Is Nissan coming up with a Ranger Raptor fighter?

Updated Dec 01, 2020 | Same topic: Car Sneak Peeks, Teasers, & Rumors

A competition within the performance midsize truck segment might be brewing.

For the U.S. market, the Nissan Frontier (sold as the Navara in the Philippines, albeit with a different platform since the third generation) is getting quite long in the tooth.

After all, the current midsize pickup rides on a platform that dates all the way back to 2004. Like Cinderella left at the mercy of her stepmother and stepsisters, the truck is in serious need of a fairy godmother for a refresh.

2009 Frontier

The current-generation Nissan Frontier in the U.S. market is more than a decade old

Instead of a magic wand, Nissan is brandishing a team of designers and engineers to promise an (almost) all-new Frontier for the 2021 model year. The carmaker previously talked about the 2021 Frontier’s development at the Chicago Auto Show last February, but apparently its plans go way back.  

A leaked image by YouTube channel Nissan Nation Productions gives a glimpse of what the 2021 Frontier could look like. According to the podcast's host David Boyd, the image has been in existence for at least a year, and is not a digital render but a live photo.

The picture shows a truck sporting a blockier design than the current Frontier, with a four-door crew cab body style resting between muscular wheel arches.

Lleaked 2021 Frontier

It looks like the upcoming Frontier is preparing to out-muscle Ford's Ranger Raptor (Image: Nissan Nation Productions)

The headlights of the Nissan Frontier are sandwiched between what look like LED running lights, and sit above aggressive-looking air inlets. Meanwhile, the blacked-out grille shows the letters MO, in reference to NISMO or Nissan Motorsports, the carmaker’s in-house tuning division.

This suggests that the image is depicting a performance version of the upcoming Frontier, which explains the lack of Nissan’s trademark V-motion grille.

Frontier Desert Runner

The 2019 Frontier Desert Runner Concept is the closest Nissan gets so far to a Raptor fighter

We’re not sure if the image’s overall blue color alludes to the new truck facing off against Ford Ranger Raptor, but in any case, Boyd cautions viewers to take the photo with a healthy dose of skepticism.    

Prior to the photo leak, other reports have shed some light as to the 2021 Frontier’s technical details. The current Frontier’s 3.8L V6 producing 310 hp and 380 Nm of torque is expected to be retained, mated to 9-speed automatic gearbox that’s also used by the heavier Titan pickup.

No word on pricing yet, but sources say that the 2021 Frontier is on track to be launched by the end of 2020, despite the COVID-19 outbreak.

Do you want to see this “Raptor Fighter” arrive on our shores? For more sneak peaks on new cars and trucks, visit       

Know more about Nissan Frontier 2021

Nissan Frontier
The Nissan Frontier is a series of well built two or four-door pickup trucks acclaimed for its proven versatility, outstanding road performance, and overall reliability. It features a mighty exterior splashed with bold detailing, chrome accents, and an intimidating stance. Inside, it offers a roomy cabin fitted with a generous number of driver and passenger amenities meant to provide a safe, comfortable, and consistent riding experience. In smooth roads or challenging terrains, the Nissan Frontier is your reliable companion. The Nissan Frontier is offered in the following variants: the Nissan Frontier S, the Nissan Frontier SV 4-CYL./ V6, the Nissan Frontier SL, the Nissan Frontier PRO-4X, and the Nissan Frontier Desert Runner. It comes in Glacier White, Brilliant Silver, Metallic Blue, Arctic Blue Metallic, Night Armor, Super Black, Lava Red, and Cayenne Red.


Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph holds a degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines Diliman and has been writing professionally since 1999. He has written episodes for CNN Philippines' motoring show Drive, and has worked on corporate projects for MG Philippines and Pilipinas Shell. Aside from being’s Content Lead, he also writes content for numerous car dealerships in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Maserati, among others.


View more