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Even in a down pickup truck market, the all-new Dodge Ram should be a boon to Chrysler and not just because it's a far better truck than the one it replaces. The new Ram will also be the next Nissan Titan, a deal that helps Chrysler keep its truck factories running closer to maximum capacity. With Nissan borrowing Ram mechanicals and engineering, the assumption has been that Chrysler's 5.7L HEMI V8 was going to be part of the package. Nissan officials have continually denied that any decision about the truck's engine of choice has yet to be made and that its own Evolution 5.6L powerplant was still under consideration.

Chrysler chairman Jim Press put any speculation to rest when he declared at an LA Motor Guild meeting recently that the Nissan Titan would indeed receive HEMI power. After our friend Mike Levine from Pickuptrucks.com broke the news, Nissan responded by saying that it has made no decisions concerning the HEMI engine and when it does, the announcement would come from Nissan. It makes sense that the next Titan would be HEMI-fied, especially considering that the engineering needed to mate the HEMI and Ram platform has already been done and paid for, and part logistics are already in sync with truck assembly. Plus, the new HEMI produces a class-leading 390 horsepower and gets decent fuel economy for a big, burly truck engine. Nissan could do much worse.

[Source: Pickuptrucks.com]


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  • 27 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I guess that domestics aren't that bad after all if the Japanese are now sharing platforms and powertrains with the Americans... it used to be only the other way around.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I suspect he's referring to the likes of the Chevy LUV, Ford Courier and Dodge Raider. There's never been a full-sized American-badged truck based on a Japanese platform...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Did it really? You don't say. Please give examples.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't think he was specifically talking about trucks.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Pushrods in a Nissan? Oh Noes!!!1!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Do Nissan trucks perform poorly in the marketplace? I knew a couple people who had Titans and they loved them.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, the Titan has always been a poor seller compared to it's rivals. Good call on Nissan's part. They will reduce future investment and R&D cost without throwing away all the money they have already spent trying to build the Titan name. They'll leave the building of the full size trucks to the experts and concentrate on their own strong suit - small pickups and cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thanks for the response, that does make a lot of sense.

        Maybe Chrysler could reverse the relationship and benefit from that expertise in smaller cars then?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I have a 07 Titan and I love mine. The truck has great capabilities while staying comfortable. I have a 4x4 with the Off-Road package. My wife and I go camping in with it (not with a camper, but the truck bed tent). This is the only truck I have owned (I have had a 626, Protege5, two Miatas, and a 350z before the truck), and it is probably one of my favorite vehicles.

        This makes me wonder about the Armada and the Inifiniti QX56. Will they become re-badged Dodges, go stale with no updates, or just get axed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What i didn't know CHRYSLER BOUGHT TOYOTA!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm renting a Frontier 4x4 with the 261HP 4.0 V6. Most boring thing I've ever driven. Completely pointless since a Silverado is about equal in fuel economy and not far off in cost if you consider real-world transaction prices.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Will it get the 7 speed automatic from the Fx50?
        • 6 Years Ago
        If they keep the Endurance V8, they might get a new trans. If they go to the Hemi, there's no way it will have anything different from what the Ram (speed Chrysler) will have
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have to disagree with you. For "most" people a midsize truck is all they need. My 2007 Dakota is as big as a 1990s Chevy Silverado. It easily tows 5,000 lbs (3500 car on a 1500 lb trailer). It's the exact same 4.7L as in the Rams, and I know plenty of Rams with 4.7s that are pulling race cars. A quad cab Dakota, fully fueled, weighs about 800 lbs less than an equivelent Ram with the same drivetrain. As for fuel economy, NOT TOWING, my Dakota gets considerably better mileage than the 4.7L Ram it replaced, saving me about $700 a year in fuel. My combined city/hwy mileage is as good as the EPA highway mileage (19 mpg).
      With cruise control I can easily pull down 22mpg on the open road. Plus it rides, handles, and turns better.

      Towing, yes I drop down to 13-14 MPG, but I don't tow THAT often, and the race tracks aren't that far away from me anyway.

      I'm not saying the Dakota is better than Ram for REAL truck duty..but for part time truck duty, it gets the job done just fine.

      As for the Titan, I think they were (are) good looking trucks. It makes sense to use the Dodge platform. Nissan just doesn't sell enough full size trucks to justify the R&D costs. I have driven the 2009 Ram, and it is VERY nice. My 2002 Ram was a massive improvement over my older 2001, and the 2009 is another considerable improvement over the 2008.

