Here’s Sparky, a converted Nissan Leaf. Engineers Roland Schellenberg and Arnold Moulinet, eager to do a little team-building and create a cool way of moving stuff around Nissan’s Stanfield, Arizona testing facility, led the project. Some of you may be wondering, “Why not just get a Frontier and be done with it.” Well, what’s the fun in that? Besides—there is a long and awesome tradition of automakers doing crazy things like building a BMW M3 pickup and Porsche-powered Volkswagen Vanagon.
Now, the Leaf is a highly capable, thoroughly funky EV that we love. And it makes a surprisingly attractive, if somewhat stunted, pickup truck. The team kept the drivetrain as-is, chopped off the roof and added the top from a Titan pickup and the (shortened) bed from a Frontier. Cool details include wood bed slats, sharp wheels and the Leaf’s rounded rear. It all comes together in a thoroughly futuristic riff on the venerable pickup.
Sparky is tooling around the 3,050-acre test facility, which includes a 5.7-mile high-speed oval that the little electric p’up probably won’t ever see. We don’t expect to see a contractor rocking one of these anytime soon, but we wouldn’t rule out seeing something like this in the future. After all, Nissan’s already stuffed the GT-R’s drivetrain into the Juke, sent a Leaf clambering up Pikes Peak and built a race-ready Leaf that looks utterly insane. (We drove it. It was fun.) This is definitely a company that isn’t afraid to get a little weird.