Nissan's Project Titan Seeks Input From Outdoor Lovers

Nissan Titan SHOT Show II

As part of a continuing series of theme-built project vehicles, Nissan just announced at the 2014 Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas that it will be looking to the outdoor-loving media to help build the ultimate outdoor adventure vehicle based on the current-generation Titan.

"Nissan is invested in designing the most innovative trucks ever. Projects like this allow us to gather input directly from industry leading media members and those companies that embrace an outdoor lifestyle in their work and play, helping us deliver trucks that buyers want to own," said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Nissan sales and marketing, parts and service in the U.S., in a statement.

More than 2,500 journalists have been asked to submit adventure suggestions for Project Titan via Twitter or video submissions; there are no restrictions on the type or scale of adventure to be conquered. Nissan will provide updates about project through Facebook and Twitter, with the final phase pairing a military veteran and outdoor journalist in the truck and sending them on their ultimate journey.

As Nissan continues the development of its next-generation full-size Titan pickup, the automaker is gathering insight from the people who know truck well. Project Titan builds on previous efforts to talk to the people who best understand what truck buyers really want.

Nissan announced early last year that the next-generation Titan will be offered with a new, optional Cummins 5.0-liter V-8 turbo-diesel. Whether that signals Nissan's desire to make stronger, heavier-duty pickups or simply offer a special towing package for its half-ton pickup remains to be seen.




You know something, RWA, you're right. Those most opposed to common sense are the ones most opposed to real progress in automotive design.

What is this person taking that he thinks America has a wide choice of pickup trucks? There's almost no choice available that isn't big, bigger or biggest. He imagines he'll get a '14 Tacoma for only $11K in less than three years. I find that unlikely. That 2010 Explorer Sport Trac no longer exists as a new model and CERTAINLY doesn't qualify as any sort of pickup truck with such a tiny open bed. Even the Hummer H2T had a bigger bed--but not by much.

Ford, GM and Ram's full size trucks are grossly too large for what most owners really do with them. Yes, some are truly used as farm, ranch or even contractor purposes, but I see almost as many with a huge exhaust stack or two sticking up through the bed or clouds of odorous black smoke rolling out from behind their back wheel... usually playing around between truck and tractor pulls. Newer ones have a hard-shell bed cover, making it impossible to use them as a truck and almost all of them are so big that a six-foot bed length looks tiny on them.
I'm actually glad to see that GM is finally bringing back something more reasonably sized. It appears Ford may follow suit sooner than expected. If they do, you can bet RAM will (if Jeep doesn't beat them to it). Still, they're only about the same size as the '90s full size--maybe a fraction smaller. If, as I'm personally hoping, the cab interior is about the same size as say, the GMC Acadia, then maybe they've found a good size for a proper full-sized truck. The ones we currently call 'full sized' are Class V sized.

Gentlemen, I incorrectly stated that my '84 Mazda B2000 SE5 sport packaged truck had a 72" box. It was really a 74.5" box. So 74.5-78" max is my ideal for a garageable crew cab (40" rear legroom) full size pickup. I remember comparing the B2000 to the Ford Ranger back then in '84, and the bigger sport mirrors, rear step bumper, sporty SE-5 side stickers, and sporty 5 spoke white rims where all standard for the $6.1k out the door price. Ford was charging extra $ for all that stuff so it made the Mazda purchase an easy decision. I grew up a Ford guy, loving all the muscle cars, but if a manufactuer doesn't make what I want, I don't have a problem buying from another, let alone putting off my purchase.

Big Al from Oz: the VW transporter van truck is interesting, but the unsporty rims, low box sides, and general van type look would need some refining for my taste. And I guess that's the kind of stuby front end I should expect if truck manufacturers ever get around to making engine compartments smaller. However, I definitely wouldn't want the cab so far forward that the engine existed in the front cab as do with vans. But stubby and aerodynamic is probably ok with me as long as it doesn't look too much like a van because stubby fits function, for my needs, unlike the huge now taller and blockier front end of the 2015 F150 which can't possibly help with mpg. Definitely looks like a F250 or semi truck kind of look. Funny I just rented a truck with a 6.2' wide VW tranporter like box to move two 10' x 6' x 4" wood platforms for a metal shed, and I couldn't picture something like that becoming my daily driver. It's just too commercial looking.

