It’s imposing, unapologetic and makes a bold physical statement. It’s the result of a joint effort between Nissan in the US and renowned off-road vehicle builder and television personality, Ian Johnson.
Set to be unveiled at the 2017 Chicago International Motor Show, the Nissan NV Cargo X is not your average delivery van. According to Johnson, he wanted to build a rock-crawler that could serve as its own support vehicle. As a result, the X received a custom off-road suspension that not only provided good levels of wheel travel, but also provided enough wheel-well clearance to fit a set of 37-inch General Grabber mud-terrain tyres. Ground clearance of the Cargo X is rated at 560mm.
On the powertrain-front, it’s no less impressive. The factory fitted 5.6-litre V8 petrol engine that comes standard on the American delivery van was removed and replaced with a Cummins 5.0-litre V8 turbodiesel engine. The engine was donated by the Nissan Titan XD, and produces 230kW of power and 752Nm of torque while power is sent to the wheels via an Aisin six-speed automatic gearbox. In addition, the Titan also donated its 4×4 system and rear diff lock.
To tread where no delivery van has trod before, it also needed an arsenal of gadgetry, should it find itself in a sticky situation. A 10 000lbs winch performs recovery duties at the front, while an off-road LED lighting system lights the way ahead.
At the back, the 6 600-litre cargo area was fitted with a compressor, a recovery rope, recovery tracks, high-lift jack, a toolkit and a portable welding machine.
“We asked the NV Cargo X to do work that’s way outside of its normal job description,’ said Johnson. “And it rose to every challenge.”