Going To Airport in Nissan NV Prototype with the 5.0L V8 Cummins [First Impression]

Nissan NV 3500 prototype with the 5.0L V8 Cummins
Nissan NV 3500 prototype with the 5.0L V8 Cummins

How does the new 5.0L V8 Cummins feel and drive? I got a hint of this while riding to the airport after the Cummins Columbus Engine Plant tour. The NV 3500 passenger can that came to pick us up had manufacturer plates, a Cummins “C” in the windshield, and a distinct engine sound.

Who would suspect a white passenger van like this to hold a prototype power plant?

There were several clues that this van did not have the good old 5.6L gasoline V8. There was a noticeable diesel sound under acceleration, and the acceleration itself felt strong and quick (even with eight people in the van). There was no audible engine sound at highway speeds, and just a hint of diesel clatter at idle. In other words, the turbo-diesel power plant was not immediately obvious. It took a minute or two to realize there is something unique going on here.

Next, it was a matter of glancing at the center console to see a custom-mounted transmission shifter and a small control module near the dash.


Check out the rpm on the unlabeled tachometer at 65 MPH. It’s turning around 1,600 rpm. Cummins people said that the engine in the 2016 Nissan Titan XD produces maximum torque at 1,600 rpm. Highway cruising felt effortless.

This is not an impression on how the 2016 Titan XD drives or sounds. The Nissan NV prototype is obviously a different vehicle, with different interior and engine bay insulation. However, this is a taste of the power and torque that the final 5.0-liter Cummins V8 will dish out. And this first impression is a positive one.

Take a look at this very odd TFL mashup video from a long time ago.