Cummins Inc. is developing a four-cylinder diesel engine aimed at giving full-sized, light-duty pickups the power of a small V-8 and overall fuel economy of 28 mpg.
The project began in September using the Nissan Titan pickup, which is being used to test the engine, pickuptruck.com reports.
Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy in partnership with Nissan Motor Co. The Energy Department is providing $15 million of the project's estimated $30 million cost.
Vehicle and engine makers are seeking ways to improve fuel economy. New federal fuel economy and emissions rules took effect Jan. 1 that require automakers to achieve a corporate average fuel economy of 35.5 mpg by the 2016 model year.
But automakers and regulators from the EPA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the California Air Resources Board are debating a tougher proposal initiated by President Barack Obama last October. That plan calls for a CAFE range of 47 mpg to 62 mpg by the 2025 model year.
The two-wheel-drive 2011 Titan is rated at 13 mpg city/18 highway/15 combined. The Titan has a gasoline-powered 5.6-liter V-8.
The test engine has a 2.8-liter displacement. According to initial figures, the diesel engine produces 350 pounds-feet of torque at about 1,800 rpm. The horsepower of a small V-8 is targeted.
The engine is a derivative of the four-cylinder ISF architecture that Cummins builds overseas, with 2.8-liter and 3.8-liter displacements, according to pickuptruck.com.
The test engine uses high-strength steel pistons instead of conventional aluminum pistons. Steel pistons can handle high power loads with a shorter stroke, which helps reduce the overall height of the engine for improved packaging, according to pickuptruck.com.
Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20110526/CARNEWS/110529863#ixzz1NZHIJqhL