Here’s something you probably didn’t know: There’s a military version of the Nissan Frontier. I’m serious. Check out the images above, and you’ll see it in its full glory: the ACMAT ALTV, which sort of looks like a Nissan Frontier at a Halloween party.
Here’s the situation. ACMAT, which is a French company whose name stands for something like "Workshops of the Atlantic," makes heavy trucks and military vehicles. Although they formerly produced only larger military vehicles, ACMAT was purchased by Renault-Nissan in 2006, which opened up new avenues of production — including, yes, a military vehicle based on the Nissan Frontier.
The ACMAT ALTV (that stands for "ACMAT Light Tactical Vehicle") is the result of this purchase — and it’s the vehicle you see in the images above. If you recognize the cab section, that’s because it’s pulled directly from a Nissan Frontier. Spend a little time searching around, and you can find some interior shots of these things. They hilariously use the same distinctive Nissan steering wheel, too.
But then there’s the rest of the truck. In front, the thing is squared off, like a military Hummer — presumably for additional approach angle and improved ground clearance. It uses more traditional headlights, which are probably easier to replace than the Frontier’s distinctive units. And on every ALTV photo I’ve seen, there’s a snorkel for better water-fording capabilities.
In back, the ALTV seems like it’s made with a stripped chassis and then built to suit whichever military organization plans to use it. There are images of these floating around with seats in the back, with a machine-gun mount, and with a closed-off rear end, presumably for supplies. This makes the ALTV surprisingly flexible, depending on its purpose.
Although there’s not much information out there about the ALTV, one military vehicle website says over 1,000 have been sold for various military uses — presumably in France or its territories. The website also notes that the ALTV can be paradropped, if necessary, and that it uses a 2.5-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder engine rather than the 4.0-liter V6 that powers U.S.-model Frontier pickups.
Admit it — that’s pretty interesting. Even more interesting if you own a Frontier, since you can now drive around comforted with the knowledge that your vehicle is ready to do battle. All it needs is a Halloween costume. Find a Nissan Frontier for sale
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.