TORONTO, Ont. — The new Nissan Titan was designed to be a work truck first and foremost, and so the first engine that will be available in the vehicle will be an all-business 5.0L V8 Cummins diesel.
Nissan offered journalists a sneak peek of the all-new Nissan Titan with Cummins power in advance of the Canadian International AutoShow, taking place in Toronto this week.
The engine produces 310 hp and 555 lb.-ft. of torque, and will provide 12,000 lbs of towing capability and 2,000 lbs of payload when the 2016 Nissan Titan enters production. Pricing and launch date have not yet been announced.
However, Nissan made clear it feels the availability of a Cummins diesel will make it an immediate threat to the incumbent leaders in the segment.
“We are the challenger in this segment and as the challenger, we’re going to launch with our best foot forward and the truck that’s really going to challenge the segment,” said Rich Miller, chief product specialist for the Titan and director of product planning with Nissan North America.
He said the diesel engine allows the Titan to provide a solid combination of towing capability and fuel economy.
“If you’re going to tow 12,000 lbs – or over that – comfortably, there’s no doubt you want a diesel,” he said. “It’s not just about fuel economy, it’s about hauling that load and getting great fuel economy and gas engines just can’t perform that way. If somebody is towing day in and day out and wants to get great fuel economy, diesel is by far the best option.”
Other gasoline engines will be offered at a later date but the Titan will first be available with the 5.0L Cummins shown tonight. Miller referred to the Cummins as a “stump-puller of an engine” that will earn the new Titan immediate credibility when launched.
The interior and the exterior of the Nissan Titan have also been redesigned. The headlights offer improved illumination, according to Randy Rodriguez, project lead designer for the exterior. (Interestingly, both the interior and exterior lead designers hail from Canada, Rodriguez from Surrey, B.C.). Rodriguez is especially proud of the bolder stance the new Titan achieves as well as the added capabilities; as though the previous-generation Titan went to the gym and bulked up.
Steve Moneypenny of Brampton, Ont. designed the interior. He’s most proud of the fact Nissan struck a balance between functionality and comfort.
“We were going for a premium, upscale interior but we wanted this to be first and foremost a work truck,” he explained, noting everything has been well positioned and easy to use.
“We really matured the interior,” he said. “The Titan has come a long way. We revolutionized this truck…it’s massive, no doubt about it, but it’s really a nice place to spend time.”
Jeff Caldwell, general manager for Cummins’ global pickup business, represented the engine manufacturer at the preview.
He is confident about the partnership’s prospects, in part because it’s a savvy customer base the truck is targeting. Caldwell said truck buyers are among the most sophisticated buyers of light-duty vehicles.
“They’re customers who know about torque, know about rear axle ratios, know about the drivetrain and the transmission shift schedules,” he explained. “So they understand what makes their truck work for them. They may be farmers, they may be construction workers, who may not typically be described as sophisticated but they’re incredibly knowledgeable and we know when they look at the engine compartment they value Cummins’ reputation. So when Nissan came to us and said ‘This is what we value in a power-pack – dependability’, we knew this was the engine for them.”
Speakers from both companies said there was some back-and-forth to determine the perfect power and torque ratings for the new Titan. Asked if the Cummins diesel would be up to the harsh Canadian conditions, Caldwell pointed out extensive cold-weather testing has been conducted and that the engines feature ceramic glow plugs in each cylinder to ensure excellent startability in cold weather.
The truck will be on display at the Canadian International AutoShow this week.
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