It has now been confirmed the new Cummins 5-litre V8 diesel engine set to power the next generation Nissan Titan truck will carry a compacted graphite iron (CGI) cylinder block.
The news finally opens wide the door, letting in light to an otherwise darkened room. For up to now, Cummins has held tightly secret any information that it has been developing, alongside Nissan, the latest technology in diesel engine cylinder block design and manufacture. This news comes despite the engine company also working alongside the US Department of Energy on next generation diesels under a Federal-funded R&D programme.
For years, Cummins engineers have attended conference after conference, listening intently to lectures on advanced diesel engine technology. They have listened but yielded nothing by way of exchange. Now, however, at last, the world knows that the rumours, widely whispered in bar room chat, are true - see Green light for Cummins CGI diesel? of 21 August 2013.
Cummins is thus the last of the major North American diesel engine makers to admit adopting technology that leading European diesel engine makers have been using for years.
In releasing the information, CGI process control technology company SinterCast remarks that with the announcement of the 5-litre V8 diesel engine for the next generation Nissan Titan, the high volume North American pick-up truck market has taken another significant step toward diesel engines.
SinterCast notes that the Nissan announcement follows Chrysler's announcement in February 2013 of a 3-litre V6 diesel engine in the model year 2014 Ram 1500 pick-up. The Ram 1500 diesel will be available in US dealer showrooms during the fourth quarter of 2013. The Nissan diesel will be available with the launch of the next generation Titan, anticipated during 2014.
Both the Chrysler and the Nissan diesel offerings are based on SinterCast-CGI cylinder blocks.
SinterCast confirms that the 5-litre V8 turbodiesel will be supplied by Cummins Inc., one of the world's largest and most respected diesel engine manufacturers.
With more than 300bhp (225kW) and approximately 550lbft (750Nm) of torque, the 5-litre V8 diesel will provide approximately 25% more pulling power than the current petrol-engined light duty pick-ups in the US market. And the application of CGI to the V8 block will give the company's engineers and managers increasing confidence in the material to the extent they will be able to entertain further applications of a material that up to now they have turned their backs on.
The SinterCast-CGI cylinder block used in the Cummins diesel is produced at the Tupy foundry in Brazil. Tupy is the world’s leading supplier of CGI cylinder blocks for diesel engines, and more revelations announcing further far-reaching applications of CGI in engines are expected later this year.
Cummins has also indicated that the 5-litre turbodiesel engine will be available in other applications such as recreational vehicles and commercial vehicles, providing opportunities for increased production volumes.
"Better fuel economy, higher torque, increased driving range and lower total cost of ownership make diesels ideally suited to light duty pick-up trucks and the North American driving mode," said Dr Steve Dawson, president and chief executive officer of SinterCast. "With approximately half of the US market share being held by pick-ups, SUV's and crossovers, the increased use of diesel engines provides an important contribution toward helping OEMs meet the continual increase in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE), as the standard increases from 27.5mile/gal (8.6 l/100km) in 2010 to 54.5mile/gal (4.3 l/100 km) in 2025."
The latest information is welcome news for Dawson who for years has personally championed the application of CGI in diesel engines, both for passenger cars and commercial vehicles in Europe, North and South America, and the Far East - China, Japan and South Korea. Cummins Inc. of Columbus, Indiana has long been seen as one of the important marques to commit to such advanced technology that allows diesel engine makers to extract more power and torque for a given engine weight, in addition to reduced emissions and lower noise levels.
Any lingering and wavering diesel engine makers will now surely recognise Cummins’ endorsement of CGI as the green light to hasten their own development programmes. ∎
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