Cummins 5.0L - Finally A Reality - Pilot Injection
The Latest Cummins Diesel
I’d like to introduce you to the Cummins ISV5.0, the official name for the Cummins 5.0L V-8 we’ve been talking about in the pages of Diesel Power since what seems like this magazine’s inception. We recently attended an event in Columbus, Indiana—home to the legendary Cummins engine company and where the new Cummins ISV5.0 will be built—to see the commercial version of this long-awaited engine firsthand.
Differing slightly from the version slated for the ’15 Nissan Titan, the commercial ISV5.0 uses a single Cummins Turbo Technologies VGT turbo, similar to the unit used on the 6.7L we all know and love, but downsized for this displacement. The turbo uses a CTT 300-series frame and is stuffed with a 77mm compressor (exducer) and 65mm turbine wheel. Power output ranges from 220 hp and 520 lb-ft of torque to 275 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque, depending on application and intended vehicle use. For comparison, Nissan has announced that the output for the version in the Titan will be at least 300 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque, likely with a focus on driveability off the line. The difference is achieved primarily through the use of a sequential turbo setup, unique to the pickup application.
So, while we know the forced induction arrangement will be different, much is the same between the two engines. First off, the ISV5.0 uses a first-for-Cummins compact graphite iron block, aluminum bedplate, aluminum heads, aluminum pistons, and composite valve covers. The chain-driven (as opposed to the gear-driven setups you might traditionally associate with Cummins) dual overhead camshafts operate four valves per cylinder. Piezo injectors, capable of up to seven injections per combustion event, are center-mounted and feed a steady diet of ULSD fuel from the 29,000-psi common-rail fuel system. In either the pickup or commercial version, the turbo(s) sits at the rear of the valley, under the intake plenum. This plenum feeds air to the cylinders using extra long runners that have a straight path to the combustion chamber. Designed for weight savings and easy packaging in mind, the ISV5.0 weighs in at just 804 pounds dry and features the latest in emissions equipment, all while delivering exceptional fuel economy. We estimate that the ISV5.0 will hit at least 25 mpg in the pickup application.
As part of our visit to Cummins, we were given the opportunity to drive everything from a 10,000-pound bread van to a 30,000-pound school bus, all equipped with the ISV5.0. In every application we drove, the 5.0L proved to be an exceptional performer. The engine is staggeringly quiet, has a fat midrange with little turbo lag, revs easily, and will be a powerhouse in the commercial market. Considering how strong the 5.0L V-8 felt just off idle in these heavy commercial applications, we can only imagine what it will be like with a sequential turbo setup in a much lighter pickup.
The story of how the ISV5.0 came to be is an interesting one that involves the Department of Energy, more than a decade of development, a false start with an OE launch partner, and more twists and turns than we have room for on this single page. But through all the uncertainty, the Cummins brass had the brass to keep forging on, despite not knowing who the eventual customers would be. It seems as if this leap of faith was a stroke of genius, as the ISV5.0 appears to be the right engine for the right time in today’s diesel climate.
Originally destined for Chrysler Group’s Ram Trucks, the ISV5.0 has now found a home with Nissan after Ram decided to go after the fuel-efficiency crowd in the company’s 1500 with the 3.0L VM Motori engine. Jason Gonderman takes a closer look at this in a well-written editorial on page 48 and explains why this will legitimize Nissan’s ongoing ½-ton efforts while still making sense for Ram. Fortunately for the Cummins faithful, this doesn’t signal any change for the Ram/Cummins partnership in Ram’s Heavy Duty trucks.
Now that the Cummins 5.0L is finally being unveiled, there’s only one question remaining: What are we going to speculate on now?