Nissan Titan Warrior Runs Amok in Detroit

Set loose in the heart of Motor City, a Japanese Titan flexes its muscles, and we wince.

Nissan's Titan Warrior concept debuted today at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, a full-size, Cummins-diesel-powered pickup truck that's surprising for its relative subtlety. No. Sorry. Not subtlety. That's the wrong word.

Landing like a salvo of Hellfire missiles deployed from a four-story assault position, the Titan Warrior is about as laid-back as a rocket-propelled Gundam uppercut. Swollen in both height and girth by some three inches, this colossal design concept is the Raptor's katana-weilding kaiju rival. Think mecha-Godzilla in army boots: bulging overfenders, 37-inch offroad tires, integrated skid plates, a 5-liter Cummins turbodiesel V-8 making 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque, and squared-off quad exhaust pipes with a whiff of AMG about 'em. Dip the whole thing in a matte-gunmetal paint Nissan dubs “Thunder,” and you've got the Nissan Grimlock, head of the Dinobot-pickups.

The “Warrior” appellation is thanks to a previous crowdsourced Titan, one set up for Alaskan exploration. In partnership with the Wounded Warrior project, the previous-gen pickup was air-lifted into the Arctic, where it set about exploring the wilderness. This new concept is more war machine than camo'd support vehicle, and based on the current-generation Titan XD crewcab.

Between this thing, the EcoBoost Raptor and the Ram Rebel, any upcoming zombie apocalypse is going to be thoroughly and comprehensively skull-stomped. Cheap gasoline is fueling a sort of Mad Max arms race among all manufacturers, with an accompanying wave of aftermarket accessorizers ready to bolt on Baja-ready steel impact beams and enough LEDs to permanently blind desert wildlife, yea, even unto several generations. We are one model cycle away from somebody offering an optional bumper-mounted blood bag.

This, Nissan tells us, is optimism for the pickup truck market. We see it as naked profiteering, taking advantage of a seemingly endless public appetite for the semi-tactical pickup truck. Still, we wouldn't object to being thrown the keys. Because semi-tactical pickup truck.