Toyota Tundra Cummins Diesel – Fact or Fiction
The latest hubbub has been all over the forums and automotive news sites about Toyota considering a Cummins diesel engine. While it has been fun watching the all the buzz, it is time for us to weigh in. I talked with Toyota’s national brand manager, here is the real deal.
Before we get to what Michael Kroll, Toyota national brand manager and one of the main sources for good/accurate information, let’s review what happened. Edmunds reporter Rick Kranz pressed Toyota’s Rick LoFaso, corporate manager for light trucks, about Toyota using a Cummins diesel engine. This was on the heels of Nissan’s annoucement that they will offer a Cummins diesel engine in their next-gen Titan.
Here is what LoFaso said at a press event (both quotes are together).
“I think Cummins would bring instant name recognition and obviously they are a leader in diesel engine technology,” Toyota’s Rick LoFaso told Edmunds. “That is not the first time we would have a tie up with somebody else,” citing working relationships with Tesla and BMW.
“The diesel engine is something that is on our evaluation list,” LoFaso said during an interview at a press event here. “Hybrid technology is something that is on our evaluation list. Either one of those alternatives could deliver some pretty good real world fuel economy.”
The standard line from EVERY Toyota representative is to say that “we are looking at all powertrain/engine options.” They have said this statement to me time and time again. It makes sense, Toyota doesn’t want to give any hints of what it is working on, so why not say we are “looking” at everything.
Last Wednesday, Kroll (national brand manager) confirmed the “every powertrain” statement to me. He also said that LoFaso was really getting pressed to give an answer and gave an honest answer about Cummins. Looking at his statement more closely and yes Cummins would give instant name recognition. He didn’t say Toyota was going to offer it at all.
The hubbub is understandable with consumers clamoring for a diesel engine. The reality is that this Fall, the introduction of a Ram 1500 diesel will have a large impact on the future of diesel engines in light-duty pickups. If it is a dud, automakers will say told you so. If it sells like hot cakes, consumers will say, we told you so. Either way, it will be interesting to watch.
What is the reality? It would be highly questionable for Toyota to use a Cummins engine. Frankly, they own part of Hino who makes diesel engines and they have lots of diesel engine experience worldwide. Why would they then use a third-party and pay more for each engine? They wouldn’t.
It is most likely to us that the Aussie 4.5L is the engine they would use. Ithas been tested in the Land Cruiser and at one point was supposedly going to be available in Canada. Since the best may to maximize Toyota’s existing investment in diesels is to use an engine on the shelf, and since the Hino product is really very different from a consumer-type diesel, we’d guess that the 4.5L is the engine Toyota’s looking at.
Sorry to all those who got overly excited by this news. It just doesn’t seem logical for Toyota to go forward with Cummins. However, if they do, we will eat crow.
What do you think? A Cummins diesel in a Tundra – fact or fiction?
Filed Under: Diesel Tundra