The new X15 efficiency (far left) and X15 performance engine models. The 'four strokes of genius' refers to the Cummins mantra of 'fuel efficiency, performance, uptime, and integration.'
The X12 engine, due to go into production in 2018.
Cummins rolled out a convoy comprised of tractor-trailers and other vehicles along the TRC's 7.5 mile oval track.
The 7.5 mile oval is but one testing area on the grounds of the huge 4,500 acre TRC site.
The 'chase bus' followed the truck convoy at 50 mph on the oval track.
One of the engineering trucks Cummins used to conduct 9 million miles of field tests on its new X15 and X12 engines.
The X15 efficiency engine is "tuned" to boost fuel economy.
Jim Fier, VP of EBU engineering, shows off the 'evolution' of the Cummins medium bore engine line, ending in the new X12 model.
Mario Sanchez-Lara, director of on-highway marketing for Cummins, talked about how the "four strokes of genius' forms the new 'X' logo the OEM is using for its new X15 and X12 engines.
Mario Sanchez-Lara (center wearing sunglasses), director of on-highway marketing for Cummins, provided a safety briefing before the test drives began - emphasizing the need for hydration as the temperatures out on the concrete and asphalt test tracks would exceed 90 degrees on this particular summer day.
Lori Thompson (at right), vice president of marketing for Cummins, officially opened the test drive event at the TRC facility with the signature "start your engines" command given at NASCAR races.
The three new "X Line" 2017-compliant engines being rolled out by Cummins: left to right, the 12-liter X12 engine (due to go into production in 2018) followed by the 15-liter X15 efficiency and X15 performance models, which go into limited production in the fourth quarter this year.
For line-haul and regional-haul applications, the X15 Efficiency Series aims to offer increased fuel efficiency and payload productivity, with a 400 hp-to-500 hp ratings range delivering 1,450 to 1,850 lbs.-ft. of torque.
The X15 Performance Series, rated at 485 hp to 605 hp and delivering 1,650 to 2,050 lbs.-ft. of torque, aims to match "big power" application needs such as for heavy-haul, vocational and emergency vehicles. An upgraded high flow air-handling system gives a faster pedal response, for enhanced driveability at full payload and steep-gradient climbing, said Cummins.
The new 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 aimed at regional-haul, intracity delivery and vocational trucks to help them operate at maximum payload with lower fuel consumption and more responsive driving, Cummins noted.
On a one-mile acceleration/deceleration track, Cummins showed off the engine braking options on its new X15 efficiency series engine in a white Kenworth T680 tractor (seen on the left) hauling 68,000 lbs. in a dry van trailer. A red Kenworth T680 loaded out to 67,000 lbs. (on the right) equipped with an older 2015 model ISX15 helped illustrate the improvements in engine braking performance made to the X15.
Cummins noted that the 15-liter X15 series will be fully validated by over 9 million miles of real-world driving before the start of full production in January 2017– what Cummins executives repeatedly described as the "most extensive field-test program ever undertaken" by the company.
Taylor Blackburn, a marketing communications specialist with the Cummins engine group (far left), confers with test driver ReNae Isaak during the engine braking demonstration.
Cummins engineer Tom Marsh showed off the two "modes" of engine braking available on the X15 efficiency engine, one of which is designed to help provide more stopping power in order to help minimize service brake wear.
Loaded out to 65,000 lbs., this Volvo VNL equipped with a 585 hp X15 performance engine mated to a 13-speed manual transmission provides "ample power throughout the rpm bands" noted Cummins engineer Clint Garrett, who served as co-pilot for this particular test truck.
On the 7.5 mile oval track at TRC, 60 mph was the minimum required speed on the inner lanes, while tractor-trailers on the high-banked outer lanes had to go 75 mph to 80 mph.
This International ProStar tractor sported an X12 engine mated to an automated mechanical transmission (AMT). Though its trailer was empty, reporters got a good feel for how the new 12-liter Cummins X12 performed across the acceleration-cruise-deceleration-stopping spectrum of operation.
The "short course" at TRC offered up a slalom run between a lane of cones set up on a skid pad to demonstrate the "acceleration" response of the X15 efficiency engine. This ProStar's X15 was again mated to an AMT.
