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Nissan mulls Titan engine variations

Mon, 12 Apr 2010

Nissan engineers and designers are playing catch-up to create the next-generation full-sized Titan pickup, now that the project is back on their plate.

A plan to develop the pickup jointly with Chrysler off the Dodge Ram collapsed last year. Now Nissan must make up for lost time.

"We were going to launch in 2011 with Chrysler," Larry Dominique, Nissan North America's vice president for product planning and the leader of the project to create the original Titan, said during the recent New York auto show. "It's clearly going to take us longer than that to launch our own internal program.

"We are pushing very hard to see what we can do to accelerate development. We're looking at every way we can to pull ahead the start of production. We haven't come close to telling anybody what those dates are."

Dominique declined to describe the homegrown Titan. A key piece of the shelved plan was more engine variations for the Titan. The Ram offers a selection of powertrains, including a diesel engine. Nissan's current Titan offers only one engine: a 5.6-liter V8.

Dominique said the program has not locked in its engine choices yet, but he is still considering more engine choices on the next Titan.

"I have a broad menu I can look at," he said. "We could do downsized powertrains, we could do an enhanced V8, and we could look at diesel powertrains."

Nissan took diesel options off the table on all its U.S.-market cars last year. But Dominique said diesel remains under consideration for the pickup--"if we could find the right partner and the right engine."

By Lindsay Chappell- Automotive News