It’s not exactly easy to drum up public enthusiasm for a commercial cargo van. But we have to hand it to Nissan, because this concept vehicle has caught our attention.
Debuting next week at the Chicago Auto Show is the Nissan NV Cargo X – an extreme off-road version of the Japanese automaker’s utilitarian box with a lot more attitude (and go-anywhere capability) than the ones you see delivering packages up and down your street.
Undertaken with “Xtreme Off-Road” show host Ian Johnson, the project starts with an NV2500 HD. But instead of the 5.6-liter gasoline V8, the team fitted the 5.0-liter Cummins turbodiesel from the Titan XD pickup – with all its 555 lb-ft of torque – along with its corresponding Aisin six-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive system.
Next they jacked up the suspension and fitted 37-inch General Grabber X3 off-road tires, auxiliary LED lighting, and a 10,000-pound winch. And with 234 cubic feet of space in the back, they equipped the van with all manner of extra equipment – from recovery tracks to a portable welder.
The resulting vehicle not only stands seven and a half feet tall, but is capable of tackling the notorious Pyeatt Draw trail in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest.
Story updated with live photos from the 2017 Chicago Auto Show