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  • New powertrain options for next-gen full-size pickup
  • Available 5-liter Cummins diesel
  • In testing now; no on-sale date announced

The next-generation Nissan Titan full-size pickup truck will be available with a powerful diesel engine. Developed through a partnership with Cummins, the new diesel motor will likely improve both the Titan's capabilities and its efficiency. The new engine option is one of several expansions of the Titan lineup; Nissan says it will offer more cab and bed configurations for its next full-size pickup, too.

Introduced in 2004, the Titan is currently offered only with a 5.6-liter gasoline V8 with an output of 317 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque. Nissan says the new Cummins also will produce more than 300 hp but will offer considerably more torque than the gas motor -- in excess of 500 lb-ft. Those numbers suggest that the 5-liter turbo diesel will be the engine of choice for drivers who use their Titans to tow or haul. The current Nissan Titan can tow up to 9,500 pounds. The next-generation diesel Titan is almost sure to improve on that capability.

The Cummins could be the engine of choice for drivers seeking better fuel efficiency, too. Diesels have long been praised for economy, and the latest diesels continue to improve, delivering more miles per gallon than earlier engines of the same size. Nissan has not provided any fuel economy claims for the Cummins-equipped Titan, but it did say that it's currently testing prototypes that use the motor for performance and durability.

Titan is currently available with an extended cab or crew cab; no regular cab is offered. Two wheelbases allow three available bed lengths, with the longest coming up 9 inches shy of 8 feet. Additional cab and box configurations could include a regular cab and a full-length, 8-foot bed.

Offering more engine choices and body configurations will improve the Titan lineup, and could help the Nissan better compete with domestic trucks that offer a wide range of powertrain and cab/bed choices. The Cummins diesel is certainly a unique offering, too. Only one full-size half-ton pickup, the RAM 1500, is now available with a diesel. But the RAM focuses mostly on efficiency and uses a considerably smaller V6. The Cummins gives pickup drivers a choice in the middle, between the RAM diesel V6 and large-displacement diesel V8s available in heavy-duty pickups.

What it means to you: A new, half-ton diesel pickup is on the way. The next-generation Nissan Titan will be available with a Cummins turbodiesel V8 with more than 500 lb-ft of torque.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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