Nissan Will Need More Than the ISV

Nissan Titan Cummins Spy 1 II

At a recent event to announce the production plans and construction details of its new V-8 turbo-diesel, Cummins provided more details about where this new engine, tagged the ISV5.0, came from and where it will fit. And we have a few thoughts ourselves.

Cummins has been developing this engine for almost 13 years. The project started following a request from partner Chrysler, which was looking for a cost-effective engine option for pickup truck buyers with work-priority needs. Unfortunately, by the time engine development got to a point where decisions had to be made, the economy, fuel prices and new-truck buyers' priorities were shifting. Putting the 5.0-liter V-8 turbo-diesel — although well into the testing phase — in the redesigned 2008 Ram 1500 (we remember seeing EPA stickers that identified the engine on a few prototype test trucks at a press event) was killed, especially when Fiat entered the picture.

During that time period Cummins was doing a pretty good job of updating and improving the existing ISB Cummins, already hugely popular with the heavy-duty Dodge/Ram crowd. The result was that the ISV5.0 didn't have a home, until the CEO of Ram Truck was hired away by Nissan, and something dramatic needed to be done to the next-generation Titan to capture some credibility in a tightly competitive segment.

Although Cummins is pretty tight-lipped about how many Titans it thinks will be bought with the 5.0-liter engine, folks there are quick to point to their initial projections with Dodge in the late 1980s when the Chrysler/Cummins partnership was forged in the Ram HDs. Neither party expected take rates to be more than 10,000 units per year. Now it's more than 10 times that number, and it would be more if more engines could be produced.

Still, this is a sophisticated engine and it won't be an inexpensive powertrain option, even if the parties find some way to get the engine into more Nissan products, like the work-ready NV vans, a possible Titan 2500 or a seven-lug work-truck Titan package. Even if all those possible scenarios happen, we're guessing the total number of vehicles sold with the new powertrain still won't get to 10,000 units, and that assumes the price is extremely competitive.

No doubt having the Cummins name on the side of the truck (and Nissan would do well to make that name as big as possible wherever it's put) will get non-Nissan buyers to take a look at the truck. Ram certainly had huge success getting Chevy and Ford buyers into showrooms by offering technology and unique powertrain choices (and don't forget hugely improved interiors) the competition did not have.

Regardless, as good as this Cummins engine might be (and we haven't driven it yet in any application), in order for Nissan's next-generation Titan to succeed, this new engine will have to be just a small piece of the puzzle.

ISV5.0_Hi3Qt_Right II



DC-3 with no props or rutter in the background. Metaphor?

Where did this speculation come from? Nissan has been working with Cummins well before Fred Diez came over to Nissan the 5.0 will be used in a lot more then just the Titan including small motor homes, buses, and other truck applications.

Nissan totally needs the ZF 8hp transmission, preferably the updated gearset version with wider ratio spread.

So fleet/base: 220hp supercharged 2.5 I4. QR25
Volume: 270hp V6. VQ40
Specialty: 320hp turbocharged diesel 5.0 V8. ISV
Top dog: 370hp 5.6 V8 VK56

More nissan hate from the domestic fan boys. Nissan changed the truck market when they came out in 04 with the titan.many of the things found in domestic trucks now are because of the titan. I have no doubt, the new titan will be a game changer, even if the domestic fans don't make the switch. As for me, if i can afford it, I'll be rollin coal in the new Titan.

I fully expect to see the VK56DE as found in the INfinity QX80. Its 400HP, maybe slightly detuned in the Titan probably 385HP.

I could see Nissan using the 7-speed, but hopefully it will be the ZF 8 speed. Offering the 2.8 I-4 Cummins as a cheaper option with better fuel economy wouldn't hurt either. Other than that, it doesn't have to have a lot of gimmicks, it just needs to have awesome looks and interior, reliability, and be competitive on towing, fuel econ, performance, and off-road capability. It doesn't need massagers in the seats or anything out of the ordinary, it just needs to be the best truck overall.

I have read comments about people talking about the Cummins V8 like Cummins don't know what they are doing.....LOL hello people it Cummins people?? They have been making diesels sense 1919, and yes people they have made V8 diesels be4 they used to make big rigs V8 diesels........

