DOHC Heads, Big-Time Torque
Truck owner's love their V-8s, and Nissan took this love affair to heart, designing the new Endurance 5.6L DOHC V-8 engine to punish the dirt with 300-plus horsepower and 375-plus lb-ft of torque (exact numbers were not available at press time). Rather than rely on variable valve timing and other exotic power boosters, Nissan went with a large-displacement engine with stout internal components. The basic technology behind Nissan's powerplant is extremely impressive. The bottom end is surrounded by a lightweight aluminum engine block with cast-iron cylinder liners, providing a home for molybdenum-coated pistons. Six-bolt main bearing caps lock the micropolished forged steel crankshaft in place. For induction, Nissan developed a high-flow variable intake plenum to boost low-end torque. The 32-valve DOHC V-8's compression ratio checks-in at 9.8:1 and is low-grade, pump-gas friendly. Durable is the word for the bottom end of the Endurance V-8. A five-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode links the powerful engine to Nissan's shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system. One of the options we were truly excited about was the off-road package, which features a Dana 44 rear axle and an electronically controlled locking rear differential. The off-road package means that all of that V-8 grunt won't go to waste by uselessly spinning one rear wheel in the dirt.
Ruggedly Advanced Design
The Titan's front suspension system relies on the proven wishbone design for the frontend and dual-rate leaf springs for the rear. The leaf spring shackles are mounted alongside the framerails for maximum ground clearance. Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering is standard, and we expected nothing less from Nissan's first entry into the fullsize pickup market. Four-wheel disc brakes come standard with Bosch's four-wheel antilock braking system. All of this upper echelon truck technology does not go to waste. The Titan is rated with a 9,400-pound towing capacity, which stands tall even among 3/4-ton pickups.
Equal Parts Form and Function
Behind the Wide-Open rear doors of the Titan lies an exceptional amount of cargo space. The rear bench seat folds vertically, revealing a flat floor that is wide enough to load extra-large packages from either side of the truck. The front passenger seat also folds forward to add even more cargo room. The interior is a tasteful mix of form and function. There is plenty of sporty looking trim for the upscale truck owner. The instrument panel contains six gauges and an available transmission temperature gauge. Also, for those who love to drive their trucks like a sports car, the shifter is mounted in the center console. Even will all the high-tech gadgetry found in the Titan (the audio controls for the stereo are located in the steering wheel), there are constant reminders that this truck is a workhorse. All of the primary knobs and controls are large in size, making operation easy, even if you're wearing work gloves. There are multiple 12-volt power adapters found in the dash and center console and a multitude of cup holders, dividers, pockets, and storage. Form never overpowers function within the confines of the Titan's cab.