Cummins readies rollout of X12, industry’s lightest heavy-duty engine

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Updated Sep 1, 2017

Cummins X15 Heavy Duty EngineBarely a year removed from the launch of its X15 heavy duty engine, Cummins has already set its sights on the platform’s growth.

Cummins’ 12 liter X12 engine will join the lineup next year, targeting vocational, regional and bulk haul weight sensitive applications with the highest power to weight ratio in the industry.

Steven Reedy, program leader for the Cummins X12, says the engine weighs 2,050 pounds, making it the lightest heavy duty engine in the market – about 600 pounds lighter than nearest 13 liter engine and 150 pounds lighter than the nearest 11 liter.

“It’s similar in size and weight to a pre-EGR [Cummins] ISM11 engine,” Reedy adds. “You can have new technology without all the extra weight and baggage that goes with it.”

The X12 will feature a horsepower rating of up to 500 hp and 1,700 lb.-ft. and will get the same single module aftertreatment as the X15. Cummins first announced its single module aftertreatment system concept in 2015, and it became production-ready with the X series, combining VOC, DPF and SCR into a single canister and saving up to 60 percent more space and weighing 40 percent less than the company’s previous aftertreatment system. In addition, the single module aftertreatment system allows the DPF cleaning interval to be extended to between 600,000 and 800,000 miles.

Much of the engine’s weight-savings comes through its design. For example, the engine block has been sculpted and ribbed to minimize weight.

“We only put material where the tools tell us we need it,” Reedy says.

The fan bracket has been hollowed out, removing material that didn’t serve a structural purpose. The engine’s simplified modular design also reduces complexity.

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The X12 will share several components with the X15, including the Cummins Holset VGT Turbo, XPI fuel system and engine control module.

“It’s trying to use that information – those learnings that we’ve had in the market – see what’s worked and apply it to this,” Reedy says.

Cummins says the company has sold nearly 35,000 X15 engines in North America to-date, but work is already underway on the engine’s evolution.

Clint Garrett, project manager for Cummins’ 15 liter engines, says the next generation X15 will go into production in 2022 and will meet GHG 2027 emissions standards five years early.

The engine is expected to be approximately 300 pounds lighter than X15 model it will replace and will package similarly to a 13 liter, allowing for simplified instillation in the aerodynamic trucks of the future.