It's doubtful this will help Nissan sell any more Titans, though.
While America's truck makers continue to rake in huge profits due to the enduring popularity of the full-size pickup truck, a new war is cropping up in the mid-size truck segment. Toyota and GM have ruled that market for years with the Tacoma and Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon, but Ford and Jeep have recently come to the table with the new Ranger and Gladiator while Ram and even Volkswagen have signaled they may enter the market with mid-size trucks of their own.
But there's one player that has both a full-size and mid-size truck available, yet has still found a way to lag behind the competition in the sales battle. That would be Nissan, which sells the full-size Titan and mid-size Frontier.
The Frontier and Titan came in 8th and 9th place in the sales race this past March, meaning that Nissan is trying its best to push both trucks as hard as it can. That's why the Japanese automaker has just donated a custom built "Ultimate Parks Titan" to the Grand Canyon Service Conservancy through its partnership with the National Park Foundation.
The truck will be on display at the Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, AZ over the weekend of May 17-19 along with its Frontier sibling before being put into service helping the Arizona Conservation Corps maintain trails and park infrastructure and assisting the organization's Canyon Field School, which offers opportunities for kids to experience the Grand Canyon. Given the region's unique terrain, Nissan had to modify its donor Titan to help it traverse the canyon, which has areas so rugged they can only be crossed with mules.
The donor truck starts its life as a gasoline Titan XD, which packs Nissan's 5.6-liter V8 making 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque. The Titan XD is aided by a four-wheel drive system with an electronic locking rear differential, Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist, and a Brake Limited-Slip Differential. In order for the Titan XD to climb the Grand Canyon's boulder-filled terrain, Nissan equipped it with an ICON 3-inch suspension lift kit and Hellwig Air Suspension, AMP BedSteps to make climbing into the taller cabin easy, and 35-inch Nitto Trail Grappler tires mounted on Method 701 Trail Series wheels.
In case you were wondering why Nissan didn't donate the Cummins diesel-powered Titan XD for better range, it's because the company completely revamped the Ultimate Parks Titan with an extended frame that accommodates a bed by CM Truck Beds, which itself holds a 55 gallon fuel tank, a RotopaX fuel cell, locking compartments, storage bins, equipment racks, tie-downs, and fender flares for good measure.
A glance inside the bed reveals a Miller EnPak welder and an air compressor and generator. To further assist getting over impassable terrain, Nissan also added a WARN Industries ZEON Platinum 12-S Winch, Baja Designs worksite lighting, and an Addictive Desert Designs HoneyBadger front bumper. As if that wasn't enough, Nissan threw in a Black Series Camper off-road trailer outfitted with a CargoGlide bed slide, Leitner Designs bed rack, Rhino Rack Batwing awning, and CVT hard shell tent before wrapping the entire package in a full body wrap. We're sure the Grand Canyon Service Conservancy will enjoy the truck, but will visitors to the canyon appreciate the Titan? Probably not, at least if you're looking at the sales data.