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Nissans Heritage of Truck Innovation Continues with 2003 Frontier Offers Two Segment Firsts

Following the 2002 introduction of the Frontier Crew Cab Long Bed, which gives Frontier the longest bed in the compact crew cab class, Nissan's heritage of truck innovation continues in 2003 with over a dozen enhancements, including two segment firsts - available Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and tire pressure monitor system. Other enhancements for 2003 include the addition of 10 horsepower to all normally aspirated V6 models, a new 16-inch six-spoke wheel design, two new exterior colors and the addition of a Supercharged Value Edition (SVE).

Coming off back-to-back years of segment firsts, the Frontier continues its three-peat in 2003 and re-writes the compact truck class yet again, said Bill Kirrane, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. With over a dozen enhancements, including two segment firsts, Nissans truck lineup remains the leader in the competitive compact truck segment.

A History of Leadership in the Compact Truck Segment

The 2003 Frontier is the latest in Nissans innovative truck history, which includes the first compact pickup in the U.S. (1959), the first half-ton compact pickup (1969), the first extended cab body with the King Cab (1977), the first import brand compact truck assembled in the U.S. (1983), the first compact truck sold in the U.S. with four full-size forward hinged doors (2000), the first factory-installed supercharger in a compact truck (2001) and the first crew cab compact truck with over six feet of bed (2002).

Available on 2003 Frontier 4x4s are Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System and a tire pressure monitor system. VDC is a system that controls brake pressure and engine torque automatically in understeer, oversteer or slippery road surface situations. Using steering sensors, g-sensors, wheel speed sensors, brake pressure sensors and more, VDC can control individual wheel brake pressure or rear wheel power to help improve vehicle stability in adverse driving conditions. The tire pressure monitor system uses sensors to monitor all four tires. A warning light appears if any of the four tires falls below the recommended air pressure.

An Abundance of Power

When it comes to power, the Frontier stands up strong. The Frontier muscles into the 2003 lineup with the addition of 10 horsepower and two lb-ft torque to all normally aspirated V6 models. The 3.3-liter SOHC V6 now rates at 180 horsepower and 202 lb-ft torque. In addition, Nissans engineers improved the overall fuel efficiency of the power plant by delivering one mile per gallon on all normally aspirated V6 models.

More power was made available in 2001 with the addition of a new factory-installed supercharged version of the 3.3-liter V6. The supercharged engine produces 210 horsepower and 246 (A/T), 231 (M/T) lb-ft of torque. It uses a Roots-type blower developed in conjunction with Eaton Corporation and is warranted by Nissan.

Models with the supercharged engine are designated S/C, and in addition to the supercharged engine, come with 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P265/55R17 (4x2) or P265/65R17 (4x4) BF Goodrich Rugged Trail tires, specially tuned suspension with raised ground clearance for 4x4 models, knit or optional leather-appointed bucket seats with sports car-inspired red-on-charcoal stitching, 100-watt AM/FM/CD audio system and titanium-colored gauges.

Frontier King Cab S/C 4x2 and 4x4 is available with a 5-speed manual and Frontier Crew Cab S/C and Frontier Crew Cab Long Bed S/C 4x2 and 4x4 are offered with a 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission (opt. King Cab S/C) and all S/Cs include a limited-slip rear differential.

Frontier allows compact truck buyers to create the vehicle of their choice, including various models, drivetrain configurations, engine and transmission options. Weve also added some factory features usually reserved for aftermarket suppliers including available high-output sound systems, large wheels and tires, bed extenders, roof racks and the like, added Kirrane.

Choose Your Frontier Several Models, Packages and Options

Body style choices on the 2003 Frontier compact truck lineup include the King Cab, which offers front bucket seats and additional seating for two passengers in fold-down rear jump seats. This Frontier comes with a powerful 143-horsepower 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder and 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.

The next model is the Desert Runner, a 4x2 King Cab powered by a 180-horsepower 3.3-liter SOHC V6 that features the same heavy-duty chassis, ride height and stance as the rugged Frontier 4x4. At roughly 500 pounds lighter than a 4x4 Frontier King Cab V6, Desert Runner offers the best power-to-weight ratio of any Frontier pickup. Special badging distinguishes Desert Runner from other Frontier models as do fender flares, skid plates for the engine and fuel tank, a full-size spare and 4-channel/3-sensor/4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).

Desert Runner is available in XE, SE and S/C models, which includes a supercharged 3.3-liter V6 engine, which produces 210 horsepower and 246 (A/T), 231 (M/T) lb-ft of torque.

Frontier King Cab is also available in a 4x4 model with three different trim levels - XE, SE and S/C.

The biggest model in the Frontier lineup is the Frontier Crew Cab Long Bed, which adds a 74.6-inch full-size bed to the four forward-hinged full-size door cabin. The standard Frontier Crew Cab offers a 56.3-inch bed.

Frontier Crew Cab broke the mold of traditional compact trucks when it was introduced as a 2000 model, with innovative looks and utility with seating for five adults and the versatility of an open bed. It is available in 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive and all Frontier Crew Cabs are built on the heavy-duty 4-wheel drive Frontier chassis.

The interior of the Frontier Crew Cab combines the comfort and convenience of the 2-door Frontier pickup with many qualities of a sedan or SUV. Frontier Crew Cab offers provisions for the installation of a child safety seat in the rear passenger area, something lacking in todays extended cab compact truck market.

Standard equipment on Frontier Crew Cab is the SOHC 3.3-liter V6 engine, with a 5-speed manual (XE only) or 4-speed electronically controlled overdrive automatic transmission (SE, S/C, opt. XE). Also offered is the factory-installed supercharged engine. All Frontier Crew Cabs come standard with a 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).

Frontier also comes with a full array of option packages for 2003, including the Utility Package, Basic Gear Package, Value Truck Package, Power and Comfort Package, Sport Package, Dynamic Control Package, Premium Package and Deluxe Audio Package. A Leather Package, which includes factory-installed leather-appointed seats, pop-up sunroof and Vehicle Security System, is available on all S/C and SE Frontier King Cab, Frontier Crew Cab and Frontier Crew Cab Long Beds.

Added for 2003 model year is the addition of the Supercharged Value Edition (SVE), which gives consumers class-leading V6 horsepower from the 3.3-liter Supercharged engine at a reduced price. The SVE model (available in 4x4 King Cab and 4x4 Crew Cab) offers a unique combination of power, features and price.

Distinctive Style

The Frontiers provocative exterior was created at Nissan Design America (NDA), in La Jolla, Calif., and offers a simple, tough, modern industrial look with a powerful front grille and bumper, tall hoodline, oversized headlights and large fender flares featuring visible divot holes and rivet-type caps. Additional exterior features include round fog lights, substantial tailgate and standard tailgate lock.

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