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February 9, 2017

Nissan Just Built the Most Badass Van Ever

Who says vans aren’t badass? Well, Nissan seems to prove everyone wrong with the one-of-a-kind Nissan NV Cargo X which is the most extreme version of Nissan’s commercial vehicle flagship in the US, the NV Cargo van. It stands over 2.2 meters tall on 37-inch tires and is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 Cummins turbo diesel engine transplanted from the Nissan Titan XD full-sized pickup truck.

Ian Johnson, host of Xtreme Off-Road supervised the transformation making this workhorse of a van into a heavy-duty rock crawler.

Starting with a stock NV 2500 HD Cargo, Johnson and his team built a customer vehicle that can handle everything from maintenance to mayhem.

The fully-boxed frame of the NV Cargo made the transformation possible otherwise it will just flex and squeak under the stress of extreme off-roading. And while the NV Cargo’s front independent double-wishbone suspension and multi-leaf rear suspension is okay for most work days, the NV Cargo X required something a lot more radical: a custom-modified off-road suspension system with enough suspension travel and wheel well clearance to fit a set of 37-inch General Grabber X3 tires. While the front suspension is 100 percent custom, the rear retains the NV Cargo's standard leaf spring design.

To give the NV Cargo X more grunt, Johnson swapped out the standard engine for the Titan XD’s 5.0-liter V8 Cummins turbo diesel engine. The engine, rated at 310 horsepower and 745 Nm of torque, is perfect for rock crawling. The Titan’s Aisin 6-speed automatic and advanced 4-wheel drive system also made it into the NV Cargo X.

Once the front sheet metal was reinstalled following the engine transplant, other exterior modifications included installation of a custom off-road LED Lighting System, 10,000-lb. front-mounted winch, and a tube bumper with custom skid plate. A special black-and-white custom wrap finished the exterior.

Next came the challenge of the cargo end of the NV Cargo X.

With 6,600 liters of available cargo space, the team went all out and equipped the NV Cargo X with all the goodies found in an off-road support vehicle. Thhe custom build-out utilized the NV Cargo's standard reinforced mounting points and standard cargo containment system. Ultimately, the cargo bay was filled with an onboard air system, fluid containment and storage, full-size spare, recovery rope, recovery tracks, high-lift jack, portable welder, and the always important tool bag.

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