Nissan Wallows in the Mud for Research

Nissan Mud 3 II

Nissan is deep in the development phases of its next-generation Titan full-size pickup, and the automaker is talking to people all over the country about how they use their pickups and what they want. That's why one of Nissan's product engineers recently showed up in southeast Texas with several PRO-4X pickups to participate in a teal hunt hosted by Sure-Shot Game Calls. Locals call the event a "gumbo mud" run.

James "Cowboy" Hernandez is the founder of Sure-Shot Game Calls and, apparently, a legend in the world of duck calls. We assume Nissan wanted to see how well the big tires, off-road-tuned suspension and locking rear differential could crawl and slosh through the marshes. We're told spectators/participants have seen many small and large trucks get stuck pretty bad on the area's trails and rutted two tracks.

"We sure enough tried to bury these things. And I mean we tried. We just couldn't do it. We got stuck for just a second, and we were able to rock ourselves right out," said Hillary Dyer, editor of Waterfowl and Retriever.

We can only hope Nissan collected a boatload of data to help its engineers with what they need to keep the PRO-4X package the brand's capability option. And it wouldn't surprise us is Nissan tried to beef up the package a bit to better compete with Toyota's Rock Warrior and Baja technology.


Nissan Mud 1 II




@Big Al and Robert Ryan, my knowledge of your home country is confined to a book I read by a guy named Bill Bryson. It's called In a Sunburned Country. Great book in the event your bored to the point of reading a book about your own country written by a funny American. He does get out into the country some. Australia is on my bucket list. My wife wants to go as well, but likely she'll want to stay in the city. Me, I could easily disappear a few weeks in the outback. Long as I have a way to keep all your big ass hairy spiders off me.

@hemi V8

Chill out go sit in the corner for a while. You like ram fiat a little to much. Are part of the design team or what?

@ Hemi Power Dude

If the Cummins option is surrounded by a well engineered truck, the Titan will be relevant sooner than you think. And, it will siphon sales off from the Ram especially the new 1/2 ton eco-diesel. That is, if they don't under engineer some parts like they they did with old model. If they price it competitively like they did with the old gas engine, it'll be a winner. For the premium gas engine, that's easy. Take the VK56VD/7sp out of the Q70 and re-tune it for more torque output. That will take care of any 8sp "Hemi" 1/2 ton Ram. What Nissan really needs is a class leading base and mid level engine. Sales are low because everyone is waiting for the next generation to come out. Trust me, there's a huge pent up demand for a new Titan and when it arrives, sales are going to go off the charts.

@the real Mike - the Cummins 5.0 will be in a whole different league than the 3.0 Ecodiesel. It should be able to kill the 3.0 VM diesel and any V8 gasser out their. MPG will probably be closer to a gasser except under load where it should be superior.
It would be suitable as an intermediate engine in HD pickups. The Titan had better show up as one heavy duty 1/2 ton which is designed to overlap into the 3/4 ton truck range. If it isn't built that way, it will be a waste of an engine.

Bill is very funny. I like the books he has done about England. He is a US "Anglophile"

If you come down to Australia, you'll have to make it a several month long holiday (vacation).

Drive a lap around the country, then drive south to north from Adelaide to Darwin. Take the Savanna Way to Mt Isa from Darwin and drive through inland Queensland to Brisbane. You'll get to see more of it than most Australians do in a lifetime.

But save up plenty of cash, it's more expensive than the US.

Come over in March and work your way north over several months. We don't have winter where I live, only summer. With a wet and dry season.

Do you guys have long service leave? After you work for a company for ten years you get 3 months paid leave.

@BAF0 - It's not that midsizers are down rated in the US/Canada, but capacity is kept realistic for worst case scenarios. Like inexperienced drivers, and or poor driving conditions. Midsizers can do more than they're rated for, but their drivetrains aren't exactly set up for heavy duty work.

The Titan and Frontier share a chassis, so you end up with a tough Frontier and a weak Titan. But OEMs need a decent ROI on diesel midsizers. A slight increase in sales doesn't justify. At least with diesel 1/2 tons, OEMs can defuse R&D and manufacturing losses when they go on sale in Europe and other key markets around the globe. Diesels are mandatory many places outside of NA. If you recall, (officially) imported F-250 sales completely tanked when the Aussie gov banned diesel F-250s.

@Big Al so you are telling me that not only do you get to hunt and drink beer all day but you get to hunt and drink beer on payroll for 3 month stretches? You guys better not tell too many people that. It won't be desolate for long.

French truck,only French vehicles sold in America Go Renault/ Nissan

Wonder what the French Titan with a Cummins will be like.

Judging by many of the posts I have read. Many of you have NEVER taken a 4x4 is deep loose sand or wet deep mud.

Weight is NOT your friend, especial over the front axle.

