In the land of zombie powertrains, where light-duty diesels exist in a purgatory between production and the bone yard, we've already been shown or spied half-ton oil burners that were promised and then shelved by Ford and GM. Meanwhile, the long-anticipated Cummins clean diesel for the Dodge Ram 1500 has remained hidden from view. Now, we may have unearthed our first look at what we expect will be an all-new 5.0-liter V-8.
A picture of a V-8 diesel engine that we've never seen before appeared in a recent presentation given by Cummins to the U.S. Department of Energy. The diesel-engine manufacturer is developing several new combustion and emissions-control technologies under its Light Duty Efficient Clean Combustion program for light-duty diesel engines. LDECC is partially funded by the DOE.
A slide with the V-8 says the "V8 engine will be the first opportunity for commercialization of LDECC technologies with North American OEMs."
Cummins has already said it's working with Chrysler and Nissan North America to supply the new engine for use in pickups and light commercial vehicles for the U.S. and Canadian markets, though the company has been coy about the engine's final architecture and displacement.
We asked Cummins if this is the engine slated for the half-ton Ram.
"The V-8 engine depicted in the presentation is not meant to represent any particular Cummins product," Mark Land, executive director of public relations at Cummins, told PickupTrucks.com. "It's to make the point that the technologies we currently are working on with the DOE would be scalable across all our light-duty products. We have worked with the DOE on V-8 programs for a decade or more. I can't confirm that the V-8 shown in the presentation is the one we will be making in Columbus, Ind., for Chrysler and Nissan. We have not discussed the specifics of that engine publicly."
What has been discussed recently about the new light-duty diesel is what's said to be a temporary pause in its delivery to Chrysler while Chrysler and Cummins rework the engine's manufacturing agreement as Chrysler continues to reorganize after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
In January, Chrysler told PickupTrucks.com that the ultra-clean diesel engine had been postponed until 2011 or later.