Using funds given by the U.S. Department of Energy, Cummins Inc. has partnered with Nissan Motor Co. to develop a four-cylinder diesel engine that will give full-sized, light-duty pickups the power of a small V-8 and will reach overall fuel economy of 28 mpg. Pickuptruck.com reports that the project started last September using the Nissan Titan pickup to test the engine.
The project is estimated to cost $30 million. Of this amount, the Energy Department is providing $15 million. Vehicle and engine makers are looking for ways to enhance fuel economy.
Effective January 1, new federal fuel economy and emissions rules require carmakers to attain a corporate average fuel economy of 35.5 mpg by the 2016 model year.
President Barack Obama last October proposed tougher standards, calling for a CAFE range of 47 mpg to 62 mpg by the 2025 model year. This proposal is still being debated by automakers and regulators from the EPA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the California Air Resources Board.
The two-wheel-drive 2011 Titan has a rating of 13 mpg city/18 highway/15 combined. The Titan is powered by a gasoline-powered 5.6-liter V-8 and its test engine has a 2.8-liter displacement.
Initial figures indicated that the diesel engine delivers 350 pounds-feet of torque at about 1,800 rpm. In addition, the horsepower of a small V-8 is targeted. The engine is based on the four-cylinder ISF architecture that Cummins produces abroad, with 2.8-liter and 3.8-liter displacements.