@RoadWhale™/Vulpine/DWFields/Whoever You're Calling Yourself Next - KBB has the basic 2011 Tacoma 2D, 2wd at $11,622, private party, including A/C, airbags, ABS/TC, cloth seat, CD/MP3, limited slip, etc. Basic stuff, fair condition.

The choices in small trucks is more than adequate for the small American market. No matter how many choices are offered, buyers will mostly stick to the top 3, like they do in OZ. And like full-size truck buyers do in America. They mostly stick to the top 3 OEMs.

But there's a limit on how many OEMs are willing to step up and fight for a limited niche market. So what chances do 12 other small truck OEMs have in hopes of capturing meaningful sales from Toyota, Nissan and GM? Having 15 choices would be amazing for the consumer, but not much in it for the OEMs involved.

If American full-size trucks are "grossly to large for what most owners really do with them", that's their call to make. Who are you to tell them they can't???

Most luxury cars are way too luxurious for what most consumers need for transportation. So wtf???

Free country, no???

You own a full-size truck yourself, so again, wtf???

The mentality that if one OEM provides a low margin/profit vehicle for a small limited market (GM midsizer twins), their biggest competitors must follow suit, is the old way of thinking. It doesn't work anymore.

It's time for more intelligent thinking. The most popular fast food joint in my town focuses on the greatest burgers, fries, shakes plus fountain drinks. Nothing else. If you what a grinder, taco, burrito, chimichanga, go somewhere else. Still the line at the counter is out-the-door and into the parking lot, at lunch everyday. The drive-thru line is out to the the street and around the corner. Ask them why they don't offer anything else on the menu...

What was this article about again? I'm lost in these comments


Topic? Good question. I think many of our discussions at this site involve new products, stronger products, and better fuel economy. The intersection of government regulations, product development and greener trucks/cars has been a busy spot in recent years and it's become very political, which is not always a good thing, but it can be fun to talk about.

The original topic relates to Nissan's attempts to remain competitive with trucks, despite the fact that their products in North America, particularly the US are not very competitive.

Hello Nissan,
My ultimate truck:
1) 4 or 6 cyl diesel engine with 400+ lb ft of torque is plenty and will get good fuel mileage. Plus there are so many things one can do with a diesel engine to get more power and or better fuel economy. Usually diesel engines always get better mileage than advertised Especially if driven conservative.
Gas engines usually get worse fuel economy than advertised and it doesnt matter it one drives conservatively or not to better whats on the window sticker.
2) With thise V-6 or 4 cyl diesel engine you can have more room in the cab. 39-40 inches of rear leg room in a crew cab is enough than one can get a crew cab with a 6.5 ft or 7 ft bed.
3) flat load floor under rear seats
4) Center console, have plenty of plugs min 400Watt 120Volt plug, sd card reader, min 3-4 usb ports
5) in Center console a long slot to hold smart phones and or tablets chevy has a good handle on this and the 2014 tundra
6) if bench seat up front have a removable center console one can mount on floor in center seat with 4 & 5 from above
7) one big back window that slides down like in crewmax tundra.
8) removable under seat storage front and rear. slide trays in front. removable storage in rear
Bed solutions:
9) utili-trak is awesome keep that
10) ram box or other forms of storage to utilize the empty space in front and back of wheel wells
11) removable ramps that either slide under bed or can be mounted in bed at wheel well wall area.
12) 120 volt , usb and or 12volt plugs in bed.
13) led lighting in bed
14) Nice factory hard tri-fold tonneau cover that can be quickly removed and stored.
15) Airbags in rear for load leveling and compressor to air up tires and or use air tools.
16) airbags or air shocks in front and rear to raise vehicle if needing for off roading.
17) Trailer brake controller
18) removeable crane and or winch to mount at either front or rear bumper or too lift or pull things into the bed of the truck.
19) receiver hitch at front bumper
20) Cameras in front and rear
21) 120volt plug under the hood or at the grill.
22) quick ladder rack that could support 300-500 lbs.
23) reinforce roof to help carry the load on the bed rack and roof, like the lowered center portion in ford atlas concept.
24) mounting points, threaded well nuts in roof at rain gutter to mount accessories roof rack, led lighting etc.
25) front and rear differential lockers switch controlled.
26) rear bumper pockets at corned like on 2014 chevy silverado to put your foot when climbing into the bed.
27) slide out foot rest in front of rear wheel like on ford f150 to aid getting into the front of the bed.
28) bed depth at least 28 inches
29) removable tool box that mounts on utili-trak but will not interfere with hard tonneau cover.
30) all interior lighting led and plenty of lighting to see.
31) In front door panels at least 2 tier shelving, top at least 4 inches deep for gloves rags etc. Bottom at least 6 " deep and minimum two water bottle holders and removable dividers. back doors similar storage in door panels or at least one deep storage area.
32) little storage door in front and rear upper door panels as in 2007-2013 tundra, that little storage door compartment is perfect for keys, credit cards, business cards etc. the 2014 tundra deleted that compartment and with the other changes they have made not happy with the 2014 tundra.
33) put some steel in the body panels so they are not paper thin and flex if one is washing the roof or side panels.
34) sound insulate the entire cab
35) Install some real bumpers not plastic and sheet metal covers.
36) square cab for enough headroom. I know the windshield needs to be angled but dont angle the side and back windows that removes head room. ITs a truck not a sports sedan !

