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Nissan unveils new small pickup, is it the next Frontier?

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Nissan is almost ready to cross a new Frontier.

The automaker today revealed its next-generation small pickup in Thailand, known there and in other markets as the NP300 Navara.

Although Nissan denies that the truck is an indication of a new Frontier for the U.S., previous versions of the two were nearly identical.

Outside, it gets a softer, more aerodynamic shape than the current truck, featuring a face similar to the one used on the company’s recent crossovers, and comes in both king cab and crew cab styles.

Inside, it features a very carlike cabin design, with a curvaceous dashboard and Nissan’s “zero-gravity” seats, which reduce pressure points and debuted on the latest Altima sedan.

Overseas, the rear or all-wheel-drive NP300 will be powered by a choice of gasoline and diesel 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines, mated to either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic transmission.

Towing and payload capacities have not yet been revealed, but with a fully boxed ladder frame, and leaf-spring rear suspension, the NP300 maintains a very traditional truck construction.

The NP300 is expected to go on sale by early next year, no word yet on when a new Frontier will follow, but it will have some stiff competition when it does. The all-new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon small pickups are scheduled to hit showrooms this fall.