The V6 has been a boon to Ford F-150 sales, so will the move work for Nissan?
With a lack of demand giving Nissan reason to worry about losing the large sum of cash it invested in building the Titan, something has to be done. One reason the half-ton truck could be seeing low sales is the lack of engine options. With only a gasoline V8 and a Cummins diesel, there's space for new power plants to say the least. To solve that, Nissan promised to give the Titan a V6 power plant at an undisclosed date in the future, but an interview conducted by Wards Auto gives us an idea of when we can expect that to happen.
According to Michael Bruce, Senior VP of product planning for Nissan North America, we can likely expect the V6 engine to debut in a brand new version of the Frontier in 2018 before it makes its way under the hood of the Titan. “A new Frontier (small pickup) is on its way, and a V-6 is more geared toward that segment,” says Bruce. “Both (the Frontier and Titan) are built in the same plant in Mississippi, so that opportunity is being looked at for Titan also.” Though Bruce couldn’t confirm that order of release, he said Nissan would be “moving in that direction.” That still leaves a myriad of questions left unanswered, such as what kind of V6 will be the one Nissan chooses?
Nissan previously told Wards Auto that it was looking into a turbocharged setup, similar to the EcoBoost V6 engines Ford sells with the F-150, but Nissan seems to have a penchant for sticking with naturally-aspirated units while the rest of the industry moves to downsized and turbocharged units. Nissan does, however, have a compelling case in favor of a turbocharged V6. Sales of EcoBoost F-150s are high and if Nissan wants the Titan to sell any better, it would benefit to pay attention to what America’s most popular truck seller is doing. For the time being, the V6 could usher in a new wave of interest, especially from the commercial sector.
“You know our dealers see opportunities (with a V-6), particularly for the work-truck application,” says Bunce. “They don’t need the V-8.” There’s no way a V6 alone will turn the tide and make the Titan compete sale for sale with its American counterparts, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as it helps Nissan exceed its 10% share of the US market, expect the Titan to trudge forward.