<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT"%> ROCKCRAWLER.com - Nissan Begins Production of 2005 Xterra
Nissan Begins Production of 2005 Xterra

SMYRNA, TN - Jan. 7, 2005 - To the applause of employees who built it, the first 2005 Nissan Xterra rolled off the Smyrna manufacturing assembly line today, the latest in a series of three truck-based products that have been significantly updated for the 2005 model year.

"Our company's product revival began with our 1999 launch of this innovative SUV," said Dan Gaudette, senior vice president of NorthAmerican Manufacturing and Quality Assurance for Nissan North America, Inc. "With this second generation, we've added more power, room and utility, something our consumers have said they wanted. Xterra customers -- be they on-road or off-road enthusiasts -- will not be disappointed in the evolution of this product."

The all-new SUV, which will be offered in both 4WD and 2WD configurations with an available enhanced off-road system, is built on Nissan's new "F-Alpha" platform, a modified version of the platform used in the Titan full-size and Frontier midsize trucks and the Armada full-size and Pathfinder midsize SUVs. Larger than the original award-winning Xterra, the 2005 Xterra comes in a fully boxed, all-steel ladder frame, with a steel double-wishbone front suspension

with stabilizer bar and rigid leaf spring rear suspension. Its ground clearance has also been enhanced.

2005 Nissan Xterra Now In Production

The new Xterra's interior features more room in front and rear seating areas and additional head room. Similar in design to the cargo systems on the Nissan Titan and Nissan Frontier trucks, a new adjustable channel Utili-track System in the Xterra's cargo floor makes it easier to secure bike racks, gear and other accessories.

The 2005 Xterra is powered by a 4.0 liter DOHC V6 engine, rated at 265 horsepower and 284 lb-ft torque. The engine will be standard in all three models of the vehicle -- the S, Off-road and the SE. Based on the award-winning Nissan VQ engine series found in the Nissan 350Z, Nissan Maxima and Altima sedans, and the Murano crossover vehicle, the

Xterra's powertrain features a longer stroke specifically tuned for SUV and truck applications and is built at Nissan's Decherd, Tennessee, powertrain assembly plant.

"Along with a variety of employees from throughout global Nissan, the Smyrna team has done an outstanding job preparing for all three of our truck-based launches over the last six months," Gaudette said, referencing the launch of the Pathfinder mid-size SUV in August and the Frontier mid-size pickup in October. "These employees have handled the challenge of building three key products in a short amount of time and I'm proud of what they've accomplished. I expect the Xterra launch will continue to go smoothly and the product to remain a highly popular one for our customers."

Nissan has invested more than $4.2 billion in its three U.S. manufacturing facilities. In addition to the Xterra, the Smyrna plant builds the Maxima sports sedan, the Altima midsize sedan, the Frontier midsize pickup truck and the Pathfinder midsize SUV. The Canton, Miss., assembly plant produces the Nissan Quest minivan, the Altima, the Armada full-size SUV, Titan full-size truck, and the Infiniti QX56 full-size luxury SUV. In Decherd, Tenn., Nissan builds engines for all U.S.-produced Nissan and Infiniti vehicles and assembles transaxles.

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