Is it love between these two companies? To hear them talk, yes it is. Singing one another’s praises at a press preview in Columbus, Indiana, both sides were enthusiastic about the future of the 2016 Nissan Titan XD. The 5.0-liter 310-horsepower V8 Cummins turbo diesel was designed and is being built just for the updated and newly redesigned and stylish 2016 Titan XD. Reviewing my notes and information, I had a hard time determining where the engine ended and the truck started! It seems to be a great partnership.
In a consumer-driven highly competitive category, Nissan hopes to fill an empty spot between heavy duty trucks that are more than many buyers need or want, and light trucks that don’t quite do the job. This new Nissan Titan will tow in excess of 12,000 pounds and has a payload of more than 2000 pounds. The first truck off the assembly line will be a 4-door crew cab with a 6.5-foot cargo bed and a choice of 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive. Other configurations will be offered later, including traditional gasoline engines. Improvements to and benefits of the new Titan XD include a refined engine noise with none of the traditional diesel engine clatter, a responsive drive, easy maintenance with accessible filters, a 6-speed transmission and a choice of trim levels. The use of ceramic glow plugs, which heat rapidly, means little delay when the start button is pressed, a favorite feature of those living in cold climates.
The crew at the Cummins Diesel Plant presented an overwhelming amount of information to a group of journalists who have better than average understanding of automotive mechanics. It was more than I could take in, but I felt I learned and made a little progress in my quest for knowledge. Impressive was the safety of the manufacturing floor and the pride of the crew in their work and for the brand. All were cheerful, polite and helpful, and appeared committed and dedicated to their work. It was the kind of atmosphere you would like to be involved in.
Besides on-road applications such as buses, motor homes and fire engines, Cummins builds engines for agricultural, mining, rail, marine and other uses. The Columbus plant has brought in workers from other Cummins plants to meet the schedule for manufacturing the new V8 for the 2016 Titan XD. A similar engine called the ISX15 is being built for school buses, motor homes, fire engines, and other commercial applications. The vision and commitment from both sides of this undertaking is commendable.
If Cummins and Nissan are in a romantic relationship, I have found one with Columbus, Indiana. With a population of 45,000, Columbus has a warm, small-town atmosphere that immediately makes visitors feel at home. Wide streets, manicured yards, landscaped parks, and unique architecture all combine to present a picture of American life at its best. Much of this came from the vision of Joseph Irwin Miller, whose relationship with Cummins brought him eventually to the position of Chairman. He was instrumental in the formation of the Cummins Diesel Foundation, which subsidized architectural design for school buildings. Others caught the vision, leading to distinctively designed churches, a library, a Post Office, a newspaper building and even a unique jail. Columbus is now considered among the top ten architecturally significant towns in the country.
Look for the 2016 Titan XD with the Cummins diesel engine this Fall. Pricing and fuel economy have not yet been released, but are expected to be competitive. Start planning your relationship with this terrific truck now!