I don't care if you have a Unimog, Range Rover, Jeep, or Mercedes Gelandewagen, the minute your front differential gets buried, you are DONE.

I love my Duramax Diesel, 4x4 but even when aired down to 15 psi, in deep sand or deep wet mud a much lighter weight Tacoma or Frontier will walk circles around a heavy 3/4 ton with a 1000 lb engine sitting on the front axle.

@nip Could not agree more. Ford has got a South African group to develop a 5 Litre V8 engined Global Ranger for the Dakar Rally. Although slightly shorter than the F150, it is much more capable Off Road, something the Ford Raptors are not. Previous Raptors have been pretty slow in the. Dakar this will be Ford's crack at major podium placing.

@Uncle Bud
We have it quite good with holidays. I have already used 3 and a 1/2 months of my long service and built one of my houses in that time (plus weekends).

I also have about 6 weeks annual leave, plus public holidays. Where I live we get an extra week of vacation every year.

I still have over 3 months left of long service leave, which I'll want to use prior to retirement for me at 55.

For my retirement I will want to drive around Nth, Sth America and Europe. My theme will be astronomical observatories. I have always had an interest in that.

It could be worse. I really think Australia ended up being what the US dreamed of being. I see many Americans in my job and that is more or less what they tell me. They love it here like we love going to the US.

@Uncle Bud
You can see why we can't compete with Holden's and Ford's. Cost of labour is very high. But we have a good life.

@Big Al: Did you ever live or work in the British Isles?

My wife's family migrated to Australia from working in Scotland's shipyards back in the 1960s/1970s.

Today there's only one real shipyard left on the River Clyde.


High labor costs killed that industry in Britain. Just as organized labor and environmentalists have killed the steel industry in the US and are in the process of killing coal.

Any sort of heavy industry is screwed without access to capital, reasonable wages/benefits and cheap energy.

@Lou BC, "@the real Mike - the Cummins 5.0 will be in a whole different league than the 3.0 Ecodiesel. It should be able to kill the 3.0 VM diesel and any V8 gasser out their. MPG will probably be closer to a gasser except under load where it should be superior."

Now that Fiat owns VM I am sure they are going to build more engines that can be taylor made to fit their needs.

@HEMI V8 - ever hear of Iveco?
They make a diesel very similar to the Cummins I6. I would be surprised if Fiat doesn't dump the Cummins engine for one of their own.
VM Motori makes I3 and I4 engines and V6 diesels for vehicles and up to 6 cylinder for industrial.
Iveco builds vans, commercial trucks and military vehicles. I'm sure that many of those vehicles will show up under Ram Commercial wearing Ram badges. They even make hybrids and natural gas vehicles.

It costs a lot of money to build an engine. The Cummins 5.0 V8 had been in development since 2006.

@Lou BC,
"The guys at VM are located in the high-performance automotive equivalent of the Silicon Valley, with Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Ducati close by. The design of its V-6 is intended for firing pressures up to 2,940-psi, and the engine freely revs to 5,000 rpm. VM Motori has a passion for its engine designs, and according to Gale Banks it was, “the excellence of this engine [which]convinced me that it would be a rugged basis for what I have in mind for these new Special Operations vehicles.”

@HEMI V8 Europeans don't tend to see diesel engines as automotive performance engines. Maybe for boats but not trucks. That may hurt the VM 3.0 in the Ram since people are going to expect V8 performance levels. I still see people in HD's drive them like a gasser.

I watched that video and it just seems like a bunch of marketing baloney to me.

I like Nissan, I drive a Frontier. I grew up duck hunting in south Louisiana and that was NOT gumbo mud. Those trucks with those tires wouldn't make it 25 yards in real gumbo mud. The new Titan may be a really good and capable 4x4 but there's no way to tell with this video.

Of course all the auto companies do this. They each have their little thing they claim is "best in class" but its usually for some obscure spec or build that people typically won't buy or drive.

Sold my Frontier which was a Great truck for a new Titan. No comparison. The Pro 4 x Titan even though dated somewhat, is great truck! If you think your Goats have better built motors then you are terribly mistaken and for some stupid reason,(Brand Loyal )
Some people have something against Jap built trucks that are actually employing US citizens being built in Miss. US
Sure the Titan could use a few refinements for an older truck but it still looks great today and holds its own quiet well.
Especially when you take into account the price point for a fully equipped Titan Pro 4x compared to the other Manufacturers'. The others cant come close in the price dept when equally equipped. I like all 1/2 tons for their own advantages. Each brand is pretty good overall. Just depends what you want and what your willing to spend. The Titan is well built truck with a Strong motor and you don't have to feel like your driving something everyone else is. My second choice would definitely be a Ram for its looks. Sharp looking Truck and handles well on pavement.

Amazing Video. thank you for sharing this with us.

Amazing Video. thank you for sharing this with us.

Nissan always makes good stuff.

Thanks for sharing this information.

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