Which is Faster: 2016 Nissan Titan XD Cummins V8 Diesel or Gas V8? Drag Race!

Which version of the new 2016 Nissan Titan XD is faster in a straight line? Is it the truck with the 5.0-liter Cummins V8 turbo-diesel, or is it the one redesigned gasoline 5.6-liter Endurance V8? There is only one way to settle it and it is an old-fashioned drag race.

We recently launched a new Youtube channel called TFLnow. This is a channel which will have TFL behind-the-scenes, live broadcasts, quick drag races, and much more. TFLcar and TFLtruck are not going away. Those channels will continue to bring you the latest automotive news, views, and real world reviews.

Now, let’s get back to the pair of Titan XDs. As you can see in the table below, the two engines are quiet a bit different. The turbocharged diesel V8 makes all the torque down low in the rpm range, but has a relatively low horsepower output. The gasoline V8 is the opposite. It makes the power much higher in the rpm range, but it can also rev very quickly. Both of these trucks are crew cab with 4×4, but they are configured differently. The gas V8 truck has a weight advantage in this race. It’s around 580 lbs lighter than its diesel brother.

Remember, this race takes place at a mile above sea level, where lower air density robs engines of power. A naturally aspirated engine loses around 17% of its power in this environment.

Titan XD Diesel V8 Titan XD Gas V8
Model: SL 4×4 PRO-4X 4×4
Engine: 5.0L Cummins V8 5.6L Endurance V8
Horsepower: 310 hp @ 3,200 rpm 390 hp @ 5,800 rpm
Torque: 555 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm 401 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed Automatic Aisin 7-speed Automatic

It turns out that the gasser is significantly faster in this 0-60 MPH drag race. The 5.6-liter PRO-4X takes off without hesitation, revs quickly, and beats the heavier diesel-powered truck. The 7-speed automatic transmission in the gasser does a very good job as well.

The 5.0-liter Cummins V8 in the SL model exhibits a healthy share of lag off the line. I did brake torque it a bit to get the turbo spooled up, and we ran the race several times; but the diesel Titan XD was slower every time. Once the diesel is moving, it is able to accelerate well and the gear changes from the Aisin 6-speed transmission are quick and smooth.

2016 nissan titan xd diesel cummins v8 gas drag race pickup truck
2016 Nissan Titan XD Diesel (left) vs. Titan XD Gas (right)