Anyways Cummins would be a great addition to Nissan but I don't think Cummins will help their sales much. I Mean Cummins sales more engines then Ford sales trucks. That may be a bold statement but for those of you that don't know, they put Cummins engine in tanks,fire trucks,Semi trucks,Case tractors,almost all mining equipment on the highway and off the highway machines......Cummins don't just make engines for Dodge......... But backtrack o what I was saying Cummins sales more engines then Ford sales trucks but that don't mean Cummins will help Nissan sale more trucks, yes some people will buy them their sales may come up a little...but I see this project failing in the long run.

Nissan needs to update their Frontier and offer a 4 cylinder Cummins diesel as an option. Also Nissan needs to advertise and market their trucks more. Many are not aware that Nissan is in the truck business, unless you are a truck fan.

I'd buy one. It will no doubt outlast whatever truck it is installed in.

@Jeff S - I agree. Someone said that the Cummins 5.0 weighs as much as a I-6 Cummins. If that is the case, it will need to go into a seriously beefed up 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton.

@Lou, the ISV 5.0 dry weight is 804 lbs
the ISX 6.7 dry weight is "1050-1150 lbs." (whatever the variable means?).

920 lbs for the Ford 6.7
835 lbs for the LML 6.6 Duramax
498 lbs for the VM Motori 3.0 V6

Nissan have already done much of the ground work for this Titan.

Size wise the Titan will be the same as the Y62 Patrol, I'd even bet design wise as well.

I hope Nissan uses the Patrols front end style and get away from that 'look at me' I think I own a 'big rig look'.

The new Titan will have a coil sprung ass end and I would assume the same V8 engine that's fitted to the Patrol.

Don't forget the US and Euro emissions will be very similar very soon.

Nissan do have experience with coil sprung rear suspensions with the Patrol. These coil sprung trucks had a load capacity of 2 600lbs.

Here's a link. Read about the FE of the V8 carefully.

@PUTC More than any other factor, domestic US sales of a new Nissan diesel half ton will depend on the stagnant American economy perking up a little, or better yet a lot. Something like this would have flying out of the dealer showrooms back in 2004 or 2005.

The hostility shown by the rulers in Washington for average working Americans is getting old, but voters and taxpayers keep getting the same old shineola from the EPA and environmentalists in general. New boss=old boss.

The Titan has a solid foundation with stong frame and engine. Only thing it really needs beefed up is the rear end. The current 5.6 is one of the best truck motors around. People flog it becuase its down on Horsepower but they never driven one. Only the ecoboost motor can match its low end responsiveness and grunt. The others may have more power but you have to flog them to get it where the Nissan has a nice power curve with peak torque around 2,000 RPM.

@Mike, "Nissan changed the truck market when they came out in 04 with the titan.Many of the things found in domestic trucks now are because of the titan."

Can you name a few for me?

@Big Al, that direct-injected 5.6 should get even better fuel econ in a Titan because it has part-time 4x4. They seem to do a little better than AWD/full-time 4x4. It would be interesting to see if they do coil rear springs like the Ram 1500.

Be interesting to see if Titan sales pick-up..Could erase the Tundra from existance..

@Mike,what things did the Titan bring that wasnt already on the market ? It's the Dodge RAM that always brings new things out/shakes the market..Titan/Tundra try to copy as usual..Cheap Asian knockoffs are aplenty !

Nissan brought the spray in bedliner, the strut assist tailgate, utiltrac, side bed storage, 32 Valve V8, first with navigation in a truck, electronic rear locker, plus others

That article was a lot of blah blah with no meat related to the title.

It's like I said yesterday.
Nissan needs to force it's entire staff to undergo mandatory drug testing.

If you're wondering how well this truck with this diesel is going to sell, just look at the sales numbers for the full size NV shoebox on wheels.

They are focusing on a market segment that simply does not, nor will it under any circumstances ever buy a nissan. It's too bad they didn't focus on the market segment that does buy nissans and would buy a nissan had they instead come out with something about half the size with signficantly improved gas mileage.

The marketplace is already saturated with large diesel work trucks. And the big three aggressively go after commercial sales. Nissan won't. What the hell are they thinking?

Maxx I think your just scared.


