Why all the hype for the 2016 Nissan Titan XD? How about 12,000 pounds of towing power and a 5.0L V8 Cummins diesel engine. If you don’t know, now you know:
2016 Nissan Titan XD
Introducing The All-New Pickup Powered By A 310HP & 555-LB-FT Cummins 5.0L V-8
It’s not easy to classify the all-new ’16 Nissan Titan XD, but that could end up being its best selling point. Technically, it’s a ¾-ton truck (if you go by the expected GVWR), but Nissan is positioning it in the ½-ton space. With a 5.0L V-8 Cummins engine making 310 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque and a frame that’s stronger than the conventional ½-ton Titan models, the XD seems to straddle the ½-ton and ¾-ton designations. With the power to tow more than 12,000 pounds along with the effciency of a diesel engine, this could end up being the ’tweener model that customers who are torn between a V-8 gas-powered ½-ton or a diesel-powered ¾-ton have been waiting for. Nissan says it noticed a hole in the market with 150,000 truck buyers each year who are forced to decide between one or the other.
Back in the mid-’00s when the frst-generation Titan came out, ½-ton crew cab 4×4 trucks had maximum tow ratings of less than 10,000 pounds, while the tow rating for ¾-ton diesel trucks could start as low as 12,000 pounds. In 2015, it’s not uncommon for ½-ton gasoline-powered trucks to tow a lot more than 10,000 pounds and ¾-ton diesel trucks to have ratings that start around 16,000 pounds. That leaves a lot of room for the Nissan Titan XD to play the spoiler and disrupt the new pickup market by providing a “just right” diesel powered option for customers who want to tow more than 10,000 pounds with confdence but don’t need 16,000-plus pounds of towing capability.
The 5.0L V-8 Cummins
The long-awaited 5.0L V-8 Cummins engine is fnally here, and it arrives with 310 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque. It’s hooked to a heavy-duty Aisin AS69RC six-speed automatic (similar to the one used behind the high-output version of the Cummins 6.7L). The powerplant has roots that trace back to a Department of Energy projectwith Cummins that started in 1998, and it debuts exclusively in the brand-new ’16 Nissan Titan XD (plans with Ram fell through after the acquisition by Fiat). The new 5.0L features 70 percent parts compatibility with the Cummins ISV5.0 commercial diesel engine, and Nissan says this unique version for the XD is designed to be “fuel-effcient while capable of doing ‘real work.’”
One of the main differences between the ISV5.0 and this engine is the new Holset M2 Two-Stage Turbo system by Cummins Turbo Technologies, which was developed in the U.S. and U.K. specifcally for Titan XD. The compoundturbocharger setup is mounted in the valley of the engine and utilizes one small turbo and another larger unit in series. Helping them work in tandem is a wastegate system with a patented “Rotary Turbine Control” valve that operates the opening of ports during four main operating modes:
1. Low-Pressure Single-Stage Turbo Mode
2. High-Pressure Two-Stage Turbo Mode
3. Wastegate Mode (maximum engine power output)
4. Regeneration Mode
This system is designed to provide minimal turbo lag in all driving situations while maximizing the effectiveness of the emissions controls for clean operation along with good fuel economy.
As for construction, the Nissan Cummins 5.0L V-8 uses a block made from compacted graphite iron (CGI) with a forged-steel crankshaft and aluminum pistons. The heads are made from aluminum alloy and have composite valve covers to keep weight low and reduce noise. The dual overhead camshafts that rest inside the covers actuate four valves per cylinder. Ceramic glow plugs by Bosch are designed for quick start times and to last the lifetime of the engine without any maintenance. Bosch also provides the CP4.2 high-pressure common-rail fuel system with piezo-controlled injectors. A two-stage fuel flter system uses NanoNet media by Cummins Filtration to provide high fow rates while fltering out 99 percent of particles 4 microns and larger. All of this technology, along with the M2 turbo system, combines to give the diesel-powered Nissan Titan XD a towing capacity of more than 12,000 pounds and a maximum payload rating of greater than 2,000 pounds.
