Cummins Nextgen x15 diesel

With Cummins' newest X15 engine, diesel still at the 'HELM'

March 7, 2024
The new engine built on Cummins' fuel-agnostic HELM platform will meet 2027 emissions regulations and offer optimized performance when paired with the Eaton Endurant transmission and Meritor driveline.

Cummins announced plans for a new generation of advanced 15L engines in 2022, touting a fuel-agnostic approach that will allow trucks to run on everything from CNG and hydrogen to ammonia. But despite the introduction of alternative options, trucking is still very much powered by diesel. And on Feb. 29, Cummins appropriately revealed how the diesel version of the next-gen X15 will make a huge leap in efficiency and power. Called the HELM (Higher Efficiency, Lower emissions, Multiple fuels), this diesel engine will meet 2027 EPA regulations, offer new fuel efficiency benefits, and retain the same ratings of the current X15 (up to 605 HP; 2,050 ft.-lb.). The X15 line was introduced in 1998.

“This new architecture expands on the legacy of the X15 engine. All teams involved recognize how important this product is and what it means for both Cummins and our customers’ future as the base architecture will carry us through the horizon of diesel technology and alternate fuels,” said Jonathon White, vice president, Engine Business Engineering, Cummins.

Specs include:

  • Ratings up to 605 HP / 2,050 ft.-lb. of torque
  • Belt-driven, high output 48-volt alternator and aftertreatment heater solution
  • Compliance with 2027 EPA and CARB regulations
  • Capable of using biodiesel blends up to 20% and renewable diesel blends up to 100%

The HELM X15, which will be manufactured at the Jamestown Engine Plant in New York, was designed to use biodiesel blends up to 20% and renewable diesel blends up to 100%. The company said when spec’d with the Eaton Endurant XD transmission and Cummins-Meritor axles, brakes, and drivelines, the next-gen X15 will provide “additional optimized fuel efficiency and drivability through features such as predictive gear shifting, on-ramp boost, and hill roll out.”

On the maintenance side, the integrated powertrain is expected to require transmission lube change intervals at 750,000 miles, and will allow for remote diagnostic capabilities. With the Meritor components, users can take advantage of the Meritor lube management system (MLMS) and “super-fast ratio options, fuel-efficient bearings and high-efficiency spiral bevel gearing,” Cummins stated. Furthermore, the Cummins-Meritor Permalube RPL drivelines was designed to reduce maintenance while also handle the high torque demands of a modern downsped engine.

Cummins has also taken steps to improve the digital experience with their products, including securely connecting real-time data from vehicles on the road to maintenance and service operations, giving fleet managers and shop owners the ability to look ahead, streamline operations, and minimize downtime, the company says.

“We’ve been doing a lot of reflection on digital and how can we change that experience that the service technician has with our product, when it comes to serviceability, the service event, and how well they know our product,” said Jose Samperio, vice president and general manager, North America on-highway, Cummins.

Building the X15 off of a common base engine likely means that “they can diagnose and repair faster, which eventually benefits [Cummins’] customers.”

The new X15 is equipped with Acumen, Cummins’ computing hardware, to provide digital connectivity and direct access to a range of applications and capabilities.

Next-Gen X15 is built on Cummins’ HELM fuel agnostic 15-liter engine platform, which features a variety of engine versions all derived from a common base engine, meaning they have some parts commonality. Below the head gasket of each engine will largely have similar components and above the head gasket will have different components for different fuel types. Each engine version will operate using a different, single fuel. The X15N, the natural gas variant, is the first engine on the Cummins HELM platforms available to customers. Other platforms include the B, X10, and X15 engine platforms.


About the Author

Lucas Roberto

Lucas Roberto is an Associate Editor for Fleet Maintenance magazine. He has written and produced multimedia content over the past few years and is a newcomer to the commercial vehicle industry. He holds a bachelor's in media production and a master's in communication from High Point University in North Carolina.