Uhh Dodge (Ram) isn't actually that innovative in the truck market. They didn't bring the first diesel, the copied Ford's Half-ton-Heavy-duty layout. Ram was not the first to offer a diesel in a half ton. Everything on the 2013 Ram has been seen before on other cars in North America. The roof that puffs up in the center was actually done before in Ford and GM products, before 1993 Dodge had a flat roof. Ram copied Ford's hexagonal grill shape in the mid 2000's they copied the grille that slants forward fron the 70's Ford trucks, and they copied Ford's grille that tapers in at the ends of the bars in the 2013 model year.

Ram is pretty much the last word in innovation.

Should also mention that the "Rambox" storage was copied from the Chevy Avalanche.

Jeff s, the Nissan frontier is called the Nissan Navara in England . It dose come with a 2.5 Diesel and a 3.0 Diesel . I have no idea why they don't bring the Diesel engines to the states mate . They do get around 30mpg .


Keep in mind in England they use imperial gallons, it's not which are larger than U.S. gallons. Not sure if you were converting it to U.S. gallons, but i'm just putting it out there.

@Mark Williams favour domestics much? Enough already.

@MaXx Why all the flack with the Nissan?

@Canadian fiat pickup owner. Enough outta you. Just because you own a ram doesnt mean its the only good truck out there....easy now . You sound like a leafs fan every fall when they have a winning streak. Ram is your choice but far from the most reliable. And by far the least domestic.

@Dafuq - what are you talking about? It's the first diesel half ton with a dedicated small diesel (not just a heavy duty diesel put into a half ton). First 8 speed auto, first rear coils in both half-ton and 2500. First diesel pickup with an exhaust brake. Rambox, air suspension, and a Mega Cab with reclining rear seats. It was the first truck to adopt an innovative rounded style when the others remained square. First truck with a V10. Ram's definitely innovative.

Hey, we have the 2.5 Navara diesel here and in US gallons with a highway cycle I think they are getting about 34-35mpg in a 2WD.

@Alex The Rambox was not a Dodge innovation, it was copied from the Chevy Avalanche. While Ram was the first half-ton ton to actually put a diesel on the market, they were not the first to debut a diesel. Ford was the first to debut the idea back in 2005 with the 4.5L powerstroke. BD Power developed the first diesel exhaust brake and it was implemented in all 3 diesels. It's a common misconception that Ram started the "semi truck" styling in 1993 but both GM and Ford started using hoods which jutted up above the fender in the late 70's and mid 80's. The Dodge Ram had a completely flat hood level with the fender before 1993.

Those other things you listed were innovations, I never said Ram had no innovations. All but one debuted when Chrysler was owned by Fiat, over it's lifetime Ram hasn't really been more innovative than anyone else. I should also mention Ram was the first to offer stock air suspension in a half ton model.

Maxx has a thing for Nissan because he's worried they are going to come in and take over the market and change his way of life making a truck better than his. That's why he spends his time on here trying to flack Nissan becuase he doesn't want them to even try to build a truck or have anyone buy it, otherwise why would he even care.

Can these fancy new diesels can have an exhaust delete like the older ones. I know a guy that gets 22 mpg out of his 5.7 Cummins in a Ram 2500. If these new diesels can have an exhaust delete I would be interested to see what sort of economy numbers they can pull.

The current Titan is the oldest, most outdated truck on the road. It's not 100% fullsize. It's had numerous issues including rear ends grenading. It drinks fuel. It's expensive. There are lots of reasons why NOBODY drives these things and I agree with Mark that it's going to take more than just a Cummins engine alone to bring people to Nissan dealerships.

I for one am not interested. A V8 diesel won't get the same fuel economy that the V6 or better yet I-4 diesel will get.

WXMan, I have been an owner of a Titan for nine years now. I can say its the best truck I've ever owned. It is full size I don't know where that came from has more room the the Ram, Chevy, inside and the box is just as big I think the extended cab's box is 6'7" long one inch longer then the others and the truck is the second widest truck on the market. I get 18MPG at 78 MPH on the interstate. The truck has a 32 Valve dual overhead cam V8 that is bullet proof. I have had no rear end troubles and I've driven the new trucks and nothing really drives as well as my Titan so thats why I keep it. So shut your face and stop say crap that you know nothing about. I'm an owner and now way more then you do.

@Frank , don't get so upset mate. Life is too short .
I am very impressed that you get 18mpg , thats not bad .
I would love to know why in Europe they don't have to use D.E.F in Light Diesel trucks in Europe, but you have to in the states ? I thought the emissions in Europe were just as strict as the states.

