Update 3: Cummins, Feds Continue Developing I-4 for Nissan Titan

Nissan Cummins Atlas II

There is clear progress being made with the continued testing of a small and powerful light-duty Cummins engine in a half-ton pickup truck. We've been following this story for several years now, and our most recent update comes via a recently discovered report on the internet.

The project was started to determine the feasibility and value of an efficient, light-duty diesel in the half-ton pickup truck segment. The guinea pig pickup for the project, called Atlas, is a 2010 Nissan Titan. We've been told by Department of Energy officials and Nissan representatives that no official announcement about the partnering of the two brands for an upcoming truck has occurred; nonetheless, the Atlas Project has made great progress.

According to this report, the schedule is pretty well set for the new light-duty Cummins to meet the aggressive U.S. Tier 2 Bin 2 emissions standards. From the looks of it (this test model was mated to a ZF eight-speed transmission - the one also on 2013 Ram 1500s), it won't have any problems meeting the half-ton-truck holy grail fuel economy number of 30 mpg highway. Numbers from this DOE report have the engine ratings at 210 horsepower and 385 pounds-feet of torque with a combined fuel economy rating (DOE testing) of 26.1 mpg.

From the timeline, it looks like the next demonstration of the Cummins engine will be this summer with a T2B5-compliant (meaning less clean than T2B2) dyno test, then a T2B5 test inside the Titan for extensive driving feedback and a final T2B2 test in the Titan in late summer 2014, right around the time the we should be seeing the redesigned 2015 Nissan Titan.

Coincidence? We think not. Additionally, we fully expect the new Cummins engine to make its way into full-size NV vans as well, which will be due for a remodel right around the same time. We'll have more about this new Cummins in the future.

Nissan Cummins specs II


Nissan Cummins 2.8L II


Great news! A little low on the power and torque compared to similar diesels, but should still be good.

Even though I own a 2011 JK Wrangler, I have always wanted a Nissan Titan, but the gas mileage is dismal. Just a plain truck without frills, for a simpleton like myself. Not real tall bedsides either, coupled with a real working man's engine (not a hot rid like so many on here seem interested in)...I may have to pounce soon after they are released.

Otherwise, no intentions of purchasing one of these trucks due to the tall bedsides. One of the only reasons I passed on the Ford, Chevy, and dodge offerings in 2011 because I have to step on the bumper to access the bed...whereas my old beater Ford (thanks to my father-in-law) I can damn near reach the center of the bed from flat footed no the ground. No reason to make the trucks beds and cabs so large. The width is fine, bedsides are way to tall compared to my old junker.

I'm only 5'9" tall, all of the current full size trucks look goofy like a wheel barrow behind an SUV with their short legnth, tall bedsides and van sized cabs to cater to the soccer daddy crowd (I see plenty here used as commuter cars by office hands out in the plants here in Texas, truck country).

Good news!

I also see that Ram has the MPG's up for the 4x4 Hemi/8-speed up too.

I like the idea of the smaller diesel and having the big C stamped on the side of the truck should help them sell even if power isn't a strong suit. As Jeep said a lot of people aren't looking to dragrace in their truck, they just want to use it as intended. If the truck makers are targetign 10% weight reductions then the power would at least be adequate for a 4600-4700 lb truck. No need for a 4.4 sized motor since fuel economy is the goal.

Great news! Hope it makes it into production and 2015 redesign. Would be enough for me. My old 98 F150 Supercab 2wd 4.2L V6 had less hp when new and a lot less torque while averaging well below 20mpg. Not for everybody, and for every use, but I'm sure it would get lots of takers if priced reasonably.

I get the impression that the US Government wants Nissan to use the Cummins diesels in its Vans instead of Renault derived ones?

Tier 2 Bin 2.....wow!

Tier 2 Bin 1 is considered to be zero emissions. Tier 2 Bin 2 is pretty amazing considering your average gasoline engine in a truck nowadays is maybe Tier 2 bin 4 compliant.

The biggest downside is the low HP, but I've got an old 6.5L diesel suburban with ~200hp/400ft-lbs tq and it's perfectly adequate. If they lighten the truck up a bit it should be fine.

What happened to the 30 mpg? 26 is a joke. I'll stick with the gas engines that will get the same or better.

