Nissan debuts trio of 2022 Frontier concepts at Chicago Auto Show

The three concepts – the Project 72X, Project Hardbody and Project Adventure – are all  based on the 2022 Frontier mid-size pickup that NDA played a primary role in designing. 

Far away from the surf breaks and volleyball courts, the Frontier team from San Diego based Nissan Design America (NDA) is venturing to the heartland to display three unique  concept trucks at the 2022 Chicago Auto Show.  

The three concepts – the Project 72X, Project Hardbody and Project Adventure – are all  based on the 2022 Frontier mid-size pickup that NDA played a primary role in designing. 

Customers have responded to this rugged design – the all-new Frontier is off to a highly  successful start with strong initial sales and demand exceeding company expectations. Sales  during the first three months of availability increased 115 percent over the prior year, with  segment share up more than six points. 

“People want to get out of the house, have adventures and do it in style, so timing of the  adventure-ready 2022 Frontier couldn’t have been better,” said Michael Colleran, senior vice  president, Nissan U.S. and Marketing and Sales. “These three new projects show the  possibilities with the new Frontier in this important Chicagoland market.” 

While they are all based on the 2022 Frontier Crew Cab platform, the Project 72X, Project  Hardbody and Project Adventure each address three different mid-size truck audiences and  start with three different Frontier grade levels – S, SV and PRO-4X. 

“Truck culture is now very broad – hard core off-roaders, overlanders, surfers and kayakers,  environmentalists, fishing and hunting outdoor enthusiasts and more,” said Hiren Patel,  project lead designer, Nissan Design America, Inc. “The common ground is that they all use  their trucks as canvases for personalization. We’re offering three styles to show how they  could modify their own new Frontier.” 

All three of the Frontier concept trucks combine readily available Nissan and aftermarket  parts and accessories with custom-designed pieces and graphics.  

Project 72X Frontier 

Based on the 2022 Frontier Crew Cab S 4×4 grade, Project 72X is a modern take on one of  Nissan’s most popular trucks, the Datsun 720. First introduced in fall 1979, the 720  eventually became the first vehicle assembled by Nissan in the United States when it rolled  off the line of the new Smyrna (Tennessee) Vehicle Assembly Plant in 1983. Known as the  “Lil Hustler,” it was a bare-bones, affordable truck designed for fun and was advertised as  ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.

For the 2022 interpretation, the design team used gray exterior tones and graphics for a  sense of modern, cool attitude – a look reinforced by the white-painted steel wheels, which  are actually 2022 Frontier spare wheels, with PRO-4X tires. Other key modifications include  a 2.5-inch lift kit with adjustable front upper suspension arms and a sport bar behind the  cab.  

Project Hardbody 

Project Hardbody, as the name suggests, pays homage to one of the most iconic Nissan  trucks ever, the Nissan D21 “Hardbody.” It was the first truck design completed at NDA.  

“It is still unmistakable on the road as a pure, modern design, even today,” said Patel. The  “Hardbody” name came from its double-wall bed and aggressive stance and was a champion  in on- and off-road in competitions and on the beaches of Southern California. 

Project Hardbody is built on a 2022 Frontier Crew Cab SV 4×4. It features a 3-inch lift kit with adjustable upper control arms, overfenders from the current PRO-4X model, classic  Hardbody block-style wheels designed and milled at NDA mounted with 33-inch tires, bed mounted spare tire carrier, sport bar with modern 10-inch rectangular LED lights, blacked out front end and door graphics with ‘80s-style shadow outlining. 

Project Adventure 

The last of the three is Project Adventure, the NDA’s take on the popular overlanding trend.  Based on a 2022 Frontier Crew Cab PRO-4X, Project Adventure features a 5-inch lift kit, 34- inch mud terrain tires, Yakima® bed rack system and Yakima® LoadWarrior roof basket, sky  tent and Bluetooth® bed audio system by KICKER®. The special carbon fiber snorkel was  

designed and crafted by NDA. 

A key feature of the Project Adventure is the custom body wrap depicting an atlas of the  U.S., which makes the statement, This is a big country, why don’t you take your Frontier  somewhere? 

“Nissan has more than 40-years of truck leadership in the United States, with more than  four million Frontiers sold to date,” said Colleran. “With the arrival of the all-new Frontier,  the next chapter is now being written.”

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