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2022 Chicago Auto Show: Nissan reveals 3 new Frontier concepts

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Nissan North America is showcasing three 2022 Nissan Frontier concepts at the 2022 Chicago Auto Show. Project 72X, Project Hardbody and Project Adventure were all designed by the team at Nissan Design America (NDA) in San Diego, California.

There’s a bit of a midsize truck resurgence going on right now, so these concepts come along at a very good time. While all three concepts are based on the 2022 Frontier Crew Cab platform, they each address three different midsize truck audiences and start with three different Frontier grade levels – S, SV and PRO-4X.

Let’s take a closer look at each concept.

Project 72X

If you dig the old Datsun 720, you will likely dig the Project 72X, which is based on the 2022 Frontier Crew Cab S 4×4 grade but inspired by the original truck. The Datsun 720 was introduced in the U.S. in 1979 and became instantly popular. It was one of the first bare-boned smaller trucks on the market.

The gray exterior seems to be a trendy color today and looks great with the white-painted steel wheels. Other key modifications include a 2.5-inch lift kit with adjustable front upper suspension arms and a sport bar behind the cab.

Lifting a small truck like the Frontier really improves its overall appearance and as such the Project 72X concept feels rugged with a hint of an old-school feel.

Project Hardbody

Nissan enthusiasts will surely remember the iconic Nissan D21 “Hardbody,” which is the inspiration for this second concept. Project Hardbody uses the 2022 Frontier Crew Cab SV 4×4 as its basis, and it has a 3-inch lift with adjustable upper control arms. If the fenders look familiar, it’s because the NDA team borrowed those from the current PRO-4X model. Blending the classic with modern is one of the things that makes the Project Hardbody concept truck work.

With 33-inch tires, it has a big stance. Other features include 10-inch rectangular LED lights, blacked-out front end and door graphics with 1980s-style shadow outlining.

Project Adventure

The overlanding trend doesn’t seem to be dying down. In fact, it seems more and more brands are bringing some iteration of an overlanding vehicle to market, and the Project Adventure is the NDA team’s concept for it. It’s based on a 2022 Frontier Crew Cab PRO-4X.

With a 5-inch lift kit and 34-inch mud terrain tires, this is a Frontier that’s ready for overlanding. A Yakima bed rack system and LoadWarrior roof rack with sky tent shows it’s ready for the open plains and camping out under the stars. It has a sound system by Kicker and a Bluetooth bed audio system.

The most noticeable feature is the carbon fiber snorkel, which shows it’s living up to its named, Project Adventure. The body is wrapped with an atlas of the United States, showing it can go just about anywhere. My guess is this was the NDA design team’s intent to show that the Project Adventure Frontier can handle any situation on that map.

The bottom line on the 2022 Nissan Frontier concepts

Nissan always seems to bring something interesting to the Chicago Auto Show. The Frontier is a truck that rarely gets the headlines. Perhaps if any of these concepts get into production it can help turn around the fortune of Nissan’s small truck.

If not, these are certainly interesting, eye-catching concept trucks. Now come on Nissan, go ahead and produce them.

Which of these concept trucks is your favorite? Leave us your comment below.

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Jimmy Dinsmore

Jimmy is News Editor for PickupTruckTalk with an expertise in new vehicles. He is also a Ford Mustang historian having authored the book Mustang by Design (available on Amazon). His second book, about the history of Ford's F-Series truck comes out next year.

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