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All-New 2004 Nissan Titan Full-Size Pickup Builds on Foundation Of Power, Size and Innovative Cab and Bed

The all-new 2004 Nissan Titan, which made its world debut at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, brings to the full-size pickup market bold styling and a new level of innovation - including rear King Cab doors that open nearly 180 degrees for nearly unlimited interior access and a high-utility bed that includes an industry-first factory-applied spray-in bed liner, a new Utili-track tie-down system that provides ultimate cargo hauling flexibility and an integrated, lockable bedside storage compartment.

The Titan, Nissan's first entry into the full-size truck category, is built on an all-new pickup platform, featuring a newly designed 300-plus horsepower Nissan Endurance 5.6-liter DOHC V8 with a torque rating of more than 375 lb-ft. The new Titan also offers a standard 5-speed automatic transmission and a towing capacity of up to 9,400 pounds. Titan will be available in both King Cab and Crew Cab models with a choice of 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive. The Titan Crew Cab model will be shown for the first time at the New York International Auto Show in April 2003.

The new Titan, which was conceived, developed, styled and engineered primarily in North America, will be assembled at Nissan's new $1.43 billion manufacturing facility in Canton, Miss., with its Nissan Endurance V8 assembled on an all-new line at Nissan's advanced engine production facility in Decherd, Tenn. The new Titan is scheduled to go on sale at more than 1,100 Nissan dealers nationwide in late 2003.

"The launch of the 2004 Titan is a huge project for Nissan, literally and figuratively," said Bill Kirrane, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. "Our challenge in entering this well-defined, brand loyal and product knowledge truck market is to first get the basics done right and then build on those core attributes with a new level of style and innovation. With Titan, we've done just that."

The Titan Concept: Big, Bold and Better
The Titan name was chosen to reflect the importance Nissan placed on the all-new pickup's massive size and power. Though the pickup has replaced the sedan in many households as the second family vehicle, the prerequisites for success continue to be horsepower, torque, towing capacity, a large cab and a large bed.

"One of our first targets in developing the new Titan was to fit in before we could stand out," said Kirrane. "Trucks have become a necessity rather than an accessory for active lifestyles, so we had two goals: to meet or exceed the capacities and capabilities of the gold standards in class ' and then bring to the table fresh ideas, items that have never been done before."

As Nissan began an extensive research program into truck usage and owner desires, innovation emerged as the primary need beyond size and power. "We let owners tell us and show us what they felt was missing in the current offerings ' more storage, more cargo carrying flexibility and more assertive styling. Then we added some ideas and targets of our own, like building on the best power in class with the highest fuel economy and longest driving range," said Kirrane.

While the engineers began work on Titan's hardware, a team of designers set up shop at Nissan Design America, Inc. (NDA) in La Jolla, Calif. Like every other area of the new Titan, the exterior styling grew out of extensive pickup user research.

"There hasn't been much pickup design innovation for a number of years and for many owners there hasn't been much need," said Tom Semple, president, NDA. "Yet we heard from buyers, especially those somewhat younger than the truck segment average, that they wanted a bolder, more expressive exterior, something more adventurous. We also wanted the design to be clearly identified as a Nissan."

The Titan exterior design is marked by both its refinement and large sense of scale, with a large, impressive hood, powerful yet highly detailed headlights and a unique silhouette.

"We really wanted to give Titan a new quality, a really modern feel without compromising its utilitarian roots," said Semple. "It's stylish but still a truck, with the form projecting the vehicle's power and dimensions."

A True Truck Platform
Once the basic form took shape, the engineers turned to matching bold styling with equally bold ideas of their own. First was the idea of class-leading performance. Building on Nissan's reputation for advanced engine design, they targeted class-leading towing power, acceleration and fuel economy/driving range with the development of the Titan's standard 5.6-liter DOHC V8. Rated at over 300 horsepower and, equally important, more than 375 lb-ft of torque, the engine is matched with a specially engineered 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode and available gated shifter.

Though final numbers are not yet available, the use of advanced engine technology such as aluminum block with cast iron cylinder liners, forged steel crankshaft, microfinished crankshaft and camshaft, molybdenum-coated pistons, 6-bolt main bearing caps, and Super Silent single-stage timing chain are expected to result in excellent fuel economy with no sacrifice of performance.

For 4x4 models, Titan adapts an advanced shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel drive system with 2WD/4H/4LO modes with electronic control part-time transfer case.

An off-road package will also be available with a unique lower ratio Dana 44 axle, class-exclusive electronically activated locking rear differential (switch operated), off-road-style Rancho gas shock absorbers, large all-terrain tires, fog lights and lower radiator, fuel tank and transfer case skid plates.

Titan's responsive handling is a product of its all-steel double wishbone front suspension design and rigid leaf (dual rate) rear suspension with shackles mounted along the frame sides to eliminate below frame obstacles. The new Titan is available with 7.5x17 painted steel wheels and 245/75R17 tires or 8.0x18 aluminum-alloy wheels and 265/70R18 tires. Also available are 7.5x17 brushed aluminum-alloy wheels and 285/70R17 tires as part of the off-road package.

Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering is standard, along with 4-wheel disc brakes with Bosch Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).

The Titan's towing capacity is rated at up to 9,400 pounds ' as much as some 3/4-ton pickups.