      BTW - I think the center console shifter is an option on all but the base model 2009 Rams.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'll also mention that with my 08, I'm able to park is comfortably in the garage, compared to the old 1500 that always sat outside. Plus it's much easier to drive in the city if I so choose.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Dumb. Just ask Mistubishi how well re badged dodge trucks sell.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, since the Raider was such a good looking truck....

        but hey, look on cars.com for raiders with under 2k miles and see the steals you can get on some of the never-registered models.

        Also... the current model Dakota is far from good, whereas the new ram is really top-of-class competitive.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mitsubishi still sells pickups?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Amen!

        Why doesn't Nissan just pull out of the dying truck market anyway instead of latching on to a company that is on death-watch?
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Why doesn't Nissan just pull out of the dying truck market anyway instead of latching on to a company that is on death-watch?"

        Sounds like you have been visiting "The Lies About Cars" website. Don't believe everything you read there, they're long on opinion and short on facts.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ TJ
        haha, i thought you were messing around w/ the sub 2k miles cars. But there are a BOAT LOAD of raiders w/ less than 2k, even some w/ sub 500 miles on them. Kinda weird that theres so many for a 2 year old vehicle, and its not a collector car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yep. Just finished looking for a new truck/SUV, stumbled across all of those. If any had been 4x4 I might have given them a more serious look.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Why would Nissan use Chrysler engines when it has highly regarded V6, V8 and V12 gasoline and diesel motors of its own?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Because it cost money to keep on developing the engine. Because it's cheaper. No more R&D for frames or engine. Because it'll win over those domestic people hating on Japanese trucks. Because even if the got the right recipe for the first gen Titan there are a large group of people rather get dodge. Because even if the VQ-derived engine is as reliable and potent as the VQ series people apparently care about Hemi.
      • 6 Years Ago
      this puts me in a very strange position; I own a 2006 Ram HEMI, AND a 2008 Titan!!

      I use the HEMI almost exclusively for towing, and bought the Titan because it was a deal that I just could not pass up. (paid $13,800 for a truck that had an MSRP of $29,255, brand new)

      what really surprised me was now I just LOVE the Titan! I much prefer the King Cab clam doors on the Titan to the four full doors on the Ram, and also love the bucket seats/floor shift on the Titan, which is not available at all on the Ram. it looks like it will be available on the '09 Ram, but only in the top-line Laramie version. my Titan is the mid-line SE trim.

      my one major concern with the Titan had been with the fuel economy; it's nothing to worry about at all. contrary to the 12/17 silly EPA numbers, I'm averaging right around 19.7 MPG. this is almost exactly what I average on the Ram, which has the MDS.

      the 5.6L engine in the Titan is a little down on horsepower compared to the Ram (317 vs. 345), but the torque is exactly the same, 375 ft./lb. as those who tow are aware, the horsepower is inconsequential; torque is far more important.

      the 2004-2005 Titans had their share of problems, but the newer models are very trouble-free. I'm really sorry to see Nissan (and all other manufacturers) walk away from the large pickup and SUV markets; gasoline prices are dropping like a rock, and will continue to. at this point, the teeny cars that everyone had been begging for are now piling up on dealer lots again, just like they have in every gas crisis we've had since the first one back in 1973.

      I feel the manufacturers are foolish for abandoning this very desirable and lucrative market. Nissan's decision will also affect the Armada and the "party dress" Infiniti versions, too. they were built side-by-side to the Titan at the Canton, Mississippi, plant.

      ...and let's skip the comparisions between the Dakota and Mitsubishi Raider to the Titan. Mitsubishi has been teetering on bankrupcy in the US for years, since their "0/0/0" debacle in 2001. the Dakota has been a "soft" seller for years; why would you expect the Raider to be a good seller at dealerships like Mitsubishi, which are at the bottom of most folks' shopping lists, anyway?

      midsize trucks are a big waste, anyway. fuel economy is on par with the full size trucks, and incentives always make the full size trucks cheaper, too; resale is always better, because the full size trucks can actually tow something.

      ever see a Dakota or Tacoma hauling an 8 foot-wide travel trailer? they need mirror extensions to see around it, and god forbid they get caught by a passing wind gust from a semi. that V-6 is working like crazy to maintain a 50 MPH uphill speed, and it rewards you with 8-9 MPG economy. this is "saving money"?

      AZMike
        • 6 Years Ago
        What is the appeal of a trailer, anyway? (my kids want to know)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I guess i'm just tired, but that picture made me laugh.
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