Cmon Nissan, lets see if you listen to customers.

I would be willing to buy the above truck.
I am tired of buying a truck then making all the changes mentioned above. would be nice just to be able to buy it and be done and be able to get back to work and fun.
but if your just going to have a gas guzzler engine and a mega powerful diesel that cost the same in fuel as the gas guzzler will drive the wheels off my 2010 tundra.

YOU MUST START WITH A FUEL EFFICIENT ENGINE like a 4-6 cyl diesel 350-400 lb ft of torque is plenty. WE NEED FUEL EFFICIENCY !!!!!

If I have to have two vehicles to get good fuel efficiency than will but a beater truck and a 40- 50mpg hatch back or wagon.


Great list, but you did not say why fuel efficiency is so important. If you won the lottery next week, and became a millionaire, would you still care so much about FE?

Fuel costs have been pretty flat the last few years. 2008 was ugly but since 2010 it's been tolerable.

With some changes in Washington we could see some real improvements in fuel costs and availability. What do you think.

Again, really liked your list of options!

No amount of truck engineering can fix Washington.

@papa jim--Let's get back to the topics of trucks. Most of us on this site are far from being millionaires so fuel costs along with maintenance costs are a consideration. Cmon has a nice list of options and Nissan should consider them.

@DM: So you're going to put a 17/18 year old girl into what is probably the most Unsafe class of vehicle possible in snowy/icy conditions such are common in Denver during the winter. A 2-wheel, RWD pickup truck with no weight over the drive wheels and very probably no limited-slip or electric lockers to even help hold that tail behind the nose. Do you REALLY expect me to believe that? Hmmm?

Why is it that insurance companies rate young women between 16-24 years as the highest risk in the industry? Then you're going to put her behind the wheel of a vehicle that really needs an experienced driver to handle? At a MINIMUM she needs 4x4 and some way to put about 300 pounds over that rear axle in snow and ice; more weight would be even better. Yet again you prove you have no understanding of any discussion you enter.

As I stated, currently there is almost NO choice in less-than-full-size pickup trucks. Even considering all the arguments for them, nearly every PUTC shootout proves they're far behind the competition--especially when compared to "Global" models available in the rest of the world. Why should Americans, who seemingly have some of the most stringent safety laws in the world when it comes to vehicles, have to settle for two of the worst examples. Even Toyota builds a better model--for sale in other countries. And why, when Ford alone offers EIGHT different trim levels for the F-series and the other full-size brands make an additional twelve to sixteen models, should we be limited to a total of eight different trims on only TWO brands of smaller truck. We effectively have a choice of over 25 full sized trucks to what... eight midsize trucks? You call that choice? Just because YOU don't like midsize trucks (and don't even TRY to buffalo us with your "I don't hate midsizers" argument--you've made it quite clear over the last three years how much you hate them on this board alone) doesn't mean nobody else likes them. The reasons they died have been discussed on these very boards over and over again and you simply refuse to even accept that your opinion isn't the only one. We Need More Choice and at least some people that are currently driving compact SUVs would much rather have a downsized pickup truck instead. One smaller even than the Colorado.

