The truck you see before you doesn’t exist. The idea for it certainly existed at some point, but it never got much further off the ground than that. It’s not generated by some artificial intelligence trained by scraping other people’s work, nor is it the work of one mad photochopper. The Nissan Frontier Open Sky was developed, shot, promoted, and reported on, but never actually made it to showrooms. Weird, right?
The Nissan Frontier Open Sky isn’t that radical, but it is a product of Nissan’s weird sunroof era. Remember the piggy bank Maxima, the “just put these skylights anywhere” Quest, and the truly massive glass apparatus found on the XTrail? You cats in America never got the last one, but trust me, it was great. Anyway, the idea was that Nissan would just cut a chunk out of the Frontier midsize pickup truck’s roof and bung in a Webasto-style affair. Think Jeep SkySlider, but less janky.
For one reason or another, the Frontier Open Sky was canned. Be it rumors of water leaks or rumors of compromised structural integrity, something caused Nissan to deem this huge sunroof not suitable for public consumption. It’s a shame because having a fixed roof is only really brilliant in race cars or vehicles you expect to track. Otherwise, give me a view of the moon on clear nights.
The absence of, um, existence makes the Frontier Open Sky feel a bit like the Pontiac G8 ST, except there seemed like an actual chance of it happening. Brochures were composed, press releases were issued, production was touted, and it even got a spot in Motor Trend. The magazine reported that this truck would be on sale in autumn of 2002 as a 2003 model, summing it up as, “This is hardly the greatest innovation in truck-building history, but you have to admit that it’s pretty cool for a manufacturer.” It’s pretty cool, but it’s also pretty tragic that outside of the report, not much aside from unusually high-resolution press shots on Nissan’s media site survived. Talk about hanging by a thread. I guess the morals of the story here are that the Frontier Open Sky might’ve been too awesome to live, but also that photos of obscure cars of the aughts could effectively become lost media at the drop of a hat. In 20 years, maybe we’ll just think we imagined the beach.
(Photo credits: Nissan)
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