Nissan’s Powertrain Assembly Plant in Derchard, Tennessee, is making final plans to launch later this summer the newest addition to the firm’s US engine lineup, one that will be used in the first US-built Pathfinder SUV making its debut later this fall.

The 4.0-litre DOHC V6 engine is rated at 260-plus horsepower and 280-plus lb.-ft. torque and will be used in a series of truck-based products from the company’s Smyrna, Tennessee, plant.

The powerplant is derived from the VQ engine series found in the 350Z, Maxima, Altima, Murano and Quest, along with the Infiniti G35 sedan and coupe and the FX35. It has a longer stroke than the 3.5-litre version and has been specifically tuned for SUV and truck applications.

The engine will be used in the new model Pathfinder, Frontier pickup truck and Xterra compact SUV. The Frontier will launch later this autumn and the Xterra is set to launch in January.

Said Dan Gaudette, senior vice president of North American manufacturing and quality assurance for Nissan: “We have quadrupled the size of this plant and added more than 800 new employees. They’ve done an excellent job with all of our previous engines, as well as preparations for this upcoming launch.”

Opened in May 1997, the 930,000-square-foot Decherd powertrain assembly plant has a capacity for machining and assembling 950,000 engines and 300,000 transaxles annually. It builds all the engines for the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles manufactured in the United States at Smyrna, Tennessee, and Canton, Mississippi.