Last week was the first time I saw Nissan’s ad for its redesigned Titan pickup line. Admittedly, I was initially impressed with its big chrome grill and its brawny, in your face stance. I mean after all, Nissan is reintroducing the Titan to consumers in what is already a crowded truck market. Ford just introduced its redesigned F-150 last year. GM did the same thing with the updated pickups. Dodge is always a contender with its Ram line of trucks and Toyota has has sustained success with its pickups too. But what impresses (and intrigues) me the most about the new Titan isn’t the shiny grill, it’s spacious interior or strong stance. It’s what’s under its hood that piques my interest (and always should).
When Nissan announced last year that it was re-engineering the Titan from the ground up, the company mentioned that one of the available engine choices would be a Cummins 5.0 L 32 valve DOHC V-8 turbo diesel generating 310 horsepower and an impressive 555 ft-lbs of torque. Since then i’ve been interested in finding out about this mini-workhorse (as far as half-ton trucks go anyways). Cummins has placed its light duty engines in Dodge trucks exclusively for a long time. Unfortunately the partnership between Dodge’s parent company FCA and Cummins will end in 2018. Nissan is stepping in to fill the void left my Dodge and will feature the engine right alongside a naturally aspirated 5.6 L 32 valve DOHC V-8 gasoline engine that will generate 390 horsepower and 394 ft-lbs of torque.
The all new 5.0 L turbo diesel produces its maximum power at 3200 rpm and maximum torque at 1600 rpm. Maximum towing capacity is 12,300 lbs. The engine is comprised of a graphite iron block, forged steel crankshaft with composite valve covers and aluminum alloy heads. Air induction is supplied by a specially designed dual stage turbocharger which provides power at high as well as lower engine speeds. This should give the engine a high level of torque across a wide range of the powerband. The fuel feed is provided by a high pressure fuel rail and fuel injection is fully integrated and electronically controlled. The 5.0 liter engine will also incorporate a number of emissions technologies such as an advanced catalytic reduction system and a diesel particulate filter to minimize emissions while maximizing fuel efficiency and engine performance.
Overall, engineers from both companies sought to design an engine that produces maximum power for truck owners for daily applications while minimizing engine vibration and noise and optimizing ride quality. These are problems that have always been persistent in diesel engines but at the same time are trade-offs for an increase in power from a gasoline motor of roughly the same displacement. However, the new engine is a well engineered marvel of technology whose torque is well suited for boat towing, vehicle towing or load hauling. Truck buyers will be able to perform the tough tasks they need to do both quickly and comfortably.