The original Nissan Titan debuted way back in 2004; it was always gas-powered, and it has never been fully redesigned—until now. The second-generation Titan XD is a completely different creature with a uniquely beefed-up chassis with components based on the proven NV2500 HD cargo van that was introduced for the ’12 model year. The XD crew cab frame is a fully boxed, 151.6-inch wheelbase full-length ladder design that’s heavily reinforced for added stiffness and torsional rigidity to handle the towing and payload power of the diesel V-8.
Suspension, Axles, Wheels, Tires, and Brakes
The Titan XD’s front suspension is fully independent, with upper and lower A-arms, coilover shocks, and a large stabilizer bar for a controlled ride. The truck’s rear suspension uses leaf springs with leaf bushings and shock absorbers over a solid live axle by American Axle Manufacturing (AAM). Its rear end has a 10.5-inch differential, 3.5-inch axle tubes, and an optional rear electronic locker by Nissan (4×4 models have a 9.5-inch AAM differential in the front.) The XD uses four-wheel ventilated disc brakes measuring 14.2×1.5 inches in front and 14.4×1.2 inches in the rear, which are hydraulically assisted and designed to reduce shudder and improve braking feel. Available wheel sizes include 17, 18, or 20 inches with LT245/75R17, LT275/65R18, or LT265/60R20 tires. The high-capacity steering system is a recirculating ball design with parallel rod steering links optimized for when the truck is fully loaded or towing.
The Titan XD’s all-new body sits on top of hydraulic cab mounts to isolate it from vibrations and road noise. It also features a fush-mounted front bumper, spoilers integrated into the roof and tailgate, a seal between the cab and bed, laminated front and rear side glass, and hidden windshield washer arms and spray nozzles to help aid in aerodynamics and noise reduction. The Titan XD’s rear doors have a wide-opening design and the tailgate is lightweight for easy lifting and damped for smooth lowering. The bed features a fully integrated frame-mounted gooseneck hitch, LED bedrail lights, a 120-volt outlet, a sprayed-on bedliner, Nissan’s Utili-track Bed Channel system, and optional dual waterproof lockable storage boxes that can be used with a camper shell or tonneau cover. The headlamps and taillights use LEDs (except on the base S and SL trim levels), side mirrors with turn signal indicators, puddle lamps, and an available Blind Spot Warning system; and there are available front and rear parking sensors. A class-frst Around View Monitor provides a bird’s-eye view using front, rear, and side cameras and has Moving Object Detection, which alerts drivers to obstacles via on-screen notifcations and warning chimes. Towing aids include an integrated trailer brake controller, Trailer Sway Control, tow/haul mode, manual gear shifting, Downhill SpeedControl, and a Trailer Light Check system that allows drivers to check turn signals, brake lights, and running lights from inside the cab.
Interior features include a bench or bucket front seats with Nissan’s Zero Gravity technology for comfort during long-distance driving, with available heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats. A heated steering wheel is also optional. Incorporating the shifter in the tilt/telescopic steering column makes room for a center console that’s designed to accommodate a 15-inch laptop, while the rear underseat storage uses a locking lid and includes a fold-out foor. There are seven assist grips around the cabin, and all the control switches are grouped by function types, with locations based on their frequency of use. The instrument panel includes a 5-inch display and an optional 7-inch NissanConnect system with navigation and mobile apps that’s connected to a 12-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system. There is also an optional remote-start system with a climate-control function and 12-volt USB, and 120-volt outlets inside the cabin.
The ’16 Nissan Titan XD is made in the U.S.A., with a design from La Jolla, California, engineering in Michigan and Tennessee, validation in Arizona, truck assembly in Canton, Mississippi, and a 5.0L Cummins V-8 engine built in Columbus, Indiana. The XD will be the frst version of the Titan at dealerships, and it will eventually be available in standard cab, King Cab, and crew cab confgurations with 6.5- or 8-foot bed lengths, with S (base), SV, SL, PRO4X, and Platinum Reserve trim levels. The fnal payload and tow ratings (currently described by Nissan as 2,000-plus pounds and an SAE J2807-compliant 12,000-plus pounds), fuel economy fgures, and pricing will be announced later this year.
