IN what may be a good example of what happens when automotive engineers have too much time on their hands, the sharp minds at Nissan have turned the NV Cargo, a stalwart of Nissan’s commercial vehicle fleet, into a mountain-chewing offroad monster.
The NV Cargo is a multi-function commercial van featuring an impressive 6,600 liters of useful space that can be configured for a variety of uses, and is usually equipped with a potent 375-horsepower, 5.6-liter V8 petrol engine.
To give the big van sufficient power to take on the formidable Pyeatt Draw offroad trail in Arizona, Nissan swapped the standard NV mill with the Cummins 5.0-liter turbodiesel from the Nissan Titan XD, which generates 310 hp, but more importantly, puts 752 Newton-meters of torque to the ground.
Enlisting the help of off-roader Ian Johnson to help with the design, Nissan equipped the NV Cargo X with a heavy-duty 6-speed Aisin transmission and four-wheel drive, trading out the standard double-wishbone front suspension for a solid axle.
With room to spare in the spacious vehicle, Johnson topped off the kit with an on-board air system, recovery tracks, full-sized spare wheel, high-lift jack and a portable welder. A custom LED lighting system, tube bumper and skid plate and front-mounted winch put the finishing touches on the mountain tamer.
After tackling the Pyeatt Draw trail, the NV Cargo X was put on display at the Chicago Auto Show, the oldest and largest auto show in North America, which runs from February 11 to February 20.