Autoguide Tundra Cummins Diesel Rumor – Plausible

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As many of our readers have probably heard by now, Autoguide is claiming that the 2016 Tundra will come with a Cummins diesel engine. While Tundra diesel rumors are a dime a dozen it seems, this rumor may have some merit. Here’s why.

Autoguide Tundra Cummins Diesel Rumor - Plausible

Could a Cummins diesel really be in a Tundra?

The Autoguide story references a Ward’s Auto source saying that Toyota is testing one with a 5.0L turbo-diesel V-8 and that it will “likely” make its debut in 2016. The Ward’s Auto source calls the Cummins a “placeholder” for Toyota. The reason? Toyota has been working on its own diesel for years, going back to 2007 before the market collapsed. This seems to agree with what we have been hearing off and on for years.

Now, the truth is that with the pending CAFE regulations, new diesel engine offerings from Ram, Nissan and GM coming (if the Canyon will get a diesel, then the Sierra will have a diesel) and the continual demand from consumers, it seems likely that everyone is working on a diesel (except for maybe Ford). Simply put: it makes sense for Toyota to offer a diesel.

Our take? We think this rumor is pretty accurate. Jason was told earlier this week from a Cummins source that Toyota has a Cummins diesel powered Tundra in Texas.

It does make sense for Toyota to go the Cummins route with name recognition. Yet, it does beg the question why not use their own engine or one from HINO? Also, what about all of this “capacity” talk we keep hearing? If they are really exceeding capacity now, what would a diesel do to the production system? Lastly, why offer a diesel and not offer a 3/4 or 1 ton? Lots of questions to go with a diesel offering for sure.

What do you think? Wait and see or are the constant rumors starting to get you excited?

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Filed Under: Diesel Tundra


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  1. ALVARO says:

    Why use a Cummins instead of the proven 1VD 4.5 V8 that powers the Lancruisers 70 & 200 series since 2007?
    Toyota must focus on a HD Tundra powered by high dependable Hino engines proven for years overseas and in Dakar racing.

    • Larry says:

      I doubt you could get that 4.5 Toyota engine into the US, the EPA would dump all over it.

      US diesel requirements are difficult to meet. Navistar developed an engine and couldn’t get it past the EPA. They were forced to outsource Cummins Engines for a while.

      To make them burn clean enough, under heavy load the pressure in the fuel rails can go 25000 PSI. To cut N02, urea is injected into the exhaust with converts the NO2 emissions down to CO2. Run out of urea and the system will shut down your engine to limp mode and you will only be able to go 15 MPH. Then there is the soot trap to collect carbon when the engine is cold which clogs up then must use fuel to burn it off. All this stuff cost money and I don’t think it’s required anywhere but the US. When it comes to clean diesel, Cummins is way ahead for now.

      The Fed requirements for low sulfur diesel, tax and the cost of the complex exhaust systems have really taken away any practical use for diesel other then industrial applications which need brute power. No matter what you do, you can’t put a gas motor in a freight train. That would drink enough gasoline to run every Tundra ever built.

      I stayed with a 2006 5.9 Cummins because it didn’t have all that stuff on it. I’m all for clean air standards but it’s difficult to know when it becomes over kill. Just think what it will cost to replace one of those complex exhaust systems when it rust out.

  2. Randy says:

    Yes a diesel in the half ton Tundra does have merit; especially for those that tow bigger loads, for longer distance, for more frequent towing than most owners. With 500 lbs of torque this essentially matches most ¾ ton towing prowess of just 6 to 8 years ago.

    My towing requirements today are less than 3% of the time, so I do not need one. But if I towed 8,000 lbs or more, 40% of the time or more, at distances in excess of 100 miles; then I would be a strong candidate.

    Of course a diesel means it has a turbo(s) and an intercooler. Ok Toyota, if you are testing in Texas this is what you need to do: Test repeatedly “at dew point” in SE Texas. That means thousands of miles testing with an empty truck from 3AM to 9AM, with 100 to 500 mile runs at steady state driving. Then measure the amount of what drained from the intercooler on each trip. Real world conditions for dew point cannot be duplicated in an environmental test chamber. Compound the testing by driving from south to north through major cold fronts to create inverted dew point conditions in the intercooler. There is no other place in North American that match those conditions; that is, “at dew point” for up to 6 hours at a time, for up to 300 miles of driving. Driving from north to south from 3PM to 9PM on the same hi-way cannot produce those same conditions.

    My thinking is: Toyota wants to have a valid market test for acceptability before they bring their own unit to market 2018. That is smart financial planning. This is also a gamble: Toyota must be able to implement the Cummins without failure in order to maintain their reputation.

  3. Larry says:

    V8 Cummins?

