Nissan Debuts 2018 Snow Vehicles for Chicago Auto Show
A Lifted 2018 Nissan Armada and Tracked 370Z Debut at the Chicago Auto Show
Nissan has a history of making 4x4s that are targeted towards off-road consumers. Overseas, the Nissan Patrol has achieved legendary status for off-road performance, sitting alongside the Toyota Land Cruiser as one of the most reliable and often-utilized all-terrain 4x4s in the world. In the States, we see the Xterra, Pathfinder, and Titan occasionally built for off-roading, but it’s not every day you see a lifted Armada, and we’re not sure we have ever seen a lifted Nissan 370Z, let alone one on tracks.
Nissan set out to do something exciting with their rear-wheel-drive sports car for the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, where they have a history of displaying snow sports–themed creations. “The Nissan 370Zki continues our recent tradition of bringing imaginative winter vehicle concepts to the Chicago Auto Show. With the Nissan Z’s long heritage of motorsports competition, the 370Zki seemed like a natural combination,” said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. “Prior to its debut here in Chicago, we put the 370Zki through its paces on the slopes in Wyoming where its performance heritage really came through.” The 332hp 370Z Roadster features front skis and a set of rear Dominator tracks from American Track Truck, Inc.
In order to fit the tracks and skis under the 370Z, Nissan Engineers created a custom 3-inch suspension lift, and 3-inch wheel spacers allow the tracks and skis adequate travel space. Along with some rear wheelwell trimming, the exhaust and brake lines were modified and remounted to fit the tracks. Even the engine and transmission of the 370Z had to be custom-mounted, and a front skidplate was fabricated to prevent damage during snow excursions. Exterior graphics were provided by Icon Image Graphics and the 370Z’s headlights were tinted yellow to resemble ski goggles; once on the snow the 370Z becomes the 370Zki. “Nissan’s full range of winter adventure-ready vehicles will be on display throughout the Chicago Auto Show, from our best-selling Rogue AWD to the powerful Titan 4x4 and Titan XD 4x4 lineups,” said Bunce. It’s also fun to shake things up with something totally unexpected once in a while—and that’s the Nissan 370Zki.”
In Wyoming, the Armada seized the opportunity to show off its standard towing capacity of 8,500 pounds, and its ability as a capable fullsize SUV, by towing the 370Zki through the snow on a trailer. The Snow Patrol Armada features a 3-inch Pro Comp suspension lift, 35-inch Pro Comp MT2 maximum traction extreme off-road tires, 20x9-inch Cognito Series 61 wheels, a Smittybilt off-road bumper with a 12,000-pound–capacity winch, M-1A running boards/rock sliders, a one-piece Defender roof rack, a roof-mounted DR36 double row LED lightbar, and a pair of grille-mounted 5-inch LED round motorsports lights.
Billy Hayes, division vice president, Commercial Vehicles and Trucks, Nissan North America, Inc. said about the Snow Patrol Armada, “As part of our celebration of winter at the Chicago Auto Show, we wanted to remind our growing family of Armada owners and enthusiasts that this fullsize SUV stands ready to take you to the mountains, or at least safely through Chicago streets covered in lake effect snow. With its rugged fully-boxed ladder frame, powerful V-8, advanced all-wheel-drive system, and easily engaged Snow Mode setting on the 4WD Mode Control dial, Armada is ready to tackle the most adverse climate situations. The Armada Snow Patrol takes it to the next level.” The Armada features a best-in-class, standard 390hp 5.6L DOHC Endurance V-8—more than enough power to tow some toys through a winter wonderland.
Inside, premium leather-wrapped front seats with pearl color surfaces and cement color perforated inserts, cobalt color wings, contrasting cobalt stitching, and Armada Snow Patrol logo seatback inserts were added. A custom body wrap by Icon Image Graphics, with special Armada Snow Patrol logo, was the final touch.
“The Armada Snow Patrol project was completed using readily available aftermarket parts—thanks especially to Pro Comp and Katzkin—showing owners how easy it is to take their family adventures to the next level even in some of winter’s most severe conditions,” said Hayes. “We think this vehicle is going to attract a lot of attention among visitors to the Chicago Auto Show.”