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Cummins Diesel for Nissan Stirs Pickup Market

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August 20, 2013 by   Leave a Comment

Nissan says its redesigned Titan full-size pickup will have a Cummins diesel V-8, giving it a model to challenge Chrysler’s Ram 1500 diesel. The companies today (Aug. 20) announced the partnership that could create hundreds of jobs at Cummins’ Columbus, Ind., factory.

According to a report by USA Today,¬†Nissan’s banking on the well-known Cummins name trumping the Ram’s Italian diesel unknown to most U.S. buyers.

“Truck owners told us there’s a demand for the performance and torque of a diesel in a capable truck that doesn’t require the jump up to a heavy-duty commercial pickup,” said Fred Diaz, Nissan’s U.S. sales and marketing chief.

Diesels generally get better mileage and can carry and tow heavier loads.

The Cummins engine, in final stages of development, will be rated more than 300 horsepower and roughly 550 pounds-feet of torque, Nissan said.

Nissan wouldn’t say when the truck or the diesel will be available, but the automaker’s comments made is seem as if the truck comes before the diesel option. Nissan also did not give pricing for either the truck or the diesel option, nor specify mileage ratings.

Ram’s V-6 diesel is rated 240 hp, 420 lbs.-ft. of torque. It’s a $2,850 option over the price of Hemi-equipped Ram. Hemi’s the most-expensive gasoline engine. It’s not due until late this year or early next year. Chrysler forecasts fuel economy as 25 mpg; the engine hasn’t been rated via government tests yet.

Ram diesel is rated to tow up to 9,200 lbs. and will be mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Ram diesel is supplied by VM Motor, a Chrysler supplier since 1992 The same engine is used in Chrysler Group’s Jeep Grand Cherokee.

None of the other big-pickup makers — Ford Motor, General Motors and Toyota — offers a diesel in their standard-duty pickups.

Toyota had been rumored to have a diesel ready for the redesigned, 2014 Tundra fullsize truck, but did not, believing it is too costly an option and not aimed at its Tundra’s target buyers.

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