Nissan has announced that its next-generation Titan full-size pickup, expected to launch as a 2015 model, will offer a Cummins turbo-diesel engine.
And it won't be restricted to heavy-duty models, which Nissan doesn't build currently, but will be available in light-duty versions of the new Titan.
The only other light-duty pickup to offer a diesel is the 2014 Ram, which will go on sale later this fall. It uses not a Cummins but an Italian VM Motori V-6 turbo-diesel.
"We have done our homework on the next-generation Titan," said Fred Diaz, divisional vice president, Nissan North America. "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," he explained.
Nissan had previously announced the next-generation Titan will add powertrain options and cab-and-box configurations to broaden the appeal of the new truck when it comes to market.
Introduced as a 2003 model, the Titan has never achieved the level of sales Nissan expected of it, falling well short of the Toyota Tundra's numbers, let alone the Detroit Three's full-size trucks.
Being one of only two-light duty pickups available with a diesel, especially a Cummins diesel, could change the Titan's stature among the truck-buying public.
Cummins diesels are highly respected for their durability and performance under heavy load, while also providing good fuel economy. The V-8 Turbo Diesel is expected to produce more than 300 horsepower and torque in the mid-500s (lb-ft), Nissan says.
"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," said Dave Crompton, vice-president, Cummins Engine Business.
It will be built at Cummins Engine Plant, in Columbus, Indiana and, like the current model, the next-generation Titan will be built at Nissan's Canton, Mississippi assembly plant.
For competitive reasons, Nissan is not announcing precise launch dates for the new truck.