Could a brand new Nissan Armada be just around the corner?
Nissan’s 5.6-liter Endurance V8 has endured for nearly two decades in the Titan pickup and its SUV sibling, the Armada. This latest model, fresh face and all, carries on that tradition — but perhaps not for much longer.
According to an Automotive News report citing a dealer source, Nissan aims to downsize the next-generation Armada’s powertrain. Instead of the 400 horsepower V8, we may well see a more fuel-efficient twin-turbocharged V6 instead. At this point, to be clear, Nissan has not officially confirmed that move in a public-facing statement.
It’s not a terribly surprising move, if it comes to pass. Toyota just made that exact move with the new Tundra pickup and its Sequoia SUV stablemate. In fact, the 2023 Toyota Sequoia not only packs a twin-turbo V6, but is also only available as a hybrid variant. The Ford Expedition, for its part, has used the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine for six years now, though it is still possible to find a V8 in GM’s full-size SUVs, as well as the new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. In Jeep’s case, we could just be in a carryover phase, as even Stellantis may supplant the long-lived Hemi V8s with a 3.0-liter turbocharged “Tornado” straight-six powerplant.
Now, the current Armada did just see an update for the 2021 model year. Based on Nissan’s global Patrol, we received fresher styling, including new LED headlights and taillights, as well as a 12.3-inch infotainment screen. The Endurance engine, though, carried over virtually unchanged, including its 7-speed automatic transmission (which even the Titan doesn’t use anymore).
Will the Armada use Nissan’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6?
At present, the Nissan Armada is a thirsty proposition — returning just 15 mpg in four-wheel-drive configuration (rear-wheel-drive models score 1 mpg better). The question is, then, which engine will the 2024 Nissan Armada see, if Nissan goes the downsizing route?
It’s possible the automaker could supplant the old V8 with a unit that’s just as powerful, thanks to its existing 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. This is the engine that powers the new Nissan Z, as well as Infiniti’s “Red Sport 400” models. That would give the truck an output around 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, while Nissan could reconfigure the engine to put out closer to what the 5.6-liter V8 can manage.
However, on the other hand, that move would still leave Nissan well behind the competition on performance. The Sequoia, for example, manages 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque with its hybrid setup. Even the new Lexus LX 600, which does not use a hybrid system, manages 409 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque from the same twin-turbo V6. The Ford Expedition manages up to 440 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque (available on the Timberline or Limited model with the “Stealth Performance” package).
Another consideration is the Armada’s respectable 8,500-pound towing capacity. Any new powertrain would have to offer at least comparable, if not superior, performance to what’s currently available, while improving fuel economy.
As ever, we’ll have to wait and see how time bears this rumor out — and we’ll provide an update when we have more (hopefully confirmed) information.