With its all-new Cummins-powered Titan XD arriving in showrooms, Nissan didn't waste any time unveiling a concept that points to future variants. The Titan Warrior, prepped for extreme off-road performance—and indicating a competitor to the Ford Raptor and Ram Rebel may be in the pipeline—made its debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show.
“The form vocabulary for the Nissan Titan truck goes back to Greek Mythology. Titans were these immortal giants with superhuman strength and endurance. Our concept Titan Warrior design [adds] more of an anatomical quality to the vehicle,” noted Randy Rodriguez, Project Lead Designer for Nissan Design, in an interview with Automotive Engineering.
Built off the 2016 Titan XD, the crew-cab Warrior concept wears radically muscular bodywork befitting the Incredible Hulk superhero. Designers and engineers stretched the production truck's 80.6-in (2047-mm) width by three inches (75 mm) on each side, and the enormous 37-in (940-mm)-tall off-road tires and suspension modifications combine to raise the stock vehicle height nearly three inches, to 81.5 in. (2070 mm). The beefy tires are mounted on 18 x 9.5-in custom aluminum alloy wheels designed to look like six oversized wrenches.
Carbon fiber composite material adorns the front and rear bumpers, front and rear fenders, the rear cab spoiler, tailgate spoilers, and the grille, according to Rodriguez. “The blended materials and laminates make it lightweight and strong, and also make it impact-absorbing because we expect that this type of vehicle would undergo a lot of [off-road] punishment,” he Rodriguez explained.
Oversized aluminum skid plates protect the powertrain for rock crawling and other off-road adventures.
“The Titan Warrior’s skid plate is at least twice as big as the production skid plate," Rodriguez noted, "and it almost becomes the [front] bumper. It feels like it locks into the grille. It’s also angled differently than the production version to make make it more protective and strong, like a mask.”
Like the production Titan, the Warrior concept has a double-wishbone front suspension and rigid axle/leaf springs in the rear. The front suspension sports a custom ·upper/ lower control arm with performance ball joints, racing-style internal bypass reservoir coil-over shocks with custom reservoir mounts, and tie-rod extensions.
According to Rodriguez, the front suspension’s upper and lower A-arms were lengthened and structurally grooved. "It’s been done in a way that makes it look like muscle tendon and muscle fiber are holding onto the wheels,” he said. “Even when we do a concept vehicle, we want it to be functional so we had a small [design and engineering] team working together to create a cohesive design story.”
The rear suspension has custom internal bypass reservoir shocks and mounts, adjusted-length prototype axles, custom sway bar, relocated sway bar brackets, rear lift blocks and U-bolts as well as hydraulic pressurized bump stops in the front and rear.
Other unique design elements on the concept truck include integrated, roof-mounted LED off-road lights, custom LED front and rear lights, and a custom quad-tipped exhaust with a machined finish.
Jose Munoz, Executive Vice President of Nissan Motor Co. and Chairman of Nissan North America, Inc. told the Detroit show media audience that the Warrior concept isn't just a design exercise. It "represents the design team’s vision of Titan’s creative potential and of Nissan’s potential in the truck market.”
The production Titan eventually will offer three cab configurations, two frame sizes, three bed lengths, three powertrains, and five trim levels. Nissan officials announced that the gasoline-fueled 5.6-L V8 that is SAE-rated at 390 hp (290 kW) and 401 lb·ft (544 N·m) will be available in Titan and Titan XD models beginning early spring 2016.