"So what chances do 12 other small truck OEMs have in hopes of capturing meaningful sales from Toyota, Nissan and GM?" If they offer a smaller truck that still meets safety standards AND offers better economy, they could well steal 2/3rds of those three brands' mid-size truck sales. But we won't know until they try, now will we? We can guess, and we already know what YOUR guess is, but I believe you're wrong--as usual.

"If American full-size trucks are "grossly to large for what most owners really do with them", that's their call to make. Who are you to tell them they can't???" I don't. I acknowledge that there are those who WANT that big. On the other hand, you flat refuse to believe there are enough people who WANT a smaller truck that you essentially insist they shouldn't even be given the opportunity. Again, you've been doing this for years.

"You own a full-size truck yourself, so again, wtf???"
Did I ever say I WANTED that big thing? No. I said I had a NEED for a truck that could carry 8-foot-long tables and I needed fast and cheap. I only paid $2500 for that F-150 and had to spend another $1800 just to make it legal to register. I got lucky in that it wasn't all rusted out--heck, the body is in remarkable condition--as is the bed. It's still far too big for my needs and wants. Hey, if you want to pick up a decent antique for a good price, I'll sell it to you for $7500 cash. You pay for shipping or pick it up yourself. I'll use the cash as a down payment on what I really want.

"The mentality that if one OEM provides a low margin/profit vehicle for a small limited market (GM midsizer twins), their biggest competitors must follow suit, is the old way of thinking. It doesn't work anymore."
By that statement, you're going to be VERY surprised when Ford does follow suit and even more surprised if Ram/Jeep follow as well. Just as the market supposedly shifted away from compact trucks in the '80s, I really believe we're going to see a reverse trend and with the new GM twins I believe it has already started. Americans want American trucks--but they want SMALLER American trucks. I personally believe Ford has peaked with the '13 F-series, but the '14s might go a little higher. I expect to see a pretty sharp drop on the '15s however, as the typical price of the F-series is really getting out of hand. I "build and priced" a '14 XLT Lariat last night at $42K for an extended cab with only a few extra options--pushing a monthly payment (financed) over $650/month. Not many people can afford that on a $50K annual salary. Those luxury editions may not sell as well as they have because the only trucks they can afford are the "strippers", as you call them.

Even dropping $7K for a mid-sized equivalent--especially if it gets better economy--could mean the difference between someone buying full-size vs mid-size. But I really expect the price differential to be a bit wider when a more conventional build costs less than all the exotic metals used in the new Ford.

" The most popular fast food joint in my town focuses on the greatest burgers, fries, shakes plus fountain drinks."
The most popular fast food joint in almost every other village, town or city focuses on fast and cheap. McDonalds is still the most popular fast food restaurant in the world. Paying a little more can get you a much better flavor and even better quality food, but if that place is too expensive, they're not going to sell all that many of them. There's one place I go that sells a "to die for" hamburger for 12 bucks--made from the best possible beef and all the best ingredients. It is by no means the most popular burger joint in town.

@cmon: Some of the items on your wish list are totally impractical. If you need more bed depth, add some side panels to raise it. Thirty inches makes it effectively impossible to reach anything on the bed floor from the sides, even WITH Ford's side step thingy. Other items on your list are just as unusable by the average owner.

Certainly I would seriously consider avoiding any truck with that full list, even if it was smaller than a current full-size.

@RoadWhale™ - She lives in Los Angeles and will go to college in San Diego. E-locker and TC is standard on Tacomas. So is cloth seats and CD/MP3.

Why would myself or ANYONE hate mid-size trucks? That's beyond ridiculous. If I prefer apple pie, like most Americans, would that automatically mean I hate all other, less popular pies? Lame... I might correct some ignorance around here, and clear up some misconceptions here or there, but you're totally jumping to conclusions without anything to base it on.

Yes I love small trucks. And I love small sporty cars too. But I have never, and will never buy either of them new. Lots of Americans love these too, and choices are limited because we're not into buying them new. Or as a primary vehicle. Buying these as 2nd cars, means buying them 2nd hand. OEMs don't love this.

Consumers were given lots of small truck choices, but moved on to better choices and concepts. You have to remember American consumers were never naturally drawn to small trucks. Americans were basically forced to buy them. Times have changed is all. The '80s mini-truck craze was driven by cut-rate pricing, fear of another oil embargo and CAFE. And lack of better choices at the time.
It was a popular trend, but it couldn't last forever... Not like disco FEVER!!!

