We know Chris Forsberg more from his conquering runs in Formula Drift, but now he runs an eponymous race team that equally happy throwing clouds of dirt and gravel as throwing smoke. He teamed up with Nissan on a truck for the 2023 NORRA 500 race in Baja, California, last September, a Frontier pickup to compete in the Evolution 7100 Class for mostly lightly prepped stock vehicles. The rules allow for some accessories, so the pickup got Nismo-branded off-road gear like a Nismo high-performance suspension and lift kit, auxiliary lights and Nismo roof rack, rock sliders, and Axis 17-inch bead-lock wheels wrapped in Yokohama Geolandar M/T G003 tires. The result: Forsberg and co-driver Leticia Bufoni won the class. And now you can get closer to that whiff of victory with the Nissan Frontier Forsberg Edition Package that will debut at the 2024 Chicago Auto Show.
Side note: The class consisted only of Forsberg, so class victory was assured if Forsberg could finish. Don’t underestimate how tough it is just to get to the finish line, though. Out of 38 runners in the Group 2 category for cars, 12 pooped out before the line — a 32% DNF rate.
The dealer-installed Forsberg Edition Package includes the roof rack and light bar, rock sliders, Nismo lift kit and suspension components, 17-inch Axis bead-locks on those Geolanders, a Nismo cat-back exhaust, Forsberg Racing decals, and a Forsberg Racing badge inside. Nissan says this is a limited-edition bundle, but hasn’t specified how limited. It’ll be available toward the end of this year for any 2022-and-newer Frontier for $9,999, which might or might not include installation, we’ll be sure to ask in Chicago.
Another rugged bit of kit gets a Chicago show debut as well, the Nissan Ariya e-4Force that completed a 10-month, 18,000-mile drive from North to South Poles. Husband-and-wife team Chris and Julie Ramsey departed Magnetic North in March of last year in an Ariya modified with a solar panels and a lightweight wind turbine refilling a portable power generator plugged into the Ariya’s battery, and 39-inch BF Goodrich tires. Nissan said it wanted to show how minimal modifications could “showcase the ability of EVs to operate in extreme conditions, with no changes applied to the battery or powertrain.” Maybe Nissan should have had that Ariya in Chicago last month, and hosted clinics at Supercharger stations.
The Chicago Auto Show starts later this week. As always, we’ll bring you all the news from the floor.