Its a sad, sad, sad day for Ram. Someone at Ram needs their head read, absolute shame to have a CUmmins brand on anything but a Ram. Stupidity. Again.

I don't know of any current truck engines available that will get 26mpg combined or better.

@Pat That's 30 highway and 26 combined, there's no 1/2 ton truck on the market right now that gets that kind of mileage.

@FDB Cummins has nothing to do with RAM, Ram is just one of many customers that happen to use a Cummins diesel engine.

All right folks, don't forget that these engines cost a LOT more to build than the gasoline base V8 in the Titan. According to the story they both have about the same amount of torque (ability to do work). So, what kind of improved fuel mileage will buyers have to see for them to plunk down the dough for the diesel option? If the difference is one day 1 is $5K, I can buy 87 octane pump gas for a long time before the diesel ever saves me my first dollar. The eight speed tranny is really cool but it will cost more to own than the base tranny in the Titan. Think with your wallets here!

Did I say current trucks? This one isn't available in any truck either. I said "will get" the same or better. Mark Williams' blog post says combined but the report linked from the the engergy department doesn't state combined. They use the 18 mpg highway number for the 5.6 so I believe this is 26 highway. Competition is supposed to get better mileage than the 25 mpg from Ram with gas engines. So I am not that impressed with a 26 mpg target for a diesel and RUG is cheaper than diesel.

Now for the real question: is this 4 cyl diesel exclusive to Nissan?

The 2.8 Cummins isn't exclusive to Nissan. Foton uses this Cummins.

The Chinese pickup we have in Australia has a variant of this Cummins diesel. I've read an article where Foton is using Australia to iron the bugs out of its Tunland pickup for the US market.

I don't know if Nissan continuing on with the Cummins was the best decision. The Renault V6 diesel we have in our Navara is very similar to the VM V6 diesel in power and torque going into the Ram.

For this engine to be just for an import brand truck, with taxpayer funds, is unacceptable! if this engine is being designed with taxpayer funds, it should be the exclusive domain of the domestic manuf! only! it is bad enough they get local tax breaks and incentives to begin with! never mind having their engines given to them, by the goodness of the taxpayers! useing an imports truck, on the other hand is acceptable! I mean after all if the goverment has to have all these tough emision restrictions, it should be with gov. (our) funds, that a competitive engine is designed, as the cost is boosted by the gov. to begin with! have you seen a Chevy in Japan, with the Japanese taxpayers footing the bill for an engine that would give the Chevy a leg up on their own (Japanese) trucks! I think not! why should we as American taxpayers, be footing the bill for the Japanese manf. to have a leg up on our own manf?

Nissan won't be able to say not to that.

V8 gassers just don't make sense. There was a Sierra Denali (I assume with a 400HP 6.2 V8?) on the freeway trying to cut me off, tailgate and do all sorts of stupid things. I learned a few things. My wife's 2002 Sonata V6 accelerated quicker, the driver wasn't as willing to hit me as his tailgating would suggest, and all -around it just made me think that overpriced half-ton got him nowhere. As pickup trucks are not made for speed, it makes far more sense not to expect them to be fast, and give it a fuel efficient, torquey diesel. If you want speed, buy a Mustang. Pity that the only country where a fast car makes sense is Germany.

It's not the engines, it's the fuel. Diesel is a better motor fuel than 21st century gasoline/alcohol blend.

I'm hoping GM will stuff the Cruze diesel into the new Colorado.

@papa jim

Power is the measure of work. Torque is the measure of force. Work is the rate at which force is produced. Therefore power is the rate at which torque is produced.

I totally agree with handouts and subsidisations for any company.

If the diesel is viable Nissan would pay the R&D cash and do it themselves.

Nissan has extensive experience in small diesel pickups to draw on.

@hr206 I get the physics lesson. Pure Newtonian stuff. But when you're talking fuel economy and additional cost of building diesel engines, the math doesn't work unless you drive a LOT. Gas engines just make sense for most of us. It takes muscle to move a 5000-6000 pound truck. If you do any stop/go driving you have to hustle that mass up to legal speed and you want a V8 engine for that. If you have to pull really huge loads a turbo diesel is the answer but the cost is huge vs the gas engine.

