2.8L Cummins Turbodiesel

4 Cylinder Cummins ISF2.8

The ISF2.8 is a 4 cylinder, 2.8L turbodiesel manufactured by Cummins Inc. The engine was developed as a highly efficient, emissions compliant option whose compact design make it suitable for a variety of applications. Though the engine has been unveiled in multiple concept vehicles, it has yet to reach on-highway applications in the United States. Its close relative, the QSF2.8, can be found in a variety of agricultural and construction equipment. The 2.8L Cummins is notable for being featured in the ATLAS program, a DOE sponsored project to develop a fuel efficient 1/2 ton pickup without sacrificing the performance characteristics expected in a diesel vehicle platform.

Cummins, Nissan, DOE ATLAS Program

The 2.8L Cummins first entered the spotlight as a result of The Advanced Technology Light Automotive Systems program, or ATLAS for short. ATLAS was a project sponsored by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and included a partnership between Nissan Motors, Cummins Inc, and emissions control technology contractor Johnson Matthey Inc. The DOE invested a total of 15 million dollars in the ALTAS project, while Nissan, Cummins, and Johnson Matthey spent another 15 million collectively. ATLAS began in October of 2010 and the final phase of testing concluded in March of 2015.

The goal of the ATLAS project was to convert a gasoline V-8 powered, 2010 model year production level Nissan Titan pickup into a highly efficient diesel vehicle without procuring any compromises with respect to weight and power density. The ATLAS goals included:

• 21.8 mpg city fuel economy

• 34.3 mpg highway fuel economy

• 26 mpg CAFE fuel economy (corporate average fuel economy)

• Overall 40% improvement in fuel economy compared to Nissan production V-8

• No weight penalty for the diesel powertrain compared to the production gasoline powertrain

The heart of the ATLAS vehicle platform was a custom 2.8L Cummins Turbodiesel. The engine is similar to, but very unique from the production Cummins ISF2.8. The ATLAS variant featured an all aluminum engine block, aluminum cylinder heads, steel pistons, and forged crankshaft with smaller journals. As a result of these weight saving features, Cummins was able to trim nearly 120 lbs from the production engine's design. Cummins went even further and pushed the compact 4 cylinder to the tune of 220 horsepower and 500 lb-ft in an effort to prove that the engine's durability would not be sacrificed in higher load applications, ultimately proving the versatility of the engine.

The results of the ATLAS program, as outlined by Cummins Inc, were rather impressive. The 5,500 lb Titan pickup achieved a maximum 26 mpg city, 36.2 mpg highway, and 29.8 mpg CAFE fuel economy while meeting Tier 2 Bin 2 Federal emissions requirements and gaining no weight by switching from Nissan's gasoline V-8 to Cummins 2.8L Turbodiesel. While the project did not cultivate immediate interest in a production based vehicle powered by the 2.8L Cummins, it successfully proved that small diesel engine's are viable in relatively heavy applications and can display substantial improvements in fuel economy.

ISF2.8 Cummins Applications

The ISF2.8 Cummins is currently unavailable in any production vehicle in the United States. However, the engine is beginning to surface in various concept vehicles and at least one automaker is rumored to have picked the engine for a future application. The ISF is essentially the on-highway version of the Cummins QSF2.8, which is specific to agricultural and construction equipment applications. However, the two engines are quite different save for dimensional similarities.

Ford Motor Company offers the ISF2.8 Cummins in its South American fullsize chassis cab pickup line. In these applications, the engine produces 147 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. In the Ford Brazil F-350, the Cummins powered pickup comes with a payload rating of nearly 4,700 lbs; quite a haul for an engine that only displaces 169 cubic inches.

The ISF2.8 also appeared in Nissan's Frontier "Diesel Runner" concept, a teaser from the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. Based on a production Frontier model midsize pickup, the Diesel Runner's concept was rumored to produce roughly 200 horsepower and more than 350 lb-ft of torque. Nissan coincidently unveiled the midsize diesel concept near the end of the ATLAS project, suggesting the company may have envisioned the possibilities and capabilities of a diesel option for their Frontier models. The Diesel Runner remains a concept, and Nissan has not released any firm plans to offer the a Cummins powered Frontier just yet.

2.8L Cummins Diesel Specs (ISF2.8)


Inline 4 cylinder


2.8 liters, 169.4 cubic inches

Block/Cylinder Heads:

Cast iron

Compression Ratio:

16.9 : 1*


Direct injection, high pressure common rail, Piezo injectors.


Dual overhead camshafts (DOHC)


Wastegated Holset turbocharger

Engine Weight:

480 lbs


107 - 160 hp @ 2,600 - 3,600 rpm


206 - 265 lb-ft @ 1,200 - 1,600 rpm

Max Engine Speed:

3,600 rpm

Engine Dimensions:


24.9 in


25.9 in


28.5 in

*Compression ratio may vary by application.
**Horsepower and torque ratings based on manufacturer advertised range.