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Clash of the Titans: Nissan’s ‘Truckumentary’ series oozes with diesel goodness

The 2016 Nissan Titan is still proving controversial due to its loud and F-150-esque styling, but its impressive engine is definitely worth a second look.

Diesel power will clearly be very important to the second-generation Titan, evidenced by the fact that Nissan will debut the heavy-duty XD version with a 5.0-liter Cummins V8 before any other powertrain.

In the latest episode of its Titan-centric ‘Truckumentary’ series, which is called “Diesel Goodness,” Nissan explores its relationship with engine manufacturer Cummins and what it means for the brand.

“The Cummins engine really brings a lot to us,” said Peter Luttenbacher, Nissan Product Planning Manager. “When you’re towing, when your hauling, the ‘diesel goodness’ is that consistent pull all the way up the hill. It’s that feeling that you get in a diesel engine that you can pull from any speed without a downshift. It’s that power on tap all the time.”

The Indiana-built 5.0-liter in question produces 310 horsepower and an impressive 555 pound-feet of torque, which is meant to entice customers who want more capability than a standard half-ton, but don’t quite need a three-quarter or one-ton pickup. With its eye-opening power, the Cummins V8 is a significant step up from the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 in the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, the only other half-ton offering diesel power at this time.

“This is not a direct replacement for a V8 gas engine or a V6 gas engine,” said Rich Miller, Nissan’s Senior Manager of Truck and SUV Product Planning. “This is an engine that is to be towing more, hauling more, and gets better fuel economy while towing and hauling.”

Related: The 2016 Nissan Titan’s turbodiesel might be unorthodox, but its 310 hp is anything but

Speaking of fuel economy, Nissan hasn’t released efficiency figures yet, but the automaker estimates it will return 20 percent better mpgs compared to equivalent gas V8s. The pickup’s towing capacity is expected to land around 12,000 pounds, with a payload rating of 2,000 lbs.

The 2016 Nissan Titan will go on sale toward the end of the year.