This Nissan Concept is the Coolest Truck that Nobody Would Buy
If today’s truck advertisements offer any insight—high-riding, luxurious, 4x4-equipped double cab pickups are the ambassadors of cool. By all accounts, that would make this 2001 Nissan Nails concept seriously un-popular. It sits very low, it’s only two-wheel drive, and seating for more than 2.5 passengers looks nigh impossible. If it ever made it to production (which it didn’t), the Nails likely wouldn’t have been a hot seller in the least. Nevertheless, this eye-catching Nissan concept did pack a few neat features in its day, and a few that might be handy on future light trucks. RELATED: See More Photos of the 2001 Nissan Nails concept
Up front, the Nissan concept sports a radical A-shaped cabin, which permits snug seating for two and stashes a peppy 1.5-liter four-cylinder to drive the front wheels, good for just north of 100 horsepower. That cabin then forms the Nails’ chassis by integrating with a low, flat floor that runs the length of the truck. Out back, the rear wheels have been pushed as far out and to the corners as possible, eliminating the bed space commonly lost from intrusive wheel wells.
From a construction standpoint, this setup of front engine, front-wheel drive, and slab-floor could likely be produced relatively inexpensively if it were to pass light vehicle safety regulations. From a capability standpoint, the super-low bed would allow for heavy and bulky objects to be loaded with greater ease. Together, these benefits of low-cost and easy cargo access would make a great recipe for those operating or making deliveries in tight, confined urban areas.
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While the truck’s overall design may be more “kei car” than most North American buyers would care to venture, this pickup’s body panels bark up a very important (and relevant) tree. According to Nissan, the tough panels were manufactured to be scratch and dent resistant. You won’t hear many qualms from hard-working pickup drivers about going dent-free.
As shown by Local Motors and its radically 3D-printed Strati automobile, the recent leaps and bounds seen in printing technology could change the way cars of the future are manufactured. As those technologies continue to develop, simple pickup truck designs like this Nissan concept could become ever-more viable.
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