Buenos Aires, Argentina – This in-your-face double cab beetle-crusher so impressed visitors to the Nissan Design Centre in Rio de Janeiro, where it was designed and built, that they nicknamed it “The Beast”, and that became the unofficial code-name for the project.
Officially, however, it’s the Frontier Attack Concept, created specifically for the Buenos Aires motor show, on this week – and Nissan Argentina is already saying that if the reaction from show visitors is positive enough, it could go into production.
It’s based on the NP300 Frontier bakkie (known as the Navara in SA and elsewhere), with the same 139kW, 2.3-litre turbodiesel four, rated at 450Nm from 1500-2500rpm, six-speed manual 'box and rigid rear axle with multilink rear suspension – a nice compromise between expensive independent rear suspension and tough but harsh-riding leaf springs.
But it rides 40mm higher than the standard Frontier on longer struts and oversized Yokohama mudplugger tyres, with a bigger roof – and a rugged roof rack on top of that – blacked out headlights, running boards, bash plate and roll bar.
And its provocative red and gloss black colour scheme is echoed inside, with grey trim elements on the centre console, taller seats with mixed black leather and fabric trim, and red flashes on the seats, steering wheel, dashboard and gear lever.
It has on-the-fly switchable all-wheel drive and low range, dynamic traction control and hill hold, as well as a new Infotainment system called Nissan Multi-App that includes GPS navigation and apps such Spotify, Bluetooth, music streaming system.xa and hi story, presented on a 16cm touchscreen.
Even if the Attack does go into production, it will be aimed specifically at the Latin American market, and is unlikely to be released in South Africa – but it would not be out of place if it were.