I often lament on this blog the lack of a small diesel truck in America, and while I may not get my diesel Ford Ranger, Nissan and Cummins are cooking up a four-cylinder diesel that could be a game changer.
Cummins engines are most often found under the hood of heavy construction equipment and Dodge (now Ram) heavy duty pickups. But Nissan has apparently been paying attention to the truck market, which in America is mostly made up of gas-guzzling full-size vehicles. If you opt to get a diesel engine, you’re going to end up paying at least $40,000 for that truck, which often comes with a lot of heavy duty stuff that just kills fuel efficiency.
So Nissan teamed up with Cummins to produce a 2.8 liter four-cylinder diesel engine, which they have fitted to a Titan full-size truck mule. The project is a joint effort by the U.S. Government, Nissan, and Cummins to produce an oil-burner that gets up to 40% better gas mileage than many current V8 trucks. Cummins is aiming for a 28 mpg combined EPA rating, which would put its highway rating well over 30 mpg. A 30 mpg, full-size truck? Madness!
Don’t think this four-banger won’t pack a punch though. With an estimated 350 ft-lbs of torque on tap, it is a match for any of the gas-burning V8 engines on the market now. The test program is expected to go well into 2014…about the same time a next-generation Nissan Titan is scheduled to hit the market. By then, who knows how high gas prices may be. A small diesel pickup is just what the doctor ordered, methinks, and hopefully this will encourage Detroit to reconsider small diesel engines for their full-size pickups.
Source: Pickuptrucks.com via Cummins
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.