Nissan’s April Fools Joke is a Drifting NV3500 Cargo Van
Gettin’ sideways in and jumpin’ ramps never looked so utilitarianby Mark McNabb, on
The Nissan NV3500 Cargo Van might not be the first choice when it comes to drifting, but that’s exactly why Nissan chose it to prank pro drifter Chris Forsberg. The action-packed video shows Forsberg preparing to drift a Nissan 370Z, but only to be surprised with a NV Cargo Van.
The NV3500 appears to be stock, save for the large handbrake handle and its nanny systems turned off. The lack of anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control allow the van to behave like a proper rear-wheel drive, V-8–powered vehicle should. Sure, sliding sideways under power might not be the most advisable driving style in the high-centered cargo van, but hey, it’s nice to know the NV can handle the abuse.
For those a little rusty on their work van stats, the Nissan NV is based on the first generation Titan pickup. It shares much of its platform and powertrain with the truck, including its ladder frame and 5.6-liter V-8 engine. The 32-valve, DOHC engine makes 317 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 385 pound-feet of torque at 3,400 rpm. This gives the 6,121-pound van enough power to haul 3,780 pounds of cargo or tow 9,500 pounds worth of trailer. It’s apparently also enough power to melt the tires off while launching the van over ramps and through walls.
Hey, B.A. Baracus of the A-Team might consider replacing his 1983 GMC Vandura cargo van with something more modern. Let’s just hope he keeps the black, grey, and red paint scheme.
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Why It Matters
Okay, so this stunt doesn’t really prove anything besides Chris Forsberg’s driving abilities and the NV’s ability to survive small jumps and a trip through a thin gypsum wall. What this stunt does prove, or rather do, is help Nissan promote its NV cargo van. The NV’s competition has dramatically grown over the last few years, with offerings from Ford and Ram adding fuel to the fire already provided from Mercedes/Sprinter and Chevrolet.
This does leave us wondering if or when Nissan will update the NV2500 and NV3500 vans with parts from the all-new Titan pickup. Imagine Nissan offering a NV1500 based on the Titan and a NV2500 and NV3500 based on the Titan XD. Nissan would certainly rule the payload and towing categories if it fitted the NV3500 with the 5.0-liter Cummins V-8 turbodiesel found in the Titan XD.