Will the Nissan Titan diesel go dually?
This week was the Rocky Mountain Driving Experience, an event where the automotive press of the Rocky Mountain region converge with manufacturers and their cars in a two-day extravaganza of driving through the mountains and countryside of Northern Colorado and putting vehicles to the test on a GT-style race track in the plains outside of Denver.
For their part, Nissan brought the high-selling 2014 Altima, the Frontier offroad powerhouse, the family-friendly Nissan Rogue and the fun little Juke NISMO. Although both days were a blast and got us into many vehicles from many manufacturers as well as one-on-one time with company representatives and product experts, for the question at hand, it culminated in a quiet invitation to dinner with Nissan after it was over.
Over the meal and the conversation, I asked those present what they thought of the upcoming Titan diesel, with its 550 lb-ft of torque output on a half-ton frame. We'd discussed this before, of course, and know that the market for this beast of a Cummins-powered pickup will be mainly those who tow trailers and don't necessarily need the robust carrying capacity of a heavy-duty truck. Just the pulling power those trucks often offer. Given that, an obvious question comes forward: will there be a dually axle offered?
After all, trailering heavy weights often means sway - sometimes a lot of it. Although dual tires on either side of the truck offer more weight-bearing, they also offer significant trailer sway control as well. For most who tow, that's the primary reason to have a dually. With the massive capacity of the Cummins Titan, which will unveil at the Detroit show in a few months, a dual tire option seems obvious.
There were no definitive answers from the Nissan representatives present. There wasn't a "no" either, though. The general answer was "I don't believe anything like that has been announced yet." Those of us in attendance who pay attention to such matters, however, namely journalists who are truck-aware, were in agreement that a dually option was obvious.
That option, were it offered, we believe would likely be in a 1/2-ton "plus" configuration - given the torque and torsion involved in putting to work a growling V8 diesel like Cummins is making for the next Titan. A slightly heavier frame, more robust rear axle and differential, and so forth almost seems like an engineering requirement. Again, Nissan had no official comment. One reporter pondered what Toyota and Ram would do as a response to such a configuration from Nissan, should this new Titan begin selling well and cut into the heavy-duty market.
Interesting questions that we'll keep posing to Nissan until we get answers.