The new 2017-compliant Cummins X15 efficiency series (far left) and X15 performance series engines on display at the TRC. (Photo by Sean Kilcarr/Fleet Owner)

Cummins unveils X15 and X12 engines

July 23, 2016
OEM adds that over-the-air updates will be a standard feature on its new engines.

EAST LIBERTY, OH. Cummins Inc. unveiled three all-new 2017-compliant truck engines here during a media event at the 4,500-acre Transportation Research Center (TRC) proving grounds just outside Columbus, OH; the new X15 efficiency and X15 performance series engines, along with the new X12 "medium bore" displacement engine.

Jim Fier, VP of EBU engineering, said during the event that changing the OEM’s familiar “ISX” engine nomenclature to simply “X” is “not just a rebranding effort, but signifies a new era for Cummins," one focused on delivering more “finely tuned” products to truck customers:

  • The 15-liter X15 efficiency series is “tuned” to provide maximum fuel economy, Fier said, noting that it delivers 3% better fuel economy versus 2016 equivalent models and an over 10% improvement versus 2010 equivalent displacements. The X15 efficiency series is rated at 400 to 500 hp, delivering 1,450 to 1,850 lbs.-ft. of torque.
  • By contrast, the 15-liter X15 performance series is focused on providing more power, especially for heavy loads. It’s rated between 485 and 605 hp, delivering 1,650 to 2,050 lbs.-ft. of torque.
  • The new 12-liter X12 medium displacement engine from Cummins weighs in at just 2,050 lbs., cranks out 350 to 475 hp and delivers 1,250 to 1,700 lbs.-ft. of torque. “It’s been designed from the ground up to reduce weight while maintaining durability and reliability,” Fier said.

The X15 efficiency and performance series engines are expected to begin a “limited production run” in the fourth quarter this year of some 1,400 units, noted Mario Sanchez-Lara, director of on-highway marketing for Cummins. “That’s about four times the volume we’ve done before [with limited production runs] which reflects solid [order] volumes from the truck OEMs,” he said.

The new X12 engine, which goes into production in 2018.

Based on current truck market trends, Cummins expects sales of the X15 performance series to comprise between 10% and 30% of overall X15 model volumes at least initially.

Full production of the X15 efficiency and performance series engines is expected to begin in January 2017, with full production of the X12 medium-displacement model expected to start in 2018.

Cummins will also offer three telematics services with its new engines: Connected Diagnostics, which is already in use on 45,000 customer trucks; Connected Calibrations, the OEM’s over-the-air (OTA) engine calibration service, which will be a standard feature for all X15 electronic control modules (ECMs); and Connected Tuning, which will allow truck owners to adjust calibration packages to meet precise day-to-day operating needs, such as if a truck moves from highway routes to more localized delivery patterns.

Cummins will also offer a “look forward” cruise control feature on all of its X15 efficiency models that will enable the engine to “read” the road ahead for up to 2 miles so as to plan for more fuel efficient acceleration and coasting.

The OEM also plans to offer an oil analysis service dubbed “Oil Guard” to customers with the new X15 engines to help extend oil drains beyond the initial 50,000 mile service interval. The company explained that trucks achieving 6.5 mpg could see oil drains extended out to 80,000 miles through the new testing service.

Fier added that all three engines represent four years of work by Cummins and are backed by 9 million miles of field testing. “That’s the largest ever field test by Cummins, with some of our test trucks going over 500,000 miles,” he noted.

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr | Editor in Chief

Sean previously reported and commented on trends affecting the many different strata of the trucking industry. Also be sure to visit Sean's blog Trucks at Work where he offers analysis on a variety of different topics inside the trucking industry.

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