The current generation Nissan Frontier is something of an immortal figure in the pickup segment. Drawing comparisons to the ancient knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the Frontier has soldiered on in its current form since 2004. A recent update gave the Frontier a new engine and transmission, but there was no denying that the bare bones of this long in the tooth truck dated back to the Bush administration. Thankfully, big changes are coming for this reliable workhorse, and while the company is not ready to formally reveal the new model just yet, Nissan’s Mexican division has perhaps given us are most compelling glimpse yet of the new Frontier.
First spotted by the folks at Motor1 the image in question appears part way through a video that was released by Nissan of Mexico. The video was supposed to be about the Frontier’s international market variant, but the sketch that’s visible midway through appears to show that both markets will have very different offerings. For instance, the sketch appears to show a more upscale direction for the U.S. spec Frontier, with greater amounts of chrome, new square shaped headlights, and the elimination of the U-shaped grille insert that used to define past Nissan models.
We suspect the rear fascia will also adopt a much more muscular persona, but sadly, we don’t get to see that angle of the truck this time around. Further adding credibility to this is that the sketch also lines up with some recent spy photos that have been making there way around the internet especially in relation to the basic shape of the front grille.
These styling upgrades will allow the Frontier to make up large amounts of ground as it tries to be a viable contender against segment benchmarks like the Toyota Tacoma as well as the Chevrolet Colorado. The 3.8 liter V6 and nine-speed automatic transmission used in the current Frontier also serve as a compelling preview of the performance that will greet buyers when they take the 2021 Frontier out for a drive. The spunky V6 makes 310 horsepower, and was designed to give the truck better fuel economy too. As such, we suspect that the slow selling manual transmission will not make the jump to the model, and it will be an automatic only experience. That’s a shame, but understandable as the demand for manual transmissions continues to tumble.
Look for Nissan to possibly unveil the truck towards the end of the year, with the first sales taking place in early 2021. Pricing information should be released by then too, and we hope that the figures for each member of the trim ladder does not deviate too far away from the current generation Frontier.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.