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Nissan to add diesel engine to new Titan pickup

DETROIT (AP) -- Nissan Motor Co. will offer a diesel engine in its reworked Titan full-size pickup truck, joining Chrysler's Ram with diesel powerplants in light-duty trucks.

The Japanese automaker said Tuesday that a 300-plus horsepower, 5-Liter diesel engine made by Cummins will be available as an option on the next generation Titan. Nissan wouldn't say when the reworked truck will arrive in showrooms, but said the diesel versions are being tested on public roads.

Diesel engines cost more than gasoline motors, but they get better fuel economy and have more power for hauling and towing. Nissan says mileage tests for the new engine haven't been finished.

Nissan is hoping the new engine, as well as reworked bed and cab configurations, will boost the Titan's slow sales. Through July, Nissan sold only 10,200 Titans, less than 1 percent of the lucrative full-size pickup market, according to Autodata Corp. By contrast, Ford sold almost 428,000 of its F-Series pickups, the top-selling vehicle in the nation.

Chrysler announced in June that it's adding a diesel engine to its light-duty Ram pickup lineup late this year, promising the best fuel economy of any U.S. full-size truck. At the time, the Ram was the only light-duty diesel announced for the U.S.