Frontier Diesel Runner pickup

With all the interest in diesel pickups, along comes Nissan with a midsize Frontier made in partnership with diesel engine maker Cummins Inc.

USA Today reported that the Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins, unveiled at the at the Chicago Auto Show, has a 2.8-liter, four-cylinder diesel engine producing nearly 200 horsepower and more than 350 pounds-feet of torque. Paired with an eight-speed transmission, it gets 35% better fuel economy than a V-6-powered two-wheel drive 2014 Frontier.

Nissan is calling it a “project truck” meant to “gauge the market reaction,” but, according to USA Today, it’s a good bet for production. Ram has already introduced a small, Italian-made diesel into its full-size 1500 pickup with great fanfare and only yesterday touted its longstanding relationship with Cummins when it comes to diesels in its heavy-duty lineup, where buyers opt for it in 85% of the sales.

The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins comes six months as the two makers prepare to launch a full-size Titan pickup with a 5-liter turbo-diesel V-8 in the next-generation Titan full-size pickup. It’s coming next year.

“Nissan has always valued the mid-size pickup segment, and with this technical study project, we are looking to explore what is possible for the next-generation Frontier,” says Fred Diaz, a Nissan senior vice president. “We are always looking for ways to engage our customers.”

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