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New Cummins 2.8L Four-Cylinder Diesel Engine

Inside The Next-Generation ½-Ton Diesel Engine

Text By Jason Thompson, Photography by Courtesy of Cummins, Courtesy of the Department Of Energy

You’ve heard the rumblings of a ½-ton diesel pickup coming to the United States since we wrote “New Cummins V-6 and V-8 Diesel Engines” (Dec. ’06). Our optimism has peaked and been dashed during the last five years as all of the ½-ton pickup manufacturers hinted at—and in some cases announced—and then cancelled their plans to offer a compression-ignition engine in a ½-ton truck. So far, we’ve been promised much (including a mini-truck diesel from Mahindra), but as of today, nothing’s been delivered. The good news is as fuel prices continue to climb, so does the consumer thirst for diesels. Once one manufacturer puts a hole in this dike of demand, we’ll see a flood of efficient diesel pickups finally refresh the United States market. Barring another economic collapse, our crying wolf about ½-ton diesels is about to be a thing of the past.

DOE, Cummins, and Nissan
Recently released Department of Energy (DOE) documents describe developing a 2.8L four-cylinder Cummins diesel for ½-ton trucks using a Nissan Titan. There’s been no announcement from Nissan to offer this engine yet, but the DOE and Cummins-run test is scheduled to be completed by 2014. The fruits of this project are estimated to produce 220 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, while meeting Tier 2 Bin 2 emissions standards and achieving 28 mpg. The budget is $30 million, with the DOE chipping in half the cash. According to Cummins, “a fuel efficiency increase in light trucks and SUVs of 40 percent would reduce United States oil consumption by 1.5 million barrels per day.”

Johnson Matthey
Department of Energy
Box 3005
IN  47202
By Jason Thompson
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