With the sheets being pulled off the 2015 Ford F-150 at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show and the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon also being fully revealed, it's easy to think that all the truck news is out of the bag for the year. For the latter half of its epic decade-long model run, the Nissan Titan has all but fallen off the radar of fullsize truck shoppers and has the sales figures to reflect it. But Nissan hasn't given up on the segment, or the Titan, and is poised to re-enter the market in a major way with the 2016 Nissan Titan. We now have official confirmation from our source on the ground in Nashville that the new Titan will be officially revealed at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Besides its reveal date, we rounded up the latest intel and projections we have for the truck.
Powertrain: The current Titan has just one engine option, the same one it's had since its debut: the 5.6L Endurance V-8 mated to a five-speed automatic. We expect the new Titan to have at least three engine options: an entry-level gas V-6, an updated version of the 5.6L, and the optional 5.0L Cummins V-8 diesel that's been previously announced. Both of the gas engines will probably be mated to a version of the Jatco JR711E 7-speed automatic currently in use in the global Patrol SUV, sold in the U.S. as the Infiniti QX80. One or both of the gas engines may get direct-injection to improve power, torque, and fuel economy. There's a good chance the gas V-8 will be the VK56VD direct-injected V-8 used in the QX80. In that application, it produces 400 hp and 413 lb-ft. Stout numbers that would put it ahead of the current Tundra and ahead of all domestic half-ton V-8s save for GM's 6.2L EcoTec3 at 420 hp and 460 lb-ft.
The new base V-6 will likely be some version of the 4.0L V-6 currently used in the Frontier and Xterra, also possibly with direct-injection. We're projecting output of around 275 hp and 300 lb-ft. The Cummins ISV will likely have a horsepower rating of around 330 hp and torque between 550-600 lb-ft. The transmission for the Cummins is unknown. It could either be a beefed-up version of the JR711E or a licensed model from ZF. The ZF 8HP-series longitudinal transmissions have a torque capacity of up to 738 lb-ft, which should more than accommodate the Cummins' substantial torque.
Configurations: The current Titan is offered in King (extended) and Crew Cabs, with a long-bed option added in 2008 in a mid-cycle refresh, but it has never offered a regular cab. Regular cabs represent a relatively small slice of overall half-ton sales, but the configuration remains popular among fleet buyers looking for a low-cost, bare-bones work truck. Expect three cab configurations and as many as three bed lengths for the new Titan. Naturally, four-wheel drive will be an option, and we expect a properly geared low range, as is the class norm. Expect the normal SV and SL trims, as well as a Nismo trim and the continuation of the popular Pro-4X model.
Styling: The new Nissan Titan will be immediately recognizable for what it is, but expect bold, in-your-face styling to help it stand out among the crowd. The new truck shares a platform with the new NV-series fullsize vans, although it's unknown how much, if any, of the vans' styling will transition to the trucks.
Capability: A maximum towing capacity of 10,000 pounds has become the de-facto expected benchmark in the half-ton segment. The current Titan has a maximum capacity of 9,500 pounds, so a healthy bump above the five-figure mark for the new Titan is a safe bet. Equipped with the Cummins, expect a max towing figure of up to 12,000 pounds or more. The Titan may be the first "tweener" truck on the market that straddles the half and three-quarter ton categories.
Pricing: The Nissan Titan has always been priced competitively, but much of that has stemmed from generous rebates to move the dated model off lots against newer competitors. Pricing will probably be in line with competitors, with the base models starting in the mid-to-high 20s and fully loaded diesel crew cabs going for well into the $50,000+ range.
Sean Holman contributed to this report.