This is a Nissan Leaf Pickup Truck and it is real, not photoshopped – although it is a one-off creation. Nissan’s Technical Center in Stanfield, Arizona has a bounty of creative types who build and test a variety of things for Nissan. The Nissan Leaf Pickup Truck you see here is the result of a project that employees fabricated using components from a Nissan Frontier.
The end result? A functional Nissan Leaf Pickup Truck
“We tried to keep it a secret and be exciting for everybody. But we have visitors and they come and they see that truck and they go straight to ‘what is it?’ and they start looking at it, and it makes great conversation,” said Roland Schellenberg, Nissan Durability & Reliability. This complex was built for, what Nissan says is, “ideal environment to test vehicles for hot weather, heat durability, engine cooling and air conditioner performance.”
The Nissan Leaf Pickup Truck is called “Sparky” and this runabout is built to be used. That pickup truck bed? It’s out of a Nissan Frontier. They cut 10-inches out of the width and about four-inches out of the depth. Cool, no? Better still, the rear bulkhead and (functional) sliding rear glass is out of a Nissan Titan!
The Nissan Technical Center is a huge complex with several buildings for development, four mission-specific road courses designed to test vehicle durability, ride comfort and reliability. There is a tremendous, 5.7-mile high-speed oval as well.
“After he (Schellenberg) told us it was going to be the LEAF that we would redo, I went home and stayed up till like four in the morning making all kinds of designs for what would work. We basically got the stock LEAF, and after reviewing a bunch of designs of pickup trucks that we have here at Nissan, we decided to go with a Frontier bed. My main job here is working on rough-road vehicles, rough-road testing. I’m pretty good at taking cars completely apart to the bare frame and putting them back together again to resume testing,” said Moulinet.
Remember: this is a “one-off” design that is not slated for production; however, I kind of like where these lab-coats were going with this idea. Maybe a Nissan Leaf Pickup Truck could fill the gap between the Nissan NV200 Electric and gas-powered small trucks. Personally, I would lift it an inch or two, stiffen the rear coils and add a larger battery pack.
“Being a slick truck, and not so tough, I see it as a boy – but a boy with a heart. It’s something that we all put together. We all share. So it has a little bit of everybody in there,” said Schellenberg.
Here’s a fun little video from Nissan:
… and here’s our video about the Nissan truck of the (near) future!