Although full-size trucks have been offered by Toyota and Nissan in the U.S. market for more than a decade, the brands have struggled to develop the same level of popularity and loyalty as the domestics. Nissan got the attention of the full-size truck segment with the official announcement last year that the next-generation Nissan Titan would be offered with an optional 5.0-liter Cummins turbodiesel V-8, the first time the diesel engine maker has offered one of its engines as a factory option outside of the Ram Truck lineup since 1989. Now it looks like Nissan might not be alone in offering the Cummins ISV engine in its truck. In a passing comment to Automotive News writer Richard Truett, Toyota U.S. senior vice president Bob Carter replied "You have good sources," when Truett said two sources tipped him off that Toyota was considering use of the ISV engine in the 2017 Tundra.

The availability of the Cummins in the Tundra would be a significant development on multiple levels. It would bring to three the number of full-size models on the market offering a Cummins engine, and the first time in recent memory, if ever, that the same engine would be offered in directly-competing full-size trucks.

Toyota has ample diesel engine expertise with its Hino commercial trucks division, but it's possible the company determined none of Hino's currently-available diesel engines is suitable for light-duty truck use -- for weight, economy, refinement, or output reasons. Emissions certification for light-duty trucks is considerably tougher than for over-8600 GVW trucks, so with Cummins likely already doing a lot of the heavy lifting on emissions testing and compliance with the ISV, it could be more cost-effective for Toyota to do a plug-and-play on the ISV than trying to reverse-engineer one of its commercial engines for light truck duty.

Toyota has toyed with the idea of a Tundra diesel for some time, showing an HD concept powered by a Hino diesel engine at the 2007 SEMA show. Toyota also offers a 4.5-liter turbodiesel V-8 in overseas versions of its Land Cruiser SUV which produces up to 261 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque.

Source: Automotive News (subscription required)