While the coronavirus has majorly disrupted practically every automaker and supplier in the world, some things are still going according to plan. During a roundtable discussion, Nissan representatives said that the 2020 Nissan Frontier with the new 3.8-liter engine is still on track to go on sale this spring. No adjustments have been made to the introduction of the next-generation 2021 Frontier either, which should be revealed by the end of the year. In fact, Nissan's representatives mentioned that next-generation Frontier prototypes are on their way to the U.S. for additional testing.
As has been mentioned previously, the big draw of the 2020 Nissan Frontier is that it gets the same 3.8-liter V6 and 9-speed automatic transmission as the redesigned 2021 truck. It's 93% different from the slightly larger displacement 4.0-liter engine of the old truck, and it's substantially more efficient and powerful. Despite the major changes, Nissan's powertrain expert who was leading the roundtable confirmed that it is still part of the VQ series of engines, which has been around since at least the Nissan 350Z, and a 3.7-liter version is used in the current 370Z. The powertrain expert also explained that the truck's increased efficiency is a result of multiple factors. In part, the engine is more efficient all around because of improved design, but it's also lighter than the old 4.0-liter engine.