    The Cummins engines with the reputation for serious work are 6 cylinder in-line engines from 6 to 15 liters. Push rods, not overhead cam, no timing chains. The cam shaft is linked by gears which will never break. These motors are known to be solid but they red line at about 3000. They are not what people are used to and they hold 3 gallons of oil, 8 gallons of coolant. There is an in-line 4 cylinder but people will laugh at it. So the 6 is too big and 4 is too small. There are other issues, the 6 is a long engine, It likely would not fit in a Tundra. Then there is the issue of weight. RAM owners already know this. The ball joints can’t carry the load of a heavy iron engine along with the transmission and transfer case. When spring gets here I have to replace the joints on my truck and it’s not a fun job. It’s often 1400 plus to have a shop do it.

    Next is fuel. Diesel is 80 cents a gallon more. Then there is DEF fluid and that stupid carbon trap filter which uses fuel to burn it off when it gets clogged up. Regenerations they call it.

    Another thing for sure, a cummins motor is not going to come cheap. It’s a 7000 dollar option on the RAM. Add up all the costs and the chances of getting close to even on the MPG issue are almost zero.

    A set of fuel injectors and high pressure pump installed by a dealer will set you back 4000 dollars and all it takes is one bad tank of fuel to take them out.

    I would love to have a 4 cylinder cummins in a Tundra with a 6 speed manual trans. If I get 18 MPG in town with my 6 cylinder RAM a Tundra with a 4 cylinder Cummins could get 21 but, we will never see it because it won’t have 800 foot/lb of pulling power.

    So that leaves us with the new Cummins V8 overhead cam motors which are not the same thing. It would be a false assumption to believe the V8 and I6 will be the same. Do we want aluminum cylinder heads in an engine with 18:1 compression and the heat of diesel? The new Ford V8 has an iron block and aluminum heads. History will tell us if it was a good idea but that will take time

    For those who want to make the move to diesel, get ready to pay for it because it won’t come cheap.

    • Randy says:


      All very good points, this is a gamble for Toyota and it could easily go either way.

      If the pricing is not close to the RAM half ton EcoDiesel “option” then they have shot themselves in the foot before they leave the gate. Also the RAM is a better “sized” diesel for the truck IMO.


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  5. T-Towing says:

    No matter how you slice it this could be an indicator their is more going on behind the scenes that Toyota has been willing to admit. I think the timing for it is about right but a little late in the game as most mfgs will be a year ahead. We will have to see how this pans out as the 8k premium is what will ultimately force Toyota to abandon Cummins and go with it’s own Hino diesels. But we shall see.

  6. Ken says:

    I heard Wards and another site say it will be in 2016 calendar year, not 2016 model year. PUTC got that part wrong.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      I would think it would be model year and not the calendar year, however, I could be wrong. Ram was supposed to wait until the fall (2015 model year) and yet moved it up by several months to meet demand.


      • Ken says:

        It was always going to be 2017 MY for the diesel and next gen Tundra. If it has been moved up to 2016 that is good to hear.

  7. toyrulz says:

    I am not a diesel fan, am worried about this. I don’t think Toyota should the same way I don’t think the others should either, but Toyota has to be competitive and with half the people wanting the big C on their truck just because it’s cool and not for the intended purpose… the people get what they want.

    The only way I see this making sense anytime soon is limited production runs of small V6s to compete with Ram (maybe replacing the 4.0L V6 gasser in Tundra and adding HD to Tacoma), and/or a big V8 in a Tundra spin off HD, 3/4 or 1 ton variant.

    Where/how they going to build them without reducing gasser production?

    Maybe big spin off Tundra will be a baby Hino?

  8. Breathing Borla says:

    if true,

    toyota will have to hire a whole bunch of new techs.

    nobody at toyota dealers knows how to work on a brand new, never released cummins….

  9. gordich says:

    Maybe Toyota should pair up with VW/Audi/Porsche! They’ve been making high output, lightweight, reliable(though quite sophisticated) diesel engines for years…

  10. Jim says:

    I thought Totota owned Hino, wouldn’t it make sense to use a Hino diesel in one?

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      That is one of our many questions with Toyota using Cummins. We will just have to wait and see.


  11. Jim says:

    Toyota should just work on more torque and better fuel economy in the 5.7 liter or add a turbo option for those that want it’s of pulling power. Diesel is very expensive and most people really don’t need a Diesel engine.

  12. Larry says:

    The EPA would not let those Hino diesels into the US.

    Cummins has made major investments to make their engines meet the EPA requirements. Navistar failed and was forced to buy engines from Cummins until they could fix the problems.

    Ford made a major investment in moving to their own new diesel and leaving the navistar engine just in time. Ford will sell more F250 diesels next year then Toyota will in the next 20 years.

    The money required for the few Trucks Toyota would sell forces Toyota to make this move.

    Cummins is in the cat birds seat and they make the worlds best diesel engines.

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