Today Cummins of Columbus, Ind., is expected to announce a four-cylinder diesel engine developed for use in Nissan Titan full-sized pickup trucks.
This is according to the Wall Street Journal which cited people familiar with the arrangement.
UPDATE: After this pre-news report was released, Nissan issued a statement that its Titan would instead receive a 5.0-liter Cummins V8 – quite different than the four-cylinder initially reported.
Nissan announced it will offer a newly-developed Cummins V8 turbo diesel in its next-generation full-size pickup. The news came during Nissan 360, an industry showcase of Nissan’s global product and technology portfolio.
“The fact that we’ve been working on this together for a period of time, we’ve had the time to really do it right,” said Ric Kleine, Vice President of Cummins, Inc.
The 5.0-liter V8 turbo diesel engine emerged from a partnership between Nissan and Cummins. It’s now in the latter stages of development and testing. Cummins also is developing a version of the engine for its commercial vehicle customers.
“Mainly, we’ve had a great collaboration between our engineering teams, and for us, it’s just been a great opportunity to work together,” said Kleine …
… For competitive reasons, Nissan is not yet announcing launch dates for the truck. But engineering prototype trucks powered by the Cummins engine are already undergoing extensive public-highway performance and durability testing.
“Hopefully the Titan will no longer be the best kept secret, especially now that we have the Cummins power plan and the unique new design. I think we are going to make sure everyone in the world knows about the new Nissan Titan,” said Diaz.
The Titan’s sales have flagged in comparison to offerings by General Motors and Ford, and last year Nissan sold 21,576 units in the U.S. and a few more in Canada and the Middle East.
Previously Cummins had been developing a four-cylinder diesel for Chrysler’s RAM 1500 but in the wake of the 2009 Chrysler bankruptcy, that contract was voided.
Cummins already supplies a powerful six-cylinder diesel for Dodge pickup trucks that is also used in medium duty commercial applications.
Cummins is the largest supplier of heavy duty truck engines in North America, and holds down 40 percent of the market.
The new four-cylinder diesel engine slated for the Nissan was reportedly developed under a U.S. Department of Energy program. The decision to use it in the Titan line followed just months after Nissan hired as sales chief former Chrysler Ram brand chief Fred Diaz.
Nissan’s mirroring of Chrysler’s lead is also not without precedent in the area of chassis. In 2008, Nissan had said it would buy from Chrysler its RAM truck platform to underpin the Titan. For this chassis, Nissan had planned to trade a compact car design desired by Chrysler, but its bankruptcy nixed this deal as well.