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2015 Nissan Titan to get diesel option

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Joe Harpring/The Republic/AP

(Read caption) Cummins Inc. employee Juan Ramirez adds his signature to a display poster picturing the new 5.0L V8 Diesel engine Tuesday in Columbus, Ind. Cummins officials said the company will produce the engine, initially for the 2015 Nissan Titan pickup truck.

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Nissan has become the latest company to announce a diesel option for its full-size pickup truck range.

The next-generation Nissan Titan full-size truck will feature a newly-developed Cummins V-8 turbocharged diesel unit, helping broaden the model's appeal in the competitive truck market.

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A partnership between Cummins and Nissan will see the unit optimized for the next-gen Titan, and some serious power and torque will be on offer. Nissan is expecting a torque rating in the mid-500 lbs-ft range, while maximum output should comfortably top 300 horsepower.

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Those numbers should put it comfortably above the recently-announced 2014 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel, which uses a smaller 3.0-liter V-6 diesel unit developing 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.

Nissan says it has "done its homework" on the next-generation Titan, and has seen there's a ready market for the performance and torque of a diesel in the full-sized truck market, without requiring a jump to the heavy-duty truck sector. Nissan is expecting plenty of new buyers as a result.

Cummins, who will produce the new 5.0-liter unit in its Columbus plant, promises the new engine "will offer the right balance of power, performance and fuel economy while delivering the dependability that customers expect of a Cummins engine. This will be a great package."

The Titan itself will continue to be built at Nissan's Canton, Miss., assembly plant, and the next Titan's gasoline engines will continue production at Decherd, Tennessee.

There's no official word on fuel economy yet, but it's sure to eclipse the 13 mpg city, 18 highway and 15 combined of the existing 2013 Nissan Titan and its gasoline 5.6-liter V-8. We don't even know when to expect the model--for "competitive reasons" Nissan is keeping it on the down-low, but has revealed that engineering prototypes are already out and about on the public highway.