Nissan NV Cargo X Project Boasts 22 Inches of Ground Clearance

Feb. 03, 2017 By Josh Burns, Photos Courtesy of Nissan

The new Nissan NV Cargo X Project vehicle proves that almost no obstacles will get in the way of its next delivery.

Built for the upcoming 2017 Chicago Auto Show, the NV Cargo X is a project van constructed by vehicle builder Ian Johnson, who also hosts the television series Xtreme Off-Road. It stands taller than seven-and-a-half feet, it boasts 37-inch General Tire Grabber X3 tires and is powered by Nissan’s 5.0-liter V8 Cummins turbo diesel engine found in the Titan XD.

"When I looked at the NV Cargo, I saw a hard-working van with a heavy-duty foundation,” Johnson said. “And I also saw possibilities for a rock crawler that could serve as its own support vehicle.”

General Tire Grabber X3 First Drive

2016 Nissan Titan XD Fuel Economy Testing

To handle the trails, the added weight of the turbo diesel engine, and the large mud-terrain tires, Johnson heavily modified the suspension using Prodigy shocks up front, including an external bypass shock on each side along with a coilover shock that features a remote reservoir. A Dynatrac front axle is also employed up front for additional durability. Out back, the standard leaf spring design is complemented with additional upgrades to handle the added weight of the NV Cargo X and also help provide additional ground clearance (a whopping 22 inches!). Trail Ready beadlock wheels help keep the Grabber X3s from slipping off when aired down on the trail.

For added visibility, a custom LED light system was installed. And if there’s ever any trouble on the trail, a 10,000-lb front-mounted winch is mounted to the custom tube front bumper. The front bumper also incorporates a custom skid plate for added front-end trail protection.

Inside the NV Cargo X, the van’s 234 cubic feet of cargo space are put to good use, as it is a literal support vehicle for hard-core trail recovery or as a chase truck for an off-road race. There’s a full-size spare carried inside, a recovery rope, recovery tracks, a high-lift jack, portable welder and a tool bag.

“We thought it would be interesting to take an NV Cargo to the extreme – pushing it to where no cargo van has ever gone before. We weren’t disappointed,” said Fred Diaz, division vice president and general manager of North America trucks and light commercial vehicles.

Along with the addition of the 5.0L V8 Cummins Turbo Diesel, Johnson also borrowed the Aisin six-speed transmission and four-wheel drive system of the Titan XD to complete the off-road van. The end result is a van spitting out 310 horsepower and 555 lb.-ft. of torque that’s paired with a massive 22 inches of ground clearance so that it can legitimately tackle the trails.

Sounds like a dream rig to us. What do you think? Newsletter
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