As it’s now well known, the 2016 Nissan Titan XD pickup will be arriving late this year with a new Cummins turbo-diesel V8 under its hood.

Cummins is well known in the diesel business, and as I found out on tour of their headquarters in Columbus, Indiana the company and the town where it’s based is quite proud of their hometown brand.

I admit I’m a bit of a diesel engine buff, so I was thrilled that before the factory tour to see the Titan’s new 5.0 V8 being built, they showed us nearly 100 years of Cummins diesel engines in action starting with their very first one offered for sale.

With one cylinder, this one was sold in Sears catalogs for agricultural use and called a “cheap oil” engine.

That was followed up by the engine Clessie Cummins himself put in his 1936 Cadillac, which was the family car back in the day, and doubled as a PR machine. And yes, it still runs.

The trifecta of diesel purr was topped off with the latest sound to come out of Columbus, Indiana.

Getting to the tour, the Titan’s 5.0 liter V8 diesel engine is built at the Cummins Engine Plant No. 1. This is the site of their oldest factory which was indeed the first Clessie Cummins himself built almost 100 years ago.

It’s been expanded several times in the last century and today is as modern and laboratory clean as any manufacturing facility in the world. The plant was most recently retooled specifically to build this new engine which is known as the ISV5.0.

It was developed with the pickup truck market in mind from the very start, the design and engineering starting almost a decade ago. In addition to the Titan’s engine, a commercial version of the V8 is also built here for medium duty trucks and buses.

Engine blocks are cast at a separate factory and arrive here in Columbus for their machining and long block assembly. These compacted graphite iron blocks contribute to a very light-weight diesel engine which comes in at just under 800 pounds.

Also helping the weight are aluminum cylinder heads which feature four-valves per cylinder and like the blocks, receive their machining and final assembly here at the Columbus plant.

The highly automated line feeds these machined blocks and heads through several stations for assembly. Some of the processes are handled by robots, but most of the assembly steps are handled by the gloved hands of highly trained technicians.

The dual turbocharger unit specific to the Titan’s engine is actually assembles in house here at Columbus. With both a small and large turbocharger integrated into one assembly it can produce immediate boost at low and high RPM.

Various sub-assemblies are built-up by technicians on separate lines such as its unique air intake and EGR systems and the front cover assembly. These all come together later in the process on a special line just for the Nissan Titan’s engines.

Here the timing and fuel pump chains are installed as well as the final top out with the common fuel rails, injectors and air handling system. Then, engines are sent off to the testing lab where they are either cold or hot tested before shipment.

Final quality checks are done on the engines before packaging them onto shipping trolleys which are then loaded into semi-trucks which will take them to the 2016 Nissan Titan XD’s assembly center at Canton, MS.

The new engine produces 310 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque which comes to peak at 1600 rpm and stays there all the way to 4200 rpm. And in as I found out sitting in one of the trucks, was remarkably quiet and smooth.

A side note worth mentioning here, while in Columbus for this tour we were shuttled around in both a Nissan Armada and an NV2500 van which were also equipped with the new Cummins diesel engine.

Now, Nissan was mum on whether they will offer these for sale and in fact said Cummins had built these things themselves. But it gave the opportunity to ride with, feel and hear the new motor which I was pretty impressed with.