Nissan’s first North American foray into the commercial truck world was launched at the recent Work Truck Show, the all new 2011 NV van in both Standard and High Roof versions. Look for it on the street — but only at select, commercial-ready dealerships — toward the end of the year. The van will be manufactured at an existing Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi

The NV2500 High Roof is pictured here.

Designed on a clean sheet of paper, the first production models in the lineup will be the NV1500, NV2500 and NV3500, with a choice of 4.0-litre V6 and 5.6-litre V8 engines under a long hood, both of which motors have been around for a while. All three will be offered with Standard roof while the High Roof will be available on the NV2500 and NV3500 only. By ‘High Roof’ Nissan means stand-up, walk-through work or cargo space.

Aside from the gas power plants — no diesel is likely — the NV is a ground-up design from its body-on-ladder-frame construction to the integrated roof-rack mounting brackets on the body top. It’s a front-engine, rear-drive configuration with a 5-speed automatic transmission and big 14-in. disc brakes behind 17-in. wheels all around. Suspension up front is independent but at the rear it’s a solid axle. It’s a work truck, plain and simple.

Inside the big, wide-opening front and rear doors (with sliding passenger-side door) you’ll find features like available upfitter pre-wiring; wide-coverage cargo area lighting system; multiple power outlets, including available 3-prong 120V outlet; multiple weld-nut attachment points for securing shelving and rack systems; and recessed tie-down ‘D’ rings.

Up front you’ll see lots of leg and foot room; fold-down passenger seatback with one-hand operation that serves as a mobile worktable; an available centre console with room for digital cameras and even laptop computers; available overhead console (on High Roof models) with room for gloves, legal-size binder, system books, etc.; and a large cargo floor with square-top wheel wells.

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