Skip to main content

Land-speed racing pickup truck? Nissan says ‘Why not?’

2016 Nissan TITAN XD “Triple Nickel”
Image used with permission by copyright holder
A full-size diesel pickup truck doesn’t sound like the best base for a land-speed record-beater, but Nissan is betting its 2016 Titan XD has what it takes. It unveiled a Titan modified for land-speed racing at the 2015 SEMA show in Las Vegas, and it definitely looks fast.

Called “Triple Nickel” in reference to the Titan’s 555 pound-feet of torque, the truck was built in collaboration with Cummins, which supplies the 2016 Titan XD’s 5.0-liter diesel V8. Racing modifications include lowered suspension, smooth salt-flat style disc wheel covers, a front air dam, and bed covers. A special seat and a parachute have already been installed for safety reasons, and Nissan will add a roll cage and other equipment before any record attempts.

The great thing about land-speed records is that there are plenty of them to beat. Multiple organizations host racing events, and there are many classes encompassing a wide variety of vehicles. Nissan says it’s aiming for the class D/DT record, which currently stands at 191 mph, and the FIA A-III-9 record, which is currently 115 mph.

Nissan says both it and Cummins already have land-speed record efforts underway, run by employees who volunteer their time. They compete at events run by the East Coast Timing Association in Wilmington, Ohio, as well as at the legendary Bonneville salt flats in Utah. These in-house racers will apply their experience to the Triple Nickel Titan.

While a land-speed record would certainly look impressive on a resume, Nissan is obviously emphasizing more practical things in its first redesign of the Titan in a decade. It hopes to hook customers with the unusual combination of a diesel engine and a half-ton truck chassis. The Titan XD should not only boast good fuel economy, but also towing and hauling abilities comparable to larger trucks, Nissan has said.

The average Titan owner will never experience anything near the speed the Triple Nickel should be capable of, so it will be interesting to see if the old adage “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” holds true in this case.

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Used EV prices are falling quicker than those of gas cars, and that’s good
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited AWD rear end side profile from driver's side with trees and a metal fence in the back.

Let's face it. Electric vehicles are getting cheaper, but they're still expensive, with so-called "budget" models still costing north of $35,000. That, however, really only accounts for new electric vehicles -- and it turns out that used ones are getting much more affordable. In fact, a new report suggests that the price of used electric vehicles is falling much quicker than that of gas counterparts.

I get it -- the concept can be scary. New EV buyers certainly don't want to find that their shiny electric vehicles are worth so much less after just a few years. But, in the grand scheme of things, this is actually a good thing.
The numbers
The report from iSeeCars notes that while in June 2023, average used EV prices were 25% higher than used gas car prices, by May 2024, used EV prices were 8% lower. That's a pretty dramatic change.

Read more
Bentley Continental GT and GTC Speed get performance boost as plug-in hybrids
Front three quarter view of the new Bentley Continental GT Speed coupe.

A few years ago, Bentley set off on a path to electrification that was paved with plug-in hybrids and added models like the Bentayga Hybrid to its lineup. However, that path was more of a parallel side road, with plug-in hybrids augmenting the lineup rather than replacing traditional gasoline-only models. Now they're heading for the fast lane.

Unveiled Tuesday, the fourth-generation Bentley Continental GT Speed coupe and GTC Speed convertible are the most powerful Bentley road cars ever — and they're plug-in hybrids. These performance models herald a new era for the Continental GT, Bentley's signature vehicle, along with its GTC convertible variant.

Read more
Tesla recalls Cybertruck to fix two more issues
A Tesla Cybertruck throws red dust in a press photo.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk behind the wheel of a Cybertruck. Tesla

Two more issues have emerged with Tesla’s new Cybertruck pickup, causing the automaker to issue two recalls on Tuesday.

Read more