@Frank.. hahaha.. that's pretty funny. Well here's the truth.. I researched Nissan trucks (wanted to buy one about a year ago) and found out that they are trash. NUMEROUS the point that Nissan tried to put a bandage on some of them and keep customers quiet. For example, the new aluminum fin diff covers on the rear. See, they put a tiny little Dana 44 axle in the rear of their largest truck. What did they think was going to happen? And the Frontier is no better..they actually have aftermarket companies selling vent kits to keep the rear axles from blowing up because the factory junk just won't cut it. This is on top of the loose seat issues, coolant getting into the trans via cooler lines issue, poor MPGs, exhaust manifolds cracking, etc. etc.

So you can say whatever you want about your 1 in a million Titan that hasn't had problems.. but the internet is loaded with complaints about these trucks. There is a reason why the Titan barely sells any units monthly and that's because nobody wants junk.

WXman, i am familiar with the Titan. Yes some trucks had rear end problems this is confined mostly to 2004-2006 models with the rear locker on them. With the other Titans its not an issue at least anymore so then the other brands. I do agree that is one spot the Titan could use some upgrading is in the rear end but for 98% or more of Titan owners its not a problem. Thier are plenty of Titan drivers with well over 300-400K on thier trucks without major problems.

@high mileage, yep the 5.9 got about 22mpg. The 6.7 gets about 16-18. They should go back to the 5.9 displacement.

@DaffyDuck, I understand that traditionally, Europe focuses more on CO2 emissions, whereas America focuses more on Nox emissions. Euro 6 is supposed to be stricter on Nox emissions, so don't be surprised if you see DEF on more European diesels.

@Wxman You are dreaming, if we used your logic then nobody would be buying Ram pickups. They are consistantly rated the most unreliable(Easy now I love the ram pickup im just saying). People dont buy titans for many reasons. First Brand loyalty is one. Price is another. A large segment of people will always follow the best price no matter what they say. If an equally equipped toyota and nissan were consitantly $2-3000 cheaper people would switch over.

Ford and GM consistantly sell the most trucks buy a large margin. And good for them, they market properly and manage to keep up higher sales. Are they the best truck because of this? Not necessarily and it would be really kinda stupid to say so. Fords and Chevs are wrought with problems as well and issues that the comapny wont back up there loyal customers, as you said you can see in on forums and to people we all know that swear on them. But when it comes time to buy used or new most people go for the enticing prices time and time again.

ANd lastly ther are people like Sandman 4x4 and candian dodge ram owner who consitantly fint there loyaltys with the domestic owner ship and mot the actual assembly line worker. The guys all say they dont want there money going back to Japan etc yet will buy a mexican made truck just so profits stay in absurd and juvinile. I'd rather my neighbour make an honest living assembling cars over another neighbour investing his income and making more because some fools think if you put an american name on it its good for the economy...

The Euro vehicles have harsher CO2 limits. CO2 emissions is more or less equivalent to fuel burnt.

Diesel emits less CO2 than a gas engine.

The US does have strict NOx levels. Diesels emit more NOx than gasoline engines. The killer for diesel and NOx is the increase in compression increases NOx levels. Essentially the higher the temperature (pressure) during the combustion process the more NOx there is. DEF is used to reduce NOx emissions.

So what we have is the US with CO2 limits to allow for larger engines. The US with harsher NOx limits equals less diesel and DEF.

The funny thing is the Europeans with their CO2 limits have forced vehicle manufacturers to produce small vehicles which have smaller engines with less NOx per vehicle than the US with their harsher NOx limits.

The US system encourages large heavier, gasoline engines. But now things are changing. The US has been reliant on cheaper/older engine technology for many years and regulations by government has supported this model.

Even if the Germans get their way with higher CO2 limits the Euro engine designs will be ahead of their US counterparts.

The US will continue to 'import' Euro tech until they change their regulations to match the Europeans. Then the US can design and export to the Europeans. But as you can see other than pickups a few other vehicles the US doesn't produce inidigenous export vehicles.

Most vehicles are 'imported' design.

MaXx isn't scared...

Why Al in Oz gets 34-35 MP-US-G and this truck will be lucky to get one third of that.

I thought we had a bunch of freedom-loving patriots here but I was wrong. Most people here want to keep funding Al Qaeda it sounds like.

