Nissan used social media to create a tricked-out overlanding vehicle

After turning one of its Titan pickup trucks into a go-anywhere house on wheels called Project Basecamp, Nissan is at it again with a project vehicle based on its Armada SUV. The goal was the same: To create an overlanding rig perfect for camping, or fleeing the zombie apocalypse. But this time Nissan turned to social media for help.

Dubbed Nissan Armada Mountain Patrol, the tricked-out SUV was designed with input from social media users. Those users went to @NissanUSATrucks on Instagram and Facebook to vote on three categories of modifications — tire model, exterior vinyl wrap, and roof-mounted tent — using the hashtag #MountainPatrol. The finished vehicle will appear at the 2018 Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona, May 18-20, and will be displayed at other events over the course of the year.

So what did Nissan and its social media followers come up with? Starting at the top, the Mountain Patrol features a four-person roof-mounted Mt. Shasta tent from Cascade Vehicle Tents, as well as a custom awning from Rhino Racks, and a smaller pop-up tent, sleeping bags, and chairs from Alps Mountaineering. A number of different trays and storage bins house all of the necessary gear for an overlanding trip, plus a Lowrance navigation system and Rugged Radios radio system.

Nissan fitted 17-inch Icon Rebound wheels with Nitto Grappler 35/12.25/17 tires. Custom front and rear bumpers, rock sliders, and a spare tire swing-away make the SUV look a bit tougher, and should protect the bodywork while off roading. A 12,000-pound Warn winch is mounted on the front bumper in case the vehicle gets stuck. An LED light bar, front fog lights, and a custom vinyl wrap finish off the exterior modifications.

The Mountain Patrol uses the same 5.6-liter V8 as the stock Armada, which produces 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. Nissan added a Magnaflow cat-back exhaust system. Power is sent to all four wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission.

The name Mountain Patrol references the fact that the Armada is sold as the Nissan Patrol in other markets. While the current generation has only been sold in the United States since the 2017 model year, the Patrol has been sold in international markets for decades. U.S. buyers may be less familiar with it, but the Patrol’s reputation for off-road prowess rivals that of the Land Rover Range Rover and Toyota Land Cruiser abroad.

The U.S.-spec Armada (along with its Infiniti QX80 luxury sibling) is one of the last old-school SUVs still sold here. A body-on-frame design and traditional four-wheel drive system don’t do the Armada many favors when it comes to refinement, on-road driving dynamics, or fuel economy, but they give this SUV real off-road capability. The Armada stands in contrast to the car-based crossovers that populate most automakers’ lineups (including Nissan’s). Those vehicle may look rugged, but they can’t stray too far from the pavement.

Updated on May 17: Added more information and photos of the finished product.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

'4WD' or 'AWD'? Which setup is right for you?

Although four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) are related, they are actually quite different in how they operate. Here, we talk about the fundamental differences between the two systems, and what it means for you as a driver.
Outdoors

Sleep comfortably under the stars in one of the best tents

An essential piece of gear whether you're camping in your backyard or on a multi-day backpacking trip, here are our picks of the best tents currently on the market from car camping varieties to the best three-person option.
Emerging Tech

Here are the best (and least likely to explode) hoverboards you can buy

With widespread reports of cheap, knock-off Chinese hoverboards exploding, these self-balancing scooters may be getting a rough reputation. They're not all bad, though. Ride in style with our picks for the best -- and safest -- hoverboards
Cars

At 503 mph, Turbinator II is the world’s fastest wheel-driven vehicle

The Turbinator II is a four-wheel drive streamliner powered by a 5,000-horsepower helicopter engine, and it just achieved 503.332 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. That's an unofficial record for a wheel-driven car.
Cars

Lyft has a new fixed-price subscription plan for frequent passengers

Lyft wants you to save money by using rideshare services instead of owning a car. The new Lyft All-Access Plan monthly rideshare trip subscription includes 30 rides a month with a small discount for additional trips.
Product Review

Audi's new A8 is so sophisticated and serene, it practically deletes potholes

The 2019 Audi A8’s outline looks promising: Level 3 autonomous driving capability, haptic-feedback infotainment screens, rear-wheel steering, Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights, plus a predictive suspension.
Cars

Could the next Mazda3 boast a fuel-saving breakthrough in engine tech?

Mazda released a teaser video that likely previews the next Mazda3. Expected to make its global debut at the L.A. auto show, the next 3 will wear a more curvaceous design and offer one of the most advanced engines in the automotive…
Cars

Workhorse takes on diesel with lighter, cheaper NGEN-1000 electric delivery van

Ohio-based Workhorse Group claims its new NGEN-1000 electric delivery van costs the same as a conventional diesel van and can haul a similar amount of cargo. A lower curb weight makes this possible.
Cars

Forget transponders with Peasy’s nationwide pay-as-you-go toll service

Verra Mobility launched Peasy, a consumer highway and bridge toll payment service. Designed to be less hassle than managing traditional transponder or toll tag accounts, Peasy pays tolls as they are levied across most of the U.S.
Cars

Just 10 people will get to put this limited-edition Audi R8 in their garages

The 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus Competition makes use of Audi's motor sports experience to turn up the performance dial. Decreased weight and increased aerodynamic downforce make this R8 a track monster.
Cars

Porsche’s all-electric Taycan sedan will cost less than a Panamera

Porsche's Mission E concept won't change much as it transitions to a production model named Taycan that's scheduled to arrive in 2019. That means the sedan will keep the sleek design and its 800-volt charging system.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

Tesla keeps promise with more affordable Model 3 with midrange battery pack

Tesla is keeping its promise of making the Model 3 gradually more affordable. The company released a new variant of the car with a mid-range, 260-mile battery option that's priced under the $50,000 mark.