Nissan is hoping for titanic sales from its 2015 Titan full-size pickup.
The Japanese automaker plans to offer a Cummins 5.0-liter V-8 turbocharged diesel engine — a first for the company — in the vehicle's second-generation model, Nissan North America and Cummins Inc. announced jointly on Tuesday, The Tennessean reported
Nissan said the diesel engine would have more than 300 horsepower and about 550 foot-pounds of torque.
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Nissan has severely lagged among U.S. customers in large pickups, behind the industry-leading Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra 1500, Chrysler Ram 1500, and Toyota Tundra. This is the Titan's first complete makeover since it was introduced in 2003.
Analysts expect the new models by the summer of 2014, but as 2015 models.
"Truck owners told us there's a demand for the performance and torque of a diesel in a capable truck that doesn't require the jump up to a heavy-duty commercial pickup," Fred Diaz, vice president for North American Nissan sales and marketing, told Bloomberg News
. "There is no question that the new Titan will turn heads."
GM, Ford and Chrysler currently do not offer a diesel engine in their light-duty pickups, though Chrysler will unveil a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel option to the 2014 Ram by the end of the year, according to The Tennessean.
Chrysler also offers a diesel in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The addition of the diesel engine to Nissan's Titan "is a really good move," Jack Nerad, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's told The Tennessean. "When you look at the pickup market and the way the overall market is going, we expect an increase in saturation of diesels across the board, and particularly in the work truck area, where cost-to-own is a prime consideration."
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