The 2005 Nissan NISMO Frontier, the first-ever NISMO branded Nissan vehicle in North America, represents the highest level of factory off-road performance available in the new, more powerful 2005 Nissan Frontier. Early in the development process, Nissan and NISMO, Nissan’s official motorsports arm, discussed the opportunity to offer a specialized model purpose-built for off-road adventure. The NISMO Frontier includes an extensive list of performance-oriented parts, including off-road tuned Bilstein? performance shocks, skid plates, unique 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with aggressive P265/75R16 BFGoodrich Rugged Trail T/A off-road tires and electronic locking rear differential.
The NISMO Frontier model went on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in December 2004, along with the Frontier King Cab XE, SE and LE and Crew Cab SE and LE models. The NISMO Off-Road model is offered in both King Cab and Crew Cab body configurations and in 4WD and 2WD.
“Nissan has a long, highly successful history of racing trucks, from the famous Baja racing trucks of the ‘70s and ‘80s, to today’s Paris-Dakar and Championship Off-Road Racing (CORR) Frontier team,” said Mark McNabb, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. “As fitting for a truck carrying the NISMO name, this special model is the ultimate off-road Frontier.”
The NISMO Off-Road model differs from the other 2005 Frontier models in a number of performance areas, including special off-road suspension tuning and a collection of unique-to-the-model electronic traction control systems. It includes 4-wheel limited slip for 4WD models and 2-wheel limited slip for 2WD models, which helps redirect engine torque to the non-slipping drive wheel on low traction surfaces. A new Hill Descent Control (HDC) helps maintain a low speed on steep downhills without the constant application of the brake pedal. HDC must be engaged by the driver (via a switch) and operates when the transfer case is in 4HI or 4LO (it works in both forward and reverse). It can be activated at speeds up to 31 mph in 4HI and 15 mph in 4LO.
Hill Start Assist (HSA) allows the driver to stop on an incline, release the brake pedal and avoid rolling back for up to two seconds while the driver shifts their foot to the accelerator pedal for a smooth, controlled start. HSA is available in 4HI and 4LO. HSA is designed for rugged, low-speed off-road driving situations. An electronic locking rear differential is also standard on both 4WD and 2WD models. The NISMO Frontier’s suspension also includes off-road tuned high performance Bilstein gas shock absorbers.
All NISMO Off-Road models are equipped with the new Frontier’s powerful 4.0-liter 24-valve, DOHC V6 producing 265 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque, giving it the most horsepower of any mid-size truck. These figures represent increases of 85 horsepower and 82 lb-ft of torque over those of the previous generation Frontier’s normally aspirated 3.3-liter V6 engine.
The new 4.0-liter V6 is based on the award-winning Nissan VQ engine series used in the 350Z, Maxima, Altima, Murano and Quest. The engine is specifically tuned for the unique demands of truck use, while at the same time offering excellent fuel efficiency, smooth operation, exceptional acceleration, towing capacity and all-around off-road ability. The NISMO Frontier also offers the Nissan Direct Ignition System (NDIS).
“This new V6, in modified form, has already been competition-tested in this year’s Paris-Dakar Rally Nissan race truck – so its power and durability are unquestioned,” said McNabb. “When you add in the new platform shared with the rugged full-size Nissan Titan and the NISMO-spec off-road tuned suspension, the NISMO Off-Road Frontier is a true performer off-road and on.”
Along with its modern, rugged styling, it shares a number of significant features with the Titan, including its Titan-based all-steel F-Alpha platform and steel double-wishbone front suspension and solid axle rear suspension with over-slung leaf springs and a long suspension stroke for optimized off-road dynamics. The new Frontier also offers the innovative factory-applied spray-in bedliner and the Utili-track bed channel tie-down system first available on Titan.
The 2005 Frontier's wheelbase is 9.8 inches longer than the previous Frontier, which helps enhance ride comfort and stability. The overall length of 205.5 inches is larger than the previous model (+2.6 inches King Cab, + 5.6 inches Crew Cab), though it remains a perfect "activity size" for buyers who don't need a true full-size pickup. Width and height measurements are also increased with the new design.
The NISMO Frontier is offered with a choice of transmissions – an advanced 5-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission. The 4WD models include a shift-on-the-fly system with 2WD/4H/4LO modes with an electronically controlled part-time transfer case.
The Frontier’s maximum towing capacity is rated up to 6,500 pounds (when properly equipped). Frontier also offers standard power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering and 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).
As with Titan, Nissan’s designers wanted to create a bolder, more expressive, more adventurous exterior. They also wanted the exterior to be clearly identified as a Nissan, utilizing signature Nissan truck themes, including a chrome, angled strut grille, chrome bumpers, short front and rear overhangs and large geometric stamped steel fender flares.
All 2005 Frontier interiors combine outstanding functionality with comfort and intelligent design. Both the Frontier King Cab and Frontier Crew Cab feature large rear doors (rear hinged on King Cab) for easy access to the rear seating and cargo area. The Frontier King Cab features flip-up rear seats and both cab styles offer new solutions to cab storage and flexibility. The NISMO Frontier offers unique interior colors (Blue and Charcoal) that are not available on other Frontier models.
The NISMO Frontier, like all 2005 models, also includes a long list of safety equipment, including Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones, Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) (which includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors and a front passenger occupant classification sensor), 3-point front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, available supplemental front-seat side-impact air bags and roof-mounted supplemental curtain air bags for side impact and rollover protection for front and rear outboard passengers.
The 2005 Frontier, like the previous generations, is assembled at Nissan's manufacturing facility in Smyrna and Decherd, Tennessee.
NISMO celebrated its 20th year of operation in 2004 and modified its logo as part of the group’s anniversary activities. Additional information on NISMO parts and accessories can be found at www.nissanusa.com/nismo.