The 2020 Nissan Frontier showed off a new engine and a new transmission at this year’s Chicago Auto Show. This new engine comes ahead of an all-new version of the Frontier, which is due for the 2021 model year.
Power for the Frontier now comes from a 3.8-liter V6 engine with 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. This is paired to an all-new 9-speed automatic transmission.
Nissan didn’t just take an existing engine in its lineup and tweak it to work with the Frontier. This engine is 93 percent new or redesigned parts and went through lengthy testing in North America.
This is big news as the Frontier has been pretty much unchanged since its introduction. That’s why there’s an all-new Frontier coming next year – finally – bringing with it updates that will freshen its design.
That all-new generation of the Frontier will include this engine, so it’s something of a preview of what’s to come. In addition to providing improved performance over the outgoing engine, it should also deliver much better fuel economy.
It’s a bit unusual for an automaker to make such a significant change right before the introduction of an all-new version of a vehicle. Nissan is giving everyone a little teaser of what’s to come and if you’re in the market for a new Frontier and simply cannot hold out until next year, this is a good thing.
The rest of the Frontier, however, is unchanged. We’ll have to wait to see what Nissan decides to do with styling updates as well as safety and technology upgrades until the next generation officially debuts.
Look for the 2020 Nissan Frontier with the all-new 3.8-liter V6 engine and 9-speed automatic transmission at your local dealership this spring.