Nissan announced today, Aug. 20, that they will offer a 5.0 Cummins Diesel in their next generation Titan full-size pickup truck.
The detail of the truck and model year that it will come to market were not announced, but automotive and truck industry followers, including this writer, believe that this new power plant will anchor an all-new Nissan Titan for 2015 that has been talked about "off the record" for some time.
According to the Nissan announcement, the available Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel engine has been optimized for the next generation Titan and is now in the latter stages of development and testing. Nissan added that Cummins also is developing a version of the engine for its commercial vehicle customers.
This development has been rumored for some time and, with the move of Fred Diaz who was the former head of Ram truck brand to Nissan a few months back - it was thought by many to be a certainty for Nissan given the results of his leadership and success at Ram.
Based on this announcement, Diaz appears to have been hard at work to develop and bring to market a new competitive full-size pickup truck for Nissan by 2015.
"We have done our homework on the next-generation Titan. Truck owners told us there's a demand for the performance and torque of a diesel in a capable truck that doesn't require the jump up to a heavy-duty commercial pickup," said Fred Diaz, divisional vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing, Service & Parts, Nissan North America. "There is no question that the new Titan will turn heads, and with the available Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel, we expect to win new fans and attract buyers looking for this unique configuration."
Nissan had previously announced the next-generation Titan will add power train options and cab-and-box configurations to broaden the appeal of the new truck when it comes to market.
"We are very excited to partner with Nissan on the introduction of the Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel to the North American pickup truck market," said Dave Crompton, vice president, Cummins Engine Business. "This new engine will offer the right balance of power, performance and fuel economy while delivering the dependability that customers expect of a Cummins engine. This will be a great package."
With a torque rating in the mid-500s (lb-ft) and more than 300 horsepower, the Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel will provide light truck customers the combination of towing capacity and mileage that is expected in the highly-competitive North American truck marketplace.
The Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel will be built in America's manufacturing heartland at the Columbus Engine Plant, in Columbus, Ind. with 300 new jobs to be created according to Cummins officials.
The next-generation Titan will be built at Nissan's Canton, Miss. vehicle assembly plant where the current version is assembled.
Citing competitive reasons, Nissan did not announce launch dates at this stage in the truck's development, but it is known that engineering prototype trucks powered by the Cummins engine are currently undergoing extensive on-public-highway performance and durability testing.
Nissan said they will release further information as the program develops.
With today's announcement, Nissan becomes the second pickup truck manufacturer to announce plans to offer a diesel power train for their full-size truck line.
For 2014 model year, Ram brand is offering a 3.0L V-6 EcoDiesel (also a turbo) for their Ram 1500 which will be available later in 2013. The Ram engine is provided by VM Motori, a Fiat/Chrysler diesel engine supplier since 1992.
Others, for now, including GM, Toyota and Ford have adopted a wait-and-see posture on market acceptance (with its cost upcharge) as well as performance of a diesel in the full-size pickup segment.