REVIEW: X12 fights above its weight class

JAMESTOWN, NY - Cummins' new X12 engine is slated to hit the street sometime early this year, probably shortly after its formal launch in February or March. The engine was introduced in August 2016 and I had a short drive with it then around the 11-kilometer track at the Transportation Research Center in East Liberty, Ohio. It wasn't much of an opportunity to get to know the engine, but it whet my appetite. Cummins invited me to drive the new X12 this past November on a longer real-world route, starting from the plant in Jamestown, New York, where the X12 is to be built. The X12's 11.8-liter displacement puts it smack dab in the middle of the medium-bore market, but its published ratings put it squarely in 13-liter territory for torque and horsepower. Tipping the scales at just 2,050 pounds, it has the highest power-to-weight ratio of any heavy-duty engine from 10 liters to 16 liters in size, but it's actually lighter than any of the 11-liter blocks on the market (subject to interpretation on how "dry weight" is determined).