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Nissan's new 450kW ute makes Ford Ranger Raptor look weak

Nissan Frontier Desert Runner.

Think the Ford Ranger Raptor is a tough ute? Well Nissan has just made one that will out-race and out-jump the blue oval’s best.

It’s called the Nissan Frontier Desert Runner and it has been built for this week’s SEMA show in Las Vegas by the Japanese brand and an American off-road racing team. While we may not get the US-spec Frontier pick-up in Australia, it’s similar to the Navara as it’s the brand’s ‘compact pick-up’ offering.

The Frontier Desert Runner would make ideal inspiration. Nissan Motorsport in the US enlisted the help of off-road racing experts, MA Motorsports, to take a standard Frontier and turn it into something truly special.

The factory 4.0-litre V6 engine has been tossed in the bin, replaced by a race-specification 5.6-litre V8 taken from the Frontier’s big brother, the Nissan Titan. They didn’t muck around, adding a turbocharger to pump power up to 450kW with 950Nm of torque for good measure.

The suspension also got a major overhaul to ensure it can jump sand dunes and soak up rocky roads. It gets a long travel front suspension kit with King Racing front shocks with coil-overs. It rides on Fifteen52 wheels wrapped in 37-inch BFGoodrich Baja tyres

The bigger rubber fit underneath specially designed widebody front and rear guards, there’s also unique bumpers front and back.

Inside the interior looks more like a racing truck with racing seats, harnesses and a Sparco racing steering wheel.

The Frontier may not be coming down under but we can dream about the possibility of Nissan Australia going a step beyond the new Navara N-Trek Warrior can’t we?