo.
The items in red are already Gen2 features.

On a related note though, Nissan really needs to add a user-selectable option to the HUD to allow microphone input to be passed through directly to your bluetooth-connected device, rather than intercepting all input at the HUD, processing it and only invoking features of your attached device that the HUD supports. My Galaxy S4 offers FAR more voice-command functionality than the HUD...and does a better job at the stuff that the HUD does support. In all practical terms I lost all of that when I bought my SV and got rid of my previous vehicle that had an aftermarket Sony unit that did pass all input along to the phone...which would be trivially easy to add to the Nissan HUD.
 

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Pro-4x
Add 1 inch of ground clearance. Means bigger tires and more open fender wells. (beefier diffs would help here)
Go with the new release Nisttec system set at minimum lift and let owners know the lift can still be increased.
Different rear bumper and change lower front bumper profile for better approach and exit angles.
These changes would separate the Pro-4x capabilities even further from the other models and would make people feel the price increase for this model is well justified.

I agree. The current Pro-4x package is kind of lame. $4k for a pair of stickers, a locker, and some Bilsteins? Um, no. The Pro-4X package should give you upgraded suspension, mud terrain tires (possibly a 33"), and a whole lot more.
 

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I'll be the troll to say go with a dual-injection system like Toyotas DI: port injection and direct. Both are required for WOT but either can be used alone depending on conditions. Combine with a turbo: no high compression/boost-induced knock issues because the port-injection is too lean by itself to light off.

def. keep the 6-speed manual option, tweak the throttle response, DMF, etc so it isn't so particular about shift method.

Widen the gear ratios a little. Keep a decent low 1st gear and put 6th in the nosebleed section. I mean it's nice, when towing, to be able to pick from gears 2-6 at a given speed but come on it's a little silly. I like how the Firebird is...6th is a true freeway gear so it makes a significant difference. If I want to pass someone, that's what the other gears are for. That's why old F-bodies and 'vettes get near 30 mph on the highway: 2krpm is near 90 mph.

Put it on a diet! I know I'm coming from 80s mini-trucks but geez this thing's as big and heavy as an older full-size with half the capacity. I have no problem with AL, composites, or slight downsizing.

It's a truck, it's not supposed to ride like a Cadillac. It sags almost as much as my old Toyota with the same load and it's 1400lbs heavier. Softer but not as nice a ride as my wife's Mazda Protege5!
 

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Keep roughly the same dimensions.

Update styling (no CUV minivan stuff).
Update interior and include functional armrest.

Engines:
V8 Gas
Diesel V6
VQ40 with revised tuning and tweaks to make 300/320
Ditch the 4 cylinder

Transmissions:
8 speed auto
6 speed manual

No god awful infotainment a la CUE or MyTouch. Apple Car Play and Android mirroring.
 

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I like the idea of keeping a proven drive train...but realistically you need to improve fuel economy if you're going to compete for another 8-10yr cycle. Diesel should be an option across all trim levels/cab/box combos.

1. I would like to see 4ft between the bed wheel wells.
2. A real center arm rest
3. Lower the floor position in the crew cab rear seats if possible.
4. Non-perforated leather seating option, or pleather which I actually prefer a good fake for maintenance and ease of cleaning to be honest.
5. Rear window that opens.
6. Make it easier to get to the oil filter, no underbody panel removal or weird reach angles to get to it.
7. Try not to make it bigger.
8. Tighter turning radius for sure.
 

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Improved turn radius.

Spice up the interior a little. I have night armour exterior, gray interior, gray carpeting. It alll looks a little......gray.


A little offset color would be nice. Black and Red maybe. Gray and Red, For the white models maybe tan and black interior.

Higher suspension so we don't have to spend tons of money to put 33's on the truck as the design begs for the bigger tires. It's not a compact truck and it doesn't like compact tires.
 

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So here's my input

Pull the body off, redesign, make smoother, more sleek, swap out tranny for a 7 speed auto or 6M, m226 with rear e-lock standard for all models, slightly larger cab, width ways and length (mainly back seat), slightly longer bed and then same d40 motor just a little spruced up, suspension basically the same just better leafs in the back and a little bit better stock coils and struts, other than that the current setup is pretty sweet as far as having a strong frame and a stable truck to drive in any weather/off roading
 

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My changes:

Make a PRO-4X Long Bed like Toyota did and GM. and raise it up about 1"-1.5" from the SV model.
Standard 33" tires on Pro-4X models.
Make all Frontiers sit about 1" taller.
Available black cloth interior on SV models instead of just steel or tan.
Available black leather interior on SL models.
LED daytime running light strips similar to the ones on the Nissan Rogue and Nissan Sentra.
Optional HID headlights
LED taillights:
Ease assist tailgate shock optional:
Offroad wheels that are more durable than the machined aluminum ones:
Optional Roof rack light bar:
Bring the roof rack back:
Optional Tow Mirrors:
tighter turning radius:
Offer an optional infotainment system: DUMP NISSAN CONNECT.
Have Navigation available on SV trim levels and above.
3 USB ports standard on all trims
Standard Bluetooth on all tims
Better fuel economy: 20-25 mpg
Offer more unique exterior colors: like Hills Green, or Detonator Yellow, Robin Egg Blue, Holland blue, Omaha orange, and bring back graphite blue.
Available 6 Speed manual on any trim level frontier 7 speed automatic.
Available Cummins diesel engine
Dump the 4 cylinder engine.
An armrest that actually able to accommodate ones arm.
Make Nismo offer more performance parts for the frontier such as exhaust, headers, wheels, cold air intake, etc that you can add the vehicle when you are building it.
 

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Adding to the list -
Improve turning radius - I for one would be o.k. if this meant returning to compact P/U sizing (i.e. S-10, Ranger sizes)
Push up the gas mileage for the 6
Add leather interior options to king cab
Add stock power tailgate lock (use trunk button from car remotes)
Make back glass window power operated
 

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FYI: received my latest Truck Trend mag in the mail yesterday w/ a Nissan Titan on the cover. There may be plans of a DI VQ40 in addition to the V8 diesel and 5.6. There was a quote in there...something about the designers using Warrior masks to boost their design creativity.
 

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FYI: received my latest Truck Trend mag in the mail yesterday w/ a Nissan Titan on the cover. There may be plans of a DI VQ40 in addition to the V8 diesel and 5.6. There was a quote in there...something about the designers using Warrior masks to boost their design creativity.
Design process discussed:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEdgGT_Jb1Y
 

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2L turbo diesel, 8 speed tranny.
 

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An 8 speed transmission shows a lack of torque in a motor. DOHC motors have low torque (or torque at higher rpm's anyway) compared to old pushrod motors (hence 7+ speed transmissions).
A torque monger diesel should only need the 5 speed auto (built up to handle big torque).
Yes to bigger fenderwells! Nissan has very stylish fenderwells, that don't provide much room. I have proved there is plenty of room to open up fenderwells.

The next body style and drive train will be so different it wont matter anyhow.
It will be hard for Nissan to follow the Colorado ZR2 diesel package. And IMO new diesel packages will have flaws/need updates.
For the most part Nissan has turds for body styling... :surprise:

My '09 Frontier will probably be the only Nissan I will ever own.
I will go back to my Ford, Chevy or Toyota ways.
 
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