Another question is:

Will this engine be manufacturered in the US or China like the Getrag MT82 transmissions in Mustangs?

The Beijing Cummins factory where the engine is currently manufactured is new and huge.

@hr206, close! Torque is not force; rather, torque is force over distance. So whether you measure it in lb-ft or Nm, the pounds or Newtons is the amount of force and feet or meters is the distance. Think of it in terms of a wrench. Putting 20 lbs of force on the end of a 1 ft handle is the same as putting 10 lbs on the end of a 2 ft handle wrench. Power is how much energy you put into turning the wrench (speed).

Anyone who is not impressed with 26 mpg COMBINED is stupid.

Click on the hyper-link in the article.

Where in the Dept of Engergy report does it state that it is 26 mpg target is a combined rating?

Additionally the 18 mpg they are using as a baseline is the HWY number for 5.6 gas, not the combined rating.

Even if it is combined, it says 26 CAFE. In case you don't know, real world or EPA window sticker mileage is about 25% less than CAFE mileage. If the CAFE is 26, the EPA window sticker will be around 21.

@Alex and hr206
Torque is the amount of force.

One joule (of energy) is equivalent to 1 watt which equals moving 1kg a distance of 10cm in one second.

So if you require 1kg/metre of torque and you want to move (turn) a wheel a distance of 1 metre in 1 second, you will require 10 watts which will use 10 joules of energy.

If you want to move the same wheel 1km in 1 second you will require 10 000 watts (theorectical) or about 133hp.

So if you need 1kg/metre or ft/lb of torque to move at a certain speed you need watts or hp.

Power gives you speed.

@Alex and hr206
It should read 10kw or about 13.3hp.

Sorry, my bad.

I'll also add the report says 40% better mileage per gallon when compared to the V8.


Take the combined rating on the current V8 which is 15 mpg. 15 + 40% = 21 mpg combined. The hwy number is 18 currently. 18 + 40% = 25.2 mpg hwy.

I think you guys are not following this. Plus CAFE ratings are not the same as EPA window sticker mileage.

Use this chart here:

26 CAFE = 20 EPA window sticker

Also, read this article for the explanation between CAFE and EPA ratings:
Why the 2025 fuel economy standard means 40 mpg, not 54.5

@alex good story, about the Denali half ton. Just one question, with all due respect: Can you just picture that Sonata V6 pulling a big boat and trailer up a slippery boat ramp after a day at the lake? The Sierra AWD will do it in a snap. Some of us just don't need a Sonata. What in the world makes you think that a little Korean compact sedan has anything to do with a discussion about half ton pickups and diesel engines anyway?

My grandpa uses his 99 Taurus to pull his boat out of lake Michigan, he doesn't even set the parking brake on the ram, he lets the tranny hold it thier. I would think a Sonata would be similiar or at least close.

@PaPa, my F-150 will pull boats and RVs just fine, I was stating that a V8 gasser in a truck is useless. Even the one in my F-150. They are not fast and never will be. I was comparing the performance of the Denali to the Sonata to illustrate that fact. So diesels are the way to go. If you still don't get it, I don't think anybody will be able to help you. Go see your local clinical psychologist and ask him to give you the WISC-IV. Google that if you need to. :)


the only thing that is off on what you say is that some manufacturers vehicle meet and exceed those cafe fuel economy numbers. Prius for example is 51 city 48 hwy. most people AVERAGE 55mpg with them. Some manufacturers are modest and have spent the R&D time to produce a car that in real world experience they meet and exceed those numbers. mainly due to coefficient of drag in most cases

Did some3 clown use a story about a Sonata to explain why all trucks should have a diesel? I can cut taller grass with my bushhog and tractor than a riding mower will therefore nobody should own a pushmower......

Diesels cause CANCER !

Known fact. In Europe with mostly diesel powered cars ,cancer is everywhere.

Even the E.U knows about cancer causing Diesels.But they put 'feelings' instead of reality.Its green so they say for a diesel,it feels good,but actually far worse than a gas engine.

Diesel sticks to you clothing and you can smell diesel on your clothing/hair hours after driving a diesel,even high end diesel cars,my colleague owned a diesel BMW and he smelled of diesel 24/7 !

Gas engines are better,and the whole global warming fraud is going to hurt people,by running cancer causing diesels and high fuel prices.