Cummins 5.0L V-8
Displacement: 5.0L (305 ci)
Power: 310 hp at 3,200 rpm
Torque: 555 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm
Bore X Stroke: 3.70 x 3.54 inches (94 x 90mm)
Valvetrain: Dual overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder
Fuel Injection: Bosch CP4.2 common-rail
Head Material: Aluminum alloy
Block Material: Compacted graphite iron
Crankshaft Material: Forged steel
Piston Material: Aluminum alloy
ValveCover Material: Composite
Induction: Holset M2 two-stage compound turbochargers with electronic wastegate
Exhaust: Exhaust gas recirculation, diesel particulate flter, and selective catalytic reduction
Where Built: Columbus, Indiana
The Cummins V-8 shares 70 percent parts compatibility with the single-turbo ISV5.0 commercial version of the engine that’s installed in medium-duty trucks and school buses. Along with a unique compound-turbocharger system designed specifcally for the Titan XD, the engine features dual overhead cams and 32 valves under composite valve covers. Cylinder heads and pistons are made from aluminum alloy, and the block is made from compacted graphite iron (CGI). The exhaust manifolds and up-pipes feature heat shielding to maximize the turbo system’s effciency and response. A Bosch CP4.2 high-pressure common-rail fuel system feeds piezo-actuated injectors, and ceramic glow plugs are used for quick startup and are designed to last the lifetime of the engine.
Vehicle: 2016 Nissan Titan XD crew cab with 6.5-foot bed
Seating Capacity: Five or six passengers (six-passenger with bench front seat)
Wheelbase: 151.6 inches
Length: 242.9 inches
Width: 79.4/80.6 inches (including mirrors)
Drive Configuration: Rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive
Engine: Cummins 5.0L V-8 turbodiesel with Holset M2 two-stage turbocharger system
Transmission: Aisin AS69RC six-speed automatic
Maximum Payload: 2,000-plus pounds
Maximum Towing: 12,000-plus pounds
Wheels/Tires: 17-inch steel with LT245/75R17 tires, 18-inch aluminum alloy with LT275/65R18 tires, or 20-inch aluminum alloy with LT265/60R20 tires
Front Suspension: Independent, upper and lowershort and long A-arms with coilover shocks
Rear Suspension: Solid axle with leaf spring rear suspension and shock absorbers
Front Differential: 9.25 inches (4×4)
Rear Differential: 10.5 inches with optional Nissan electronic locker
Brakes: Four-wheel ventilated discs, 14.2×1.5-inch front, and 14.4×1.2-inch rear
Steering: Recirculating ball
Where Built: Canton, Mississippi
Our First Look
Nissan Delivered a PRO4X edition of the Titan XD to our offce in Los Angeles, California, for an up-close frst look (and listen). We invited the entire company to come and inspect the truck and take photos and videos, which you can fnd online using the hashtag #NissanTitan. At one time during the visit, the entire editorial staffs of Diesel Power, Truck Trend, Work Truck Review, 8-Lug, Hot Rod, and Motor Trend could be found underneath the truck after it was lifted into the air by the manager of our tech center, Calin Head. Tape measures and calipers were busted out as eager editors tried to reverseengineer the truck and determine exactly which parts are being used (such as the 10.5-inch AAM rear ring gear that was confrmed by Nissan just minutes after our measurements). An informal poll of our offce-mates revealed that only a couple of folks disliked the exterior styling, but everyone raved about the design and quality of the interior inside the pre-production truck. The Titan XD was barely above idle while it was with us but seemed quiet for a large-displacement diesel V-8. You can judge the sound for yourself by watching the videos we posted to our Instagram account: @dieselpowermag.