Ike Gauntlet: 2014 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X – Extreme Towing Test

2014 nissan frontier pro-4x extreme towing test video ike

Welcome to the first ever Midsize Ike Gauntlet extreme towing test.  The 2014 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab PRO-4X is the first to challenge this high altitude pull.  This Frontier has new wheels and interior details for the 2014 model year, but it remains tried and true underneath.  The 4.0-liter V6 produces 261 hp @ 5,600 rpm and 281 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm.  It makes maximum torque relatively low in the rev range.  Will it be enough to keep this train going up the steep incline at high elevation?

This extreme test is designed to showcase how the trucks cope with towing a heavy load at high elevation and up a steep grade.  The Midsize Ike Gauntlet is going down and up the eight mile stretch of interstate I-70 between the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnel and the town of Silverthorn.  There is more than 2,000 feet of elevation change with an average 7% grade.  The finish line is at the top is 11,158 feet above sea level!

The load is the TFL test boat, which weighs in at 5,740 lbs boat and trailer.  There are also three of our favorite reporters inside the truck: Roman, Nathan, and Kent (Mr. Truck).  This brings the total load to around 6,500 lbs.   This is 400 lbs over the maximum tow rating provided by the manufacturer.  There is no doubt, this truck is being stressed by the Ike Gauntlet.

How did it do?  Watch the video at the bottom and take a look at this data table.

Power Loss

We are starting to measure calculated power loss on this and all future Ike Gauntlet runs.  We need three variable to get this accomplished: barometric pressure, ambient temperature, and relative humidity.  We measure this with a portable weather station near the Eisenhower Tunnel (at the top of this test).  This time the data was: 19.76 inHg of pressure, 33F temperature, and low relative humidity at around 20%.  The result is a calculated 33.1% loss of power at the top of the test relative to the standard provided by the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers).

Midsize – Ike Gauntlet

2014 Nissan Frontier  
Model CrewCab 4×4 PRO-4X
 As Tested $ $32,486
Engine 4.0-liter V6
Transmission 5-speed Auto
Power (hp / lb-ft) 261 / 281
Tow Rating 6,100 lbs (3.36 axle)
Test Load (trailer + ppl) 6,500 lbs
Suspension Sag 1 in
 Ambient Temp F 33F
 Relative Humidity Low (20%)
 Barometric Pressure (at top) 29.76 inHg
 Calculated Power Loss 33.1 %
Down: Brake Temp (Front / Rear/ Trailer) F 181 / 110 / 148
Down: Transmission Temp normal
Up: Time 8:37.62
Up: MPG 3.9
Up: Interior dB 70
Up: Transmission Temp normal