Nissan Hints at Hardbody Revival

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

nissan hints at hardbody revival

We know there are more than a few members of the B&B who look upon the era of small trucks with no small amount of fondness. Nissan Hardbody, Toyota Pickup, Mitsu Mighty Max – they all hold a place in the minds of many.

Nissan seems to be on the cusp of reintroducing something with the Hardbody name, releasing this image just the other day and promising answers next week.

There’s an argument to be made that the current-day Frontier is as close as we’ll get these days to those trucks mentioned earlier: handsome square face, relatively simple powertrain, and no-nonsense interior. In short, it’s the perfect canvas on which to create a Hardbody trim – even if it does end up being a sticker package with an appropriately retro-inspired hoop bar with auxiliary lights.

Here's another possibility: The annual Rebelle Rally is an endurance event challenging a few tough-as-nails teams to navigate areas in the southwest without the benefit of any modern GPS or wayfinding technology. A couple of years ago, one of the teams campaigned a Nissan-backed entry that paid homage to the Desert Runner, complete with a tribute paint scheme and the like. With the Rebelle set to hit the dirt in about a month, the timing is right for some sort of announcement.

Or not. Maybe we’ll be writing about the new Frontier Hardbody package this time next week. After all, the official line of dross from Nissan states the “beloved compact truck begins its next chapter” on Thursday. It’s worth noting that in 1987, Hardbody off-road racing trucks won the Baja 1000, Mint 400, and Gold Coast 300 competitions, accomplishments which led directly to the creation of the aforementioned Desert Runner.

Whatever they’ve up their sleeve, we don’t have long to wait. Nissan promises an announcement on September 14th.

[Images: Nissan]

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2 of 33 comments
  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Sep 11, 2023

    It was a real come down when Nissan went from the Hardbody (wasn't this really just a nickname?) to the original Frontier, with its lame "Dogs love trucks" advertising campaign. A kindler gentler Nissan pickup. 😐️

  • Cprescott Cprescott on Sep 11, 2023

    Like the sorry excuse of the Z-Car revival?

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