One of the stars of the Canadian International AutoShow this year was the redesigned Nissan Titan, which will come to market first with a 5.0L V8 Cummins diesel engine under the hood. During a press preview of the truck, Nissan reps acknowledged they’re the challenger in the hotly contested segment, and felt the best way to make an immediate impact was to come to market with the Cummins engine – their greatest differentiator.

It was personally satisfying for me to see the birth of this engine, having been at the product launch in Columbus a couple years ago. Then, it was labeled the ISV5.0 and it didn’t yet have a home. The engine was initially launched over more than a decade with Chrysler, but during the recession and its flirtations with bankruptcy, Chrysler abandoned the project.

Cummins was left to decide whether it was worth seeing this project through on its own, without a vehicle OEM in place to offer the engine. They made the gutsy call to forge ahead with the engine, determined an OEM partner would come forward.

Chrysler’s loss was Nissan’s gain. To be taken seriously in the pickup segment, Nissan needed something a little special to compete with the Fords, Rams and GMs and in the Cummins engine, it has that something special. I think it’ll do well. Nissan is smartly marketing this as a Cummins engine – not rebadging it as their own. It’ll produce 310 hp and 555 lb.-ft. of torque when release, enabling 12,000 lbs of towing and 2,000 lbs of payload.

Rich Miller, chief product specialist for the Titan and director of product planning with Nissan North America, referred to it as a “stump-puller” of an engine. Launch date and pricing have not yet been released. You can find some more details on the new truck here.

There's no disguising the Cummins diesel under the hood.
There’s no disguising the Cummins diesel under the hood.

James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 18 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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  • Interesting turn of events since Nissan has a long history of producing its own Diesel engines. I guess the numbers weren’t sufficient to engineer an in-house EPA compliant version.