A Contemporary Interior, an Innovative Entrance
The interior is designed to be spacious and accommodating, while also highly usable. "We wanted the Titan's interior to feel big, assertive and organized, combining big, open spaces with smaller, private places for the owners' everyday stuff," said Semple. "Even the door handles, knobs and assist grips are unique, full-size truck scale parts, designed to be used with work gloves on ' rather than just pulling sedan knobs and handles out of the parts inventory."

Among the Titans many standard and available features are power-adjustable front seats with available driver's seat memory system, heated front seats and flip-up rear seat cushions (King Cab) for added cargo space and flexibility, with grocery hooks on the bottom of the seat cushions.

The King Cab's rear compartment offers ample rear storage, including door storage bins and rear door bottle holders in the armrests and power front windows with one-touch up and down function.

Along with the "everyday innovations" found in Titan's storage and comfort details, King Cab models feature a true breakthrough design innovation - a first-in-class Wide-Open rear door that swings open nearly 180 degrees, providing unprecedented access to the rear seats. Key to the door's design is a hefty, two-stage hinge with four axis of rotation. The door opens first to a conventional 85 degrees, then can be swung to nearly 180 degrees.

Along with providing a new level of ease for entering and exiting the rear seat, the Wide-Open door allows owners to load packages or cargo in crowded parking lots without having to maneuver between the traditional "trap" of partially opened front and rear doors.

The Wide-Open door will be standard on all 2004 Nissan Titan King Cab models.

"The Wide-Open door design is amazing both in its simplicity and in how far it advances the basic utility of an extended cab truck," said Larry Dominque, Chief Product Specialist, Nissan Titan. "It is really going to make Titan stand out from every other extended cab pickup on the market today."

A High-Utility Bed
The Titan's other really big idea is actually a series of innovations, all addressing truck owners' desire for more utility and flexibility in how they use their trucks' beds.

Nissan research showed that a vast majority of full-size pickup owners perform some sort of modifications, usually bed liners or tie-down systems, to their trucks after purchase. After studying available aftermarket bed utility systems and bed liners, the Titan team created a unique, two-part solution.

"For years, truck owners have had to make do with a simple steel box with just four tie-down hooks in the corners," said Dominique. "No more."

First, to overcome the tendency of aftermarket drop-in bedliners to warp or trap rust-inducing moisture underneath, or the relatively high cost and thickness of typical aftermarket spray-in bedliners, a special factory-applied spray-in bedliner was developed. Using a special high durability hard surface resin application, which can be sprayed on complex surfaces, the bedliner helps prevent scratch damage and corrosion to the bed and inner tailgate surface. Thinner than drop-in bedliners or typical aftermarket spray-in applications, the Titan bedliner also maximizes bed volume. Available in black color only, it is the first offered by any original equipment manufacturer and is covered by the Nissan warranty.

"Because Titan is being produced at an all-new manufacturing facility, we designed the spray-in bedliner as part of the truck line at added investment of nearly $20 million dollars," said Dominique. "The spray-in bedliner gives Titan a tremendous advantage in the convenience and warranty piece of mind for owners."

The second part of the bed utility solution was the development of the Utili-track System tie-down channel system. With this system, five special "C" cross-section rails are mounted in the bed (two channels in the bed floor, and one each on the bed side rails and the bed header panel).

Removable utility cleats slide into the channels, providing an infinite range of attaching points for cargo tie-down. The channels are open at the rear of the bed, allowing the cleats to be completely removed when not in use for easy cleaning of the channels with a spray washer or garden hose.

The cleats are rated at 500 pounds (twice the industry standard) and the Utili-track System also includes 22 additional structural reinforcements to strengthen the bed, helping to accommodate the loads associated with the channel system. In addition, slide-in channel caps help prevent debris from collecting in the floor channels when not in use.

The channel system also accepts many current aftermarket accessory racks, and Nissan is developing its own extensive line of bed dividers, sliding cargo trays and modular storage units, along with bike and kayak racks and other accessories.

The Titan bed also includes four standard stake pockets and, as required, Titan carries 4x8-foot plywood sheets easily between the wheel housings.

The new Titan also features an innovative bedside storage compartment located behind the rear driver's side wheel. The bedside storage bin is designed to hold common truck items such as work gloves, chains, rope, road flares, first aid kit or a hitch ball. The compartment is double-sealed to help prevent the intrusion of water and dust (though the compartment is not designed to be waterproof in case of submersion) and uses the Titan ignition key for locking and unlocking.

Models and Manufacturing
The 2004 Nissan Titan will be offered in King Cab and Crew Cab models in a number of trim levels to match specific buyer needs. More details will be provided as the new Titan gets closer to its on sale date. The Titan Crew Cab pickup will be shown publicly for the first time in April 2003 at the New York International Auto Show.

Titan will be one of four vehicles assembled in the Canton, Miss. facility, along with the new Nissan Quest, Nissan full-size SUV and full-size Infiniti SUV. Nissan has a longstanding reputation for building quality products in North America.

The original Smyrna, Tenn. facility, which started production in 1983, has been recognized as one of the most productive vehicle assembly plants in the U.S., winning top honors in the Harbour Reports independent rankings from 1994 - 2002. The new 3.5-million square foot Canton facility is schedule to start production in summer 2003. The Decherd, Tenn. plant, which will produce Titan's Nissan Endurance 5.6-liter V8, began production in 1997.

"The new Titan is Nissan's biggest vehicle and biggest statement yet," said Kirrane. "There's much on the line ' a major financial investment, an extension of our growing brand and reputation, and our longstanding heritage of innovation and performance. Titan delivers on all accounts."

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