Last fall, Nissan unveiled the redesigned 2020 TITAN and TITAN XD with the hope that its $300 million investment would finally allow it to gain market shares in the heavily Americanized full-size pickup segment.
The TITAN’s upgraded powertrain and overall dynamics impressed us during our first drive in November. However, we felt the truck still lagged behind the competition in terms of sophistication and didn’t have the game-changing technologies to really stand out. The limited selection of configurations and options also was a letdown.
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Clearly, the PRO-4X model is the most interesting of the bunch, especially off the road. It proves robust with both the suspension and differential doing impeccable work. On the flip side, you only have the two-speed transfer case to play with. There are no drive modes to select, like Sand, Mud, Snow or whatever.
But there is new light on the horizon! Could Nissan actually set its sights on the Ford F-150 Raptor?
"Absolutely. There's an opportunity to do a bit more than PRO-4X,” Nissan's director of light commercial vehicles for North America, Tiago Castro, told CarBuzz last week at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show.
Unsurprisingly, he added that Nissan was focusing on the PRO-4X at this point.
That truck houses the same direct-injected, 5.6-litre V8 engine (400 hp, 413 lb.-ft.) as the others, but adds front tow hooks, Bilstein monotube off-road shocks, hill descent control and an electronic locking rear differential. It can also be equipped with 275/70/R18 off-road tires, dark-finish alloy wheels and a radiator skid plate.
Whatever Nissan decides to do, the F-150 Raptor will start to feel the heat pretty soon. FCA will finally launch its Hellcat-powered Ram Rebel TRX this year and General Motors is reportedly preparing a Chevy Silverado ZRX with more muscle and capability than the current Trail Boss.