Cummins has been building diesel engines since 1919, but it would be another 80 years before this company became a household name. That was when Cummins supplied Chrysler with a 160-horsepower 5.9-liter inline-six for the 1989 Dodge Ram 250 and 350 models, and Cummins has steadily built a solid reputation for its engines among truck buyers ever since.

Dodge Ram (and now Ram) buyers wear the big “C” on their fenders with pride, but Nissan buyers will soon be able to brag about their Cummins affiliation as well. A new era of diesel trucks is set to begin when the 2016 Nissan Titan XD goes on sale later this year with the Cummins 5.0-liter V-8 Turbo Diesel under the hood, and I recently had the chance to head to the home of Cummins – Columbus, Indiana – to see where this all-new engine will be built.

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Located just blocks from Cummins’ world headquarters, the Columbus Engine Plant is not only responsible for building the V-8s that will be shipped to the Titan’s Canton, Mississippi assembly plant, but it also builds a commercial version for the engine (called the ISV5.0) for use in medium-duty trucks including school buses and motor homes. These two engines have about 70 percent shared components including an in-house-built turbocharger – which, remarkably, is a first for Cummins. These are the first engines built at CEP since 1996 when production of the 15-liter inline-six (yes, you read that correctly) was shipped to Jamestown, NY, but it still produces heads and blocks for this mammoth engine.

TopSpeed visits the Cummins Engine Plant Exterior
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Nissan and Cummins both say that the V-8 Turbo Diesel will allow the 2016 Titan XD to fill in the white space between a conventional half-ton pickup and the heavy-duty, diesel-powered trucks offering more grunt than the former and a smoother ride than the latter. In the Titan, this engine will be rated at 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque, while the commercial-spec ISV5.0 will have horsepower ratings that range from 200 to 275 and torque ratings ranging from 520 up to 560 pound-feet.

TopSpeed visits the Cummins Engine Plant Exterior
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Unlike the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, a half-ton truck that focuses primarily on maximizing fuel economy, the Cummins V-8 will give the Titan more than 12,000 pounds of towing capacity, while the design of the 2016 Titan is expected to provide a smoother ride than traditional three-quarter and one-ton trucks. Although Cummins is better known for its inline engines, a key reason the Titan received the new V-8 is that this engine design is almost a foot shorter than a comparable inline-six diesel.

TopSpeed visits the Cummins Engine Plant Exterior
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During an extensive tour of the plant, I was able to see the entire build cycle of this engine from its arrival as a pre-milled piece of compressed graphite iron (CGI) to its final holding area waiting to be shipped out. As production for the engine continues to ramp up, the plant is operating with a skeleton crew producing a small number of engines and continuing to tweak the build process.

TopSpeed visits the Cummins Engine Plant Exterior
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Every aspect of this 5.0-liter V-8’s design to maximize power and reliability from the CGI block that helps to cut engine weight in half to the distinctive turbo setup. Even though the V-8 has two turbos, Cummins points out that it isn’t a traditional twin turbo. Instead of two turbos doing the same job, this engine has a pair of turbos that are different diameters in what the company refers to as a two-stage sequential turbo setup: a smaller high-pressure turbocharger to decrease turbo lag and a larger, low-pressure turbo to maximize the engine’s power. Both turbos are tucked in beneath the intake manifold, which is a key reason why the turbos are built in-house.

As is the case with most diesel truck engines these days, the Titan’s Cummins V-8 will require diesel exhaust fluid. This fluid is held in a 2.3-gallon tank, and while final specs for the Titan have yet to be released, Nissan estimates that the DEF will have a consumption rate of between 1 and 4 percent.

TopSpeed visits the Cummins Engine Plant Exterior
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Beyond building engines, Cummins also does a really good job of building a strong community. Before I even had a chance to check out the Columbus Engine Plant, I was able to take a quick driving tour around Columbus where the hard work of the Cummins Foundation was obvious. For years, this foundation has paid the architecture fee on new construction on buildings such as churches, businesses and even the local U.S. Post Office, which has helped make this small city one of the top 10 significant cities in the U.S. when it comes to architecture.

And pardon the pun, but Cummins’ generosity is more than just a façade. Cummins also holds community recycling programs where residents and businesses alike can bring in any material to be recycled, and the best show of community support is the Backpack Program where it helps feed less fortunate school kids on the weekend by sending them home with backpacks stuffed with food.

2016 Nissan Titan XD

2016 Nissan Titan XD High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review here.

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