Back in the late ’80s to mid-’90s, Nissan sold a little car-based ute here called the Sunny Pickup aka the Sunny Truck. What made it stand out among other Nissans of the era was its styling. We only saw it in its refreshed 1989 square-headlight form, but it started life in the early ’70s as the pickup companion of the Datsun 1200 sedan. In this age of growing pickups, it would be nice to see an affordable little model like the Sunny Truck return, so we’ve rendered this modern version.
What we’ve come up with is a blend of old and new. I combined smooth, flush surfaces with the classic three-box profile of the original truck. Up front, the gloss-black upper panel with flush LED headlights improve aerodynamics, but at the same time are reminiscent of the classic grille and rectangular halogen units. The main grille opening is below the bumper beam.
Moving to the sides, the matte-black lower body and wheel-arch trim slim down the pickup’s appearance and give it a rugged look. The black A-pillars help reduce the visual mass of the modern A-pillars, which are required for modern safety. The B-pillars and the sail panels are styling cues from the original pickup. At the rear, the rounded corners and the small black corner bumpers are throwbacks to the classic model. For a cleaner look, the black tie-down hooks blend with the protective black cladding at the top of the pickup box.
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Our modern Nissan Sunny Truck is designed around a stretched version of the front-wheel-drive Renault-Nissan CMF-A+ platform used by the Nissan Magnite and its Renault cousins. It features independent MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam with coil springs at the back. As for dimensions, it measures 4,432mm long, 1,724mm wide, and 1,511mm tall, and rides on a 2,679mm wheelbase and 195/55 R16 tires with a diameter of 24.44 inches. Max payload is 695kg.
Powering our modern Sunny Truck is Nissan’s 1.0-liter turbocharged in-line-three HRA0 mill that puts out 99hp and 152-160Nm of torque. This engine can be paired to either an Xtronic CVT or a five-speed manual gearbox. Our Sunny Truck comes with a 52-liter fuel tank which is larger than the ones found in subcompact Nissan cars and crossovers.
This will be positioned as a two-seater pickup alternative to A- and B-segment cars. Starting price should be well below P600,ooo. Would you consider the Nissan Sunny Truck if it were to be built for real? Let us know in the comments.