There’s just something about a diesel pickup truck that makes grown men regress into Tonka-loving children. Even my Prius-driving environmentalist friends in Berkeley admit they secretly want a diesel pickup. The problem of course is that diesel pickups are expensive (the cheapest diesel Ram 2500 is $36,975 and it doesn’t have an automatic transmission, the cheapest oil-burning F-250 is $38,250) and, for the majority of us, the high payload and towing capacities are overkill. While economical in a specific sense, the large diesel trucks aren’t “fuel-efficient” either. Until now. Mark your calendars folks, The 2014 Ram 1500 Eco Diesel is the half-ton truck in America sporting a small diesel engine.
Nothing is more American than the pickup truck. If the stars and stripes thing ever gets old, they will probably get replaced by a RAM / GM / Ford montage. The other thing that’s quintessentially American is an arms race. No, I’m not talking military hardware, I’m talking about the eternal RAM vs Chevy/GMC vs Ford tuck wars. Who has the best frame? Who has the best engine? Who can haul the most? Be prepared to draw your weapons and click past the jump. Chrysler sent me a 2013 RAM 3500 for a week and then invited me to taste test the refreshed 2014 model for a day.
Sources tell us that Nissan and Cummins will make a joint announcement Tuesday regarding a diesel engine for the next-generation Titan. Our sources suggest the powertrain could be either a Chinese-made 4-cylinder engine or alternately a 5.0L V8. Currently, Ram is the only truck maker to offer a Cummins powertrain. Nissan recently hired Fred Diaz, Ram’s former CEO, to head up Nissan Division’s day-to-day operations.
Christmas is over so we go back to war. This is the newest kill-machine of the Chinese army. It is a 4×4 armored vehicle based on the Dongfeng EQ2050 (thank you America!). The new car seems designed as a hit-and-run fast attack vehicle with a big turret on the roof for a big fat machine gun or rocket-propelled grenade launcher. (Read More…)
Pickuptrucks.com reports that you may not have to wait for Mahindra to work through its legal issues to get an efficient diesel-powered pickup, as the DOE has funded development of a four-cylinder Cummins diesel engine which is being demonstrated in a Nissan Titan. According to the report
Cummins refers to the engine by the codename “LA-4” with a 2.8-liter displacement (170 cubic inches). Initial power figures on the engine dyno have the mule test engine producing 350 pounds-feet of torque at around 1,800 rpm. A chart in the presentation shows targeted power levels to be approximately 220 horsepower and 380 pounds-feet.
The engine is likely a derivative of the four-cylinder ISF architecture that Cummins builds overseas, with 2.8-liter and 3.8-liter displacements. The overseas 3.8-liter is rated at 168 horsepower and 443 pounds-feet of torque…
To meet U.S. clean-diesel standards, the 2.8 would use diesel exhaust fluid to scrub nitrogen oxide emissions, like Ford and GM use today in their heavy-duty diesel pickups. It would also feature a so-called passive NOx storage system that would capture and hold NOx during cold starts, releasing the gas when temperatures rise to levels of max efficiency for DEF. The passive system would save fuel used today to jumpstart NOx scrubbing when the system is cold.
The upshot? 28 MPG combined, according to pickuptrucks.com. Given the discrepancy between EPA fuel economy numbers and the CAFE method, that means this engine could make a Titan (which gets 13/18 MPG EPA with its stock V8) more than compliant with the 2015 30 MPG truck standard. And because the DOE spent only $15m, this probably qualifies as one of the more promising government fuel-economy improvement programs in some time. After all, improving truck efficiency is one of the toughest aspects of CAFE compliance… and if a Titan can get nearly 30 MPG combined (about the same as current four-cylinder family sedans), the government’s $15m just bought it a crushing blow to the industry’s anti-CAFE carping.
78 liters of displacement, 18 cylinders, 12 turbocharges and a tame 3,500 hp and 10,300 lb-ft of torque make for one mean Mini. Well, it would if it actually worked. Instead, this will probably just be on static display at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. Fun fact: the engine alone weighs about 15 times what an original Mini did.
The Wall Street Journal [sub] reports that Indiana diesel engine supplier Cummins will pay $2.1m in civil penalties for violations of the Clean Air Act. The EPA and the Justice Department complaint alleges that Cummins shipped 570k heavy-duty diesel engines to OEM customers between 1998 and 2006 without the emissions-control systems that make them Clean Air Act-compliant. It’s not even clear clear that the crud-controlling gear is missing. The paperwork is. Cummins spokesfolks admit that 405 (or about .7 percent) of those engines never received documentation that shows they were fitted with the appropriate emissions-control systems. This is particularly embarrassing for Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who recently gave Cummins $54m in Recovery Act grants intended to improve truck efficiency and emissions, and called the firm “the leader in clean-diesel manufacturing.”