It seems that Nissan should use the 2.8L in the frontier,and a V6 diesel in the full size.Rumor is that chevy will offer up a 2.8L I4 diesel in the Colorado/canyon.

Diesels are a no go,higher maint costs,eurea and Diesel fuel isnt cheap like it once was.Once upon a time it was cheaper then regular gas,not so anymore !

@ drhoward: Yeah,the old diesels are extremely dirty burning.The new ones are not anything like that at all,and burn on average 30+ % cleaner then it's gas counterpart.The fuel smell is something that isn't present in the engine compartment anymore either.My 06 Liberty 2.8L crd was clean and quiet and didn't stink.The newer ones are even better.

Alton, I was pointing out how Denalis are for posers. You should get one!


Obviously you people are totally clueless/ignorant !!

When vehicles get 55 mpg even trucks,even before we reach those mpg readings,the government will add road tolls,mileage tax to offset the money they lose on gas tax money.

The government makes more money off of a gallon of gas then the Oil Companies !

The government is broke ,so you will have your 45 mpg truck,then $35 price of a gallon,then $1 a mile then a toll of $1 per mile to drive on said road ! Dont think so,then you will be forced to ride a bus and it will cost you more money then drivng a 9 mpg truck at $4 a gallon !

Ever notice the gov always pushes busses on its people,they want you to be limited in your movement and hate the fact we are free and drive.I know a dem congressman (my wifes Uncle)and thats what he says the majority of them think.

People are just ignorant and just dont understand that they will never be able to drive cheaper then we are today !!

Give me a 600 hp truck,9 mpg and $4 a gallon gas,that would be cheaper ten fold then driving in the future with a 45 mpg truck and road tolls/mileage tax.

Yes,many States have talked about adding a road tax/mileage tax recently on Hybrids,and soon on all vehicles,even places in Canada (when under ndp rule in Canada)are thinking about it.

And brain washed drones cant figure things out for themselves,they think the 'Government' is going to lose billions of dollars per year by people using less fuel,you have another thing coming drones !!

Unreal,people are so dull/limited in the head they think they will actually drive a 45 mpg truck at $4 a gallon and no road tolls and mileage tax,you are clueless folks,truly foolish !

@Robert Ryan,

"I get the impression that the US Government wants Nissan to use the Cummins diesels in its Vans instead of Renault derived ones?"

I doubt it. In North America, Renault is a pseudonym for crap. Caterpillar would be the top of the Diesel food chain, followed by Cummins and Detroit.

From some of the comments above I sense the fear again.

Don't be scared of diesels, they are actually used right now on most every highway in the US.

It appears diesels are indeed heading your way for pickups and light commercials. The 2.8 Cummins is a good start for a US manufacturer to learn how to make and develop a global competitive diesel.

Maybe one day the US can export light diesel tech and engines around the world.

@Big Al, it's just the uneducated idiots. They think they are talking tough, but it's just a poor substitute for their anatomical and neurological deficiencies. They will settle for negative attention because positive attention requires too much work. Anyhow, I always enjoy your posts.

@Alex good post.

@DrHoward makes your hair fall out and you start voting Democrat.

"Diesels cause CANCER !"
Posted by: DR.Howard | Mar 14, 2013 8:47:57 PM

Hey Howard,

Don't take a job on the railroad.

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I could see where if you are doing a lot of driving a diesel would pay for itself. If your driving is below the norm then diesel would not be cost effective, but then the exact same argument could be made for hybrids. At a 5k difference in price it would not be cost effective for most, but at about a 1k difference it would be more cost effective. It just depends on how much you drive. I do believe there is a market for a small diesel, but it is not for everyone.

@HEMI RULES !!--The government has very little to do with the price of oil. International markets have forced the price up. As countries like China and India grow economically they will demand more energy, raw materials, and food. We as a country are no longer as isolated as we have been in the past. Most of the oil companies are global and much of their income is derrived outside the US. Fuel prices will continue to go up regardless of who is in office and consumers will adapt by buying more efficient vehicles.

@alex. Very cute. Speaking of cute: Why don't you and your boyfriend drive the Sonata V6 down to Florida. You and your guy can take a vacation together. Key West should be just your speed. Get it?

Great to see my US tax dollars working with the Japanese !

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