The next-generation Navara and Triton are being developed side-by-side.
A new report from Australian publication Drive suggests that the all-new Nissan Navara will be introduced by the end of 2024, which might significantly impact the Frontier's off-road ability.
In case you're not aware, the Navara is closely related to the midsize Nissan Frontier we get in the US. They run on the same platform, but that's about as much as the two cars currently have in common. The Australian and Asian version is built in Thailand, while the US model is made in Canton, Mississippi.
The current Navara is in its third generation, which we completely skipped over in the USA. Nissan USA stuck with the second-gen-Navara-based Frontier until 2021, when it skipped a few generations ahead with the 2022 Frontier, which is no longer associated with the Navara.
The big news is that the new Navara will be based on the all-new Mitsubishi Triton. Per the Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi Alliance that was just renewed, one manufacturer takes charge of a new car, and the other two manufacturers borrow the design, helping reduce costs for all.
Putting Mitsubishi in charge of the new midsize truck is a brilliant idea because it grants access to a key piece of technology. And it's not the 2.4-liter single-turbo four-pot diesel as used in the current Triton. In fact, Asian markets will likely continue to use Nissan's 2.3-liter twin-turbocharged four-pot diesel. The big differences will be made apparent off-road.
Neither of these engines will come to the USA because we prefer gas power. The previous-generation Frontier received a new 3.8-liter V6 near the end of its life, and it was carried over to the 2022 model.
Since the current Frontier will be due for a facelift as this new Asian model arrives, we're hoping one of the key upgrades might come this way.
The piece of hardware we're interested in is Mitsubishi's Super Select II four-wheel-drive system, which would give the Frontier a massive advantage in the midsize truck segment. Across the board, all the Frontier and its rivals are equipped with a part-time 4WD system.
These systems are cheap but effective. Unfortunately, you can't use 4H on a hard surface because it usually results in drivetrain windup due to the locked center differential. The 4H mode can only be used on slippery surfaces to prevent axle binding.
Super Select II has 4H and 4H with a locked center differential. That means you can use 4H whenever you want without worrying about damaging the 4WD system. It's beneficial in rainy conditions and for extra traction when towing.
The Frontier made a significant departure from the Navara in the USA, but the platform remains the same. Nissan added some reinforcement, which is an excellent place to start with this supposed new model. We're hoping that Mitsubishi uses the existing platform revamped by Nissan, incorporates Super Select, and makes it the default optional 4WD system for the American market.
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