Cummins showed off one of its "extra" features at this station: SmartCoast, part of its ADEPT electronic control features. SmartCoast automatically puts the transmission into neutral and decelerates the engine to idle speed - around 500 rpm - to help save fuel on roadway downslopes. Cummins engineer Dan Dempsey (far left standing under the tent) said SmartCoast alone can improve fuel economy 1.5% to 2% in highway operations.
Dempsey holds an ADEPT aftermarket package that will be available in the fourth quarter this year that will allow Cummins engine owners to add in a variety of fuel-saving electronic features: SmartTorque2, SmartCoast, and soon-to-be-released predictive cruise capability.
Dempsey said SmartTorque2, which keeps the vehicle in the 'sweet spot' for fuel economy as long as possible, and SmartCoast can boost fuel economy up to 3% for tractors in highway operation. Once predictive cruise control is added in, fuel economy improvements could go as high as 6%.
The specialized Nissan Titan pickup seen on the back of this tow truck is being readied for speed trials out on Utah's salt flats next year; trials aimed at setting a land-speed record for a diesel-powered pickup.
The Cummins No. 28 diesel-powered race car, which hit the oval at the Indy 500 back in 1952.
Trucking celebrities served as some of the test drivers during the Cummins "X Series" event at TRC. That's Tamera Sturgis on the left, one of the stars from the "Shipping Wars" television series, with her engineer co-pilot for the event, Clint Garrett, at right.
Veteran Ice Road trucker Darrell Ward piloted a Peterbilt 587 loaded out to 80,000 pounds and fired by an 605 hp X15 performance series engine mated to a 13-speed manual. A 36-year trucking veteran, who actually started driving trucks on a farm at the age of 12, Ward hauls logs in Colorado and Montana, pilots some of the nastiest ice roads in Alaska, and does a bit of stunt driving, too. The coldest temperatures he's ever trucked in? Minus 74 degrees below zero.
Cummins brought its mobile exhibit trailer to the TRC event as well.
The trailer's air conditioner, set on full blast, provided everyone - reporters, test drivers, plus Cummins engineers and executives - with a welcome respite from the heat.
Three display engine models and related technologies were displayed inside the Cummins mobile exhibit trailer.
Jim Nebergall, the Cummins program director for the engine business, showed off the new Single Module aftertreatment system; a unit up to 40% lighter and up to 60% smaller versus its two-piece design. Its higher-capacity Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) extends ash cleaning service to as much as 800,000 miles, depending on duty cycle, along with a Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) doser and a more robust compact mixer design that results in a more precise spray pattern to minimize DEF consumption.
Gustavo Lomas Maynez (at right), marketing manager for Mexico and Central America for Cummins, added a little fun to the mix by encouraging attendees to try out a variety of temporary tattoos of the new X series engine logos.
The new Cummins X Series already has a prominent place in the display area of the lobby at Cummins Inc.'s Columbus, IN, headquarters.
But this is where the legacy begins: The 1930s metal lathe was reserved for exclusive use by inventor and company founder Clessie Cummins, and became one of his prized possessions. Oh, the stories this machine could tell!
These next few slides illustrate the evolution of Cummins diesel engines.
Anyone who's ever thumbed through a shop manual is familiar with "exploded view" illustrations. Here's the life-size, 3D version. (Use the 4-arrow button to enlarge.)
This 15 foot sculpture proportionally represents all of the materials that go into a Cummins diesel engine.
For the curious, here are the not-so-secret ingredients.
And, of course, the display features some classic products powered by Cummins.
Once aboard a couple of buses, journalists and some Cummins customers headed for Indianapolis Motor Speedway, aided by a police escort near the track.
How big is the facility? A golf course only takes up part of the infield.
The iconic tower at Indy.
The racecar haulers all lined up. Next stop: Pocono.
A red, white and blue Chevy truck pre-race parade honoring the U.S. armed forces and wounded veterans.
Following the driver introductions, the racers took a lap with the vets.
This point in the pace lap was about the only time Kyle Busch and his Toyota did not have the lead in the Brickyard 400.
Busch and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates dominated from the first green flag.
It was nearly 100 degrees in the stands.
Fortunately, Cummins has A/C in the company suite.
The suite is decorated with Indy 500 lore, and with items illustrating the Cummins connection to the state of Indiana and to one of the world's greatest sporting events.