I could care less what happes to the other truck brands. They all suck.
Not a single one of them has given me a reason to buy a new one.

Unless it is ugly as sin like the toyota and new GM twins I'll buy one. Ah WTH I'll buy it even ugly. Should be looking at an easy 450 hp and 850 lbft easy after deleting the emission crap and a good tune. In a half ton!!! I hope they over engineer the tranny to handle it like my ford has done with the Torque shift.


The VK56DE is not down on power. Nissan UNDERRATES the engine on "paper'. The VK56DE with CVTCS has more like "355-360 hp", not the mere "317 hp" rating Nissan would have you believe. Even the non CVTCS "305 hp" version had more like 335-340 hp. That why these trucks are faster than people think.

All Nissan has to do is borrow the VK56VD and 8sp trans from the current QX56 and they essentially have their new premium gas engine option. Downrate it to "375-380hp" on paper and call it a day. However, they do desperately need a new base V6 option to up the MPG averages. The current Frontier based V6 won't cut it unless it too has DI, CVTCS and all the latest tech on it. That would probably get it close to the magic 300 hp mark which would be very competitive with the other base level engine options from the other truck manufacturers.

A base high tech V6 engine, VK56VD or some form of it and the Cummins 5.0L V8 diesel would make for a very well rounded powertrain line up in the next gen Titan.

FYI, I had no problem keeping up with an Ecoboost with my "305 hp" Titan. The fact Nissan was able to get 400hp out of it with the same 5.6L displacement in the QX56 goes to show how amazing this engine is. In fact, in some versions of the Patrol, I think 420hp is readily achievable. Right in line with GM's new 6.2L.

@the real Mike
As well as GM and Ford V8s benefiting from our V8 Supercar Series, Nissan also does.

We run V8 Altima's.

I posted a link above this with the Y62 Patrol review.

@Big Al - you saw that story where German car companies are lobbying the EU for delays in the new EU emmsiion standards. Looks like us North Americans are not the only one's feeling the pressure from the "green noose".

Nissan did not underrate the power. People highly over estimate how much drivetrain loss there really is.
If the Infiniti M56 has 420hp with premium fuel, direct injection, VVEL, VVT on the intake & exhaust camshafts, and 11.5:1 compression ratio.
Nissan could pare that down to 370hp via regular fuel, port injection, 10.5:1 compression ratio, VVT on intake & exhaust, and a dual length intake manifold.
Saving money & trouble by not utilizing direct injection & VVEL, and spending that on the ZF 8hp transmission.

The VQ40 V6 needs VVT on its exhaust camshaft for better mileage.

I have been in Europe for the last 5 weeks,so a bit quiet on the comments side. I see this 5litre diesel having a considerable future in the Class C motorhomei area. Eventually this could replace the V10 Triton as a favourite powerplant

@The Real Lou
The German's are feeling the pinch like everyone else.

The reality is the cost of this stuff will soon outstrip what a consumer can afford.

That's why I'm against vehicles like that hybrid pickup. They are a waste of resources that could be better spent.

This is also why I'm a diesel fan. The truth is the diesel option is only slightly more expensive than gas if it's managed correctly.

The US auto manufacturers, energy, government, UAW don't want diesel in NA.

You don't need a large diesel engine to do the work of a large gas engine and get much better FE. Most of the populace can live with this.

I do know we have our dedicated V8 crowd here, but they have to realise I'm not saying stop V8s.

@Big Al from Oz - The TTAc blog on turbo engines and EU regs was fabulous. There was an incredible exchange of ideas and information. Too bad that sort of thing is rare here.

One can hope.

Wait till EFI live tunes, air intakes, exhaust all come out for this truck. This is what the young import tuner kids will want to buy when they grow up. I know. I am one

Nissan will own the 1500 segment with this engine, Detroit
has got 0 to compete with it in the 1500 segment
TKO 2015
Ford has a slim chance if they put enough aluminum in their
body panels and the f150 is not too highly priced
GM is facing the dead end if they don't start baking in more reliability and less recalls.
Dodge has bowed to Nissan and has to follow Fiat bean counters
also the Frontier if equipped with Cummins 2.8 will lap up a fair share of sales
When ever Toyota starts to sell Cummins the 1500 segment will have a stranglehold
That's exactly how the car market fell 1 segment at a time.

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