COLUMBUS, Ind. — Cummins has announced it is launching a 5.0-litre V8 diesel engine, designed for pickup-and-delivery applications and other light- and medium-duty trucks.
The ISV5.0 will be assembled at Cummins’ Columbus Engine Plant, which has received a makeover to accommodate production beginning in the fourth quarter of next year. The engine is already being tested, and a selection of vehicles with the new ISV5.0 were available for test drives at a recent press event here. Vehicles equipped with the engine at the event included a walk-in van, school bus, RV and Freightliner medium-duty sport truck.
However, Jeff Jones, Cummins vice-president, North American Engine Business, said the engine is not limited to those few vehicle types that were on display.
“There are hundreds of different types of applications we believe this product will eventually find its way into,” he said. Cummins has long been a believer that there was room in the market for a smaller diesel engine. Work on the 5.0L actually began about 13 years ago in partnership with Chrysler. But when Chrysler faced its financial difficulties during the recession, it abandoned the project and Cummins was left to forge ahead without an OEM partner.
“The dream was always, why doesn’t Cummins build a smaller diesel?” Jones said. “When you look at the price of fuel, emissions, all those things that mattered in these more commercial markets, they matter to some degree down at the lower end of the market. I think things are coming together – with our environmental needs, our economic needs and our energy independence needs – to where this market here is ready to go diesel. It’s got to be the right diesel and it’s got to be a cost-effective diesel…We think these markets are ready for the right diesel products.”
And with a market primed to embrace a 5.0L diesel engine, Jones reasoned Cummins was the ideal company to give it to them.
“We believe we are ready with the right product,” he said. “We’ve worked hard to try to understand what the market needs an what the market wants, and we’re trying to do it in a way that only Cummins should be able to do it, with all our capabilities around turbochargers, fuel systems, aftertreatment, combustion technologies. The recipes we use in all the markets where we compete around the world, we applied here. So it’s not just another diesel engine, it’s a Cummins diesel.”
Cummins has done its homework, and found that many customers of heavy-duty pickups and other light- and medium-duty commercial vehicles are willing to make the switch from gasoline to diesel, should a viable option be available.
“Cummins ISV5.0 creates new opportunities for our OEM customers as a compact and lightweight engine that delivers best-in-class fuel efficiency and total cost of ownership,” said Dave Crompton, Cummins vice-president and general manager, engine business. “Many of our customers have asked for a Cummins alternative for gasoline or other small displacement automotive diesel engines. The ISV5.0 represents the next dimension in fuel economy and performance as Cummins continues to broaden our on-highway product line.”
The ISV5.0 represents the first Cummins engine to use a compacted graphite iron block, which reduces weight and engine noise. Aluminum components contribute further weight savings and improve efficiency.
Cummins officials said the new engine has been designed to easily fit where a comparable V8 or V10 gasoline engine was previously installed. It’s not yet clear which vehicle manufacturers will be offering the engine, though Nissan earlier announced it would offer a 5.0L Cummins turbo-diesel engine in its next-generation Titan pickup. The launch date for that engine has not yet been disclosed.
The ISV5.0 features a Bosch high-pressure common rail fuel system and piezo fuel injectors for precise fuel control and optimum in-cylinder combustion, the company said. There will be four horsepower ratings (200, 220, 250 and 275 hp) available with torque up to 560 lb.-ft.
The engine uses ceramic glow plugs to reduce start time and limit electrical current draw in cold weather. The glow plugs are designed to last the life of the engine.
The fuel filter uses NanoNet media from Cummins filtration, which can trap more than 99% of all particles as small as four microns. The ISV5.0 also has a high-efficiency coalescing filter to eliminate crankcase hydrocarbon emissions and oil mist.
And the engine will be matched with Cummins’ aftertreatment system, including a diesel particulate filter and selective catalytic reduction system.
“Cummins has integrated the latest technologies in the ISV5.0 to deliver performance, fuel efficiency and durability in a highly sociable package. Every day, drivers will appreciate the smooth, quiet operation of the ISV5.0,” said Jim Katzenmeyer, executive engineer, V8 program. “In addition, the fuel savings offered by the ISV5.0 result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions – a great environmental benefit.”
While Cummins has yet to receive commitments from OEMs looking to offer the engine, Nissan aside, the company is confident opportunities will materialize. Customers today in the applications best suited for the ISV5.0 are often using the larger ISB engine and underutilizing its capabilities. Or, they’re running gasoline engines in which case there’s an opportunity to gain some significant efficiencies.
Bringing the engine to market after so many years has proved not just challenging, but also rewarding for the company.
“The ball is not across the goal line but it’s first and goal on the six-inch line. We know we’re going to get it across,” Jones said, noting the investment made into the engine makes it one of its three largest engine programs over the past 20 years. It’s not only a big deal for Cummins, but also for the region the company calls home. The engine will be built right there in Columbus.
“To have the opportunity to bring a high-volume, high-technology global product to a plant right here in Columbus, Ind., that was building Cummins diesels in the 1920s is a really big deal to this community and a really big deal to us,” Jones said.
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