Just a month after launching the 2016 Titan XD, its first Titan refresh in more than a decade, Nissan unveiled a concept version of the pickup that is meant to scream “LET’S GO FAST IN THE DIRT.”
Whether it can do that is a completely different question. Seeing Nissan build an off-roading version of the new Titan isn’t exactly a surprise. After all, they’re running fairly stock versions of the truck in land-speed-record races as part of the truck’s ongoing development.
The Warrior concept is certainly not stock, however, at least on the outside. Though the Warrior is powered by the same Cummins 5.0-liter V8 turbo diesel as the Titan XD, it is wrapped in some pretty aggressive styling, which Nissan is calling “Modern Armor.” Here’s their explanation for that phrase: “… the design team imagined how their original TITAN design, inspired by warriors in ancient Greek mythology, might evolve to extreme levels of adventure duty.”
You can hear more from the truck’s lead designer in this video.
The signifying features of the Warrior are a 3-inch lift kit, 37-inch off-road tires on 18×9.5-inch aluminum wheels, and a modified front end that includes a beefier front bumper, fender flares, a stealthy grille and some admittedly cool LED “boomerang” headlights that form the shape of the Titan “T” logo if sitting side by side.
And while the wheelbase stays the same as the standard XD Crew Cab, the Warrior extends the truck’s width by 3 inches on each side to a total of 86.6 inches. Functioning hood vents add a more muscular look to the hoodline while carbon fiber rear cab spoiler and tailgate spoilers add some definition to the truck’s rear end.
The integrated, roof-mounted LED lights are something we’d like to see Nissan bring to the Titan XD.
As for a verdict on this concept, it rings a bit hollow. There’s a lot to like about the 2016 Titan XD. A lot. For that to be followed so closely by something that appears very much like a “me too” to the Ford Raptor – an off-roading truck with some real capability – is kind of disappointing.
Like Ram did with the Rebel, Nissan has countered Ford’s successful off-roader with a truck that has more bark than actual bite. Sure, unlike the Rebel, Nissan’s Warrior is just a concept. But it would be a real shame for them to release a truck that merely looks like an off-roader but is essentially a stock Titan XD with some big tires and hood vents.
Nissan is very much still trying to get back into the truck game. Window dressing is not the way to get there. If the Warrior goes into production, let’s hope it’s with some more substantial specs.