An unofficial rumor also suggests the Frontier will be split from the global Navara pickup.

Nissan may already be preparing to revive the recently retired Xterra nameplate.Facing tighter safety regulations in the US market, the Xterra was discontinued at the end of the 2015 model year -- capping a 15-year run.

Other automakers have since experienced significant growth in the compact SUV segment, putting pressure on Nissan to bring back its established nameplate.

A source now tells Motor Trend the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi consortium is working on a new body-on-frame vehicle presumed to be the third-generation Xterra. The public is expected to get its first look at the off-roader at the Beijing motor show next year.

The same platform architecture is said to be under consideration for the next-generation Nissan Frontier, splitting off the midsize pickup into a truly standalone model distinct from the global Navara.