To bad about your limited choices, but try writing letters and e-mail the OEMs. Honestly, they're not going to go ballz-out to please a market that doesn't give back. Small trucks are the 'red-headed step child' of the American car market.

But it was the American consumers that abandoned the small truck market, so then the small truck OEMs had no choice but to abandoned America, for the most part. Only the strong survived. The weakest OEMs (or truck lines) were the 1st to jump ship. And too many fleet, cheapskates and other rebate demanding bottom feeders, seeking the lowest common denominator of trucks, helps kill the deal for small truck OEMs. They can only take so much abuse.

The compact roadster market is also limited on consumer demand, so don't expect more than 2 or 3 OEM in that segment either. And not too many trim levels or engines.

Too bad so sad. But I've done my part to support full-size truck lines and keep them going strong. So has Lou_BC. You have too. But you've done absolutely nothing to keep small truck choices coming. You vote for what's going to be on the menu, 3 times a day. If you've never bought rhubarb pie, don't be all surprised, and angry if it's hard to find when you finally want some.

Trucks, big or small, ride like crap compared to SUVs. Global truck ride worse. Stiff leaf springs, solid axles, etc. Don't expect too many happy mid-size SUV owners to leave the segment, given lots more small truck choices. Or give up seating for up to 7, AWD, rear hatch and other wagon conveniences or luxury.

You don't need the size, capacity of a full-size truck, but you need the luxury of a Lariat? You would bring the price down by a 3rd or more, with a super cab STX, after rebates. That puts it into range with a crew cab mid-size with similar equipment, after rebates. And there's no real reason to believe an aluminum body will severely jack up the price. That would be a poor move on Ford's part. The little bit of difference could easily be made up over the entire generation of the truck, as the tech/process gets cheaper, on the already most profitable line of cars in the world (F-series).

The burger chain I'm talking about stresses "fresh" never frozen. Potatoes are sliced on the spot and the beef was mooing hours earlier. They're successful because sticking to a simple menu keeps the overhead low and they pass on the savings to the consumers. The burgers/meals cost less than McDonald's (and taste 1,000% better), that's why they're 10X busier at peak hours, than any other fast food around. McDonald's does make more revenue because they serve breakfast and food comes in frozen from the cheapest possible vendors. And McD's pays their employees squat.

You don't have to please everyone. When you attempt to do that, you end up fully satisfying NO ONE.

@Jeff S

If FE is such a big deal, why? Isn't it about the bleeping money?

@papa jim--You are too worried about things. Chill out and have some brew. Save enough beer cans and you can recycle them into a 2015 F-150. What will be will be.

How about a truck with TRUE 4x4 for once! 99% of "4x4" trucks sold nowadays are actually 4x2, which means 4 wheels are connected to the engine, but only 2 wheels drive at once. I'm tired of pulling off the road, having my right side in the snow or ice, left side on the asphalt, and being stuck because only the right side spins!!! Let's stop with the open differentials and get some electronic lockers or limited slip rearends again!

After that, all I would ask for is more skidplates. Many of us take these trucks through the woods to get a deer, over corn stalks to pick up things from the back of the field, through snow drifts, etc. This may sound strange to city people, but many farmers and coutnry people do this on a weekly basis. I can't tell you how many times I've ripped a wire off from a small branch that slid under the truck, or had to pull over because a snow drift ended up grounding out electrical connectors or "shocking" the alternator so it wouldn't charge for a minute or two. Please provide more protection for these kind of things!

Just really really tired of waiting for Nissan to get it right. Take the best out of GMC Ford Toyota and yes even the goat truck.With NO OLD TECH., The wish list (trackable LED or HD/headlights, built in brake controller & command start, direct fuel injection V8 mated with a 7 speed trany, heated/AC 10 way adjustable air ride seats, 360 cams, bluetooth command & control/entertainment centre, 2 120 volt plugs, multi/power points (4) a suspension system that blows the raptor out of the water and can haul 1500lb and tow a trailer just under 10000lb. I would pay for this

D.C. Graves Co. This website deals with platform trucks. Does anyone know if they are the best resource for platform trucks? I was looking for a site that has had a lot of real user activity or stats to back up what they do.

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