An all-new Nissan Titan pickup truck could debut in spring 2014 as a 2015 model, according to a new report from Reuters. The report comes after Nissan itself confirmed that a new pickup truck is under development, although the automaker declined to cite a specific on-sale date.
The Nissan Titan is the oldest full-size pickup on the market today. It hasn't been significantly updated since its launch in 2003, even though nearly all its competitors have been redesigned in recent years. The Ram 1500 added more luxurious features like self-leveling air suspension and real wood interior trim, the Ford F-150 gained a thrifty EcoBoost V-6 engine, and General Motors completely revamped the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra twins for 2014. Even the ageing Toyota Tundra will receive some mild tweaks for the 2014 model year.
The Titan's age is one of many factors hurting its success: the current model (pictured) sold just 21,576 units last year, even though American drivers bought about 1.6 million full-size trucks.
Nissan Americas vice president of product planning Pierre Loing says his company recognizes the need for a new pickup truck, and confirms engineers in Michigan, Arizona, and Tennessee are developing the new model. He says it "will expand Titan's appeal to a broader spectrum of truck buyers, including the all-important skilled trades-buyers. Our new truck will be filled with Nissan innovation and expertise without compromise."
"Our truck engineers and designers have very clear marching orders," Loing said in a statement. "Deliver a winner. Nothing is off the table… They know the stakes."
Reuters reports that at least two new versions of the Nissan Titan may arrive next year. First, the truck may add a V-6 engine for improved fuel economy; it currently has only a 317-hp, 5.6-liter V-8. Second, the new Titan may be offered with a two-door cab; today's model has either a Crew Cab with four doors or a King Cab with rear half doors.
Nissan had hoped to have a new Titan on the market by now, but it was delayed due to a failed technical partnership. Originally, Nissan had teamed up with Chrysler to co-develop a new model that would be based on the Ram 1500 (then called the Dodge Ram). But Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy battle caused the two companies to dissolve their partnership -- forcing Nissan to start developing a new truck from the ground up .Worse still, disruptions in Japan caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami forced Nissan to further delay work on the new Titan.
Based on the rumored introduction date, we could see the 2015 Nissan Titan bow at next year's New York auto show.
Sources: Reuters, Nissan