Get ready for diesel engines in light-duty pickups, something consumers have been clamoring for over the past several years.Chrysler starts the trend with this fall’s launch of the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, and next year, Nissan hopes to jump-start sales of its next-generation Titan full-size pickup by offering a Cummins V-8 diesel option.Nissan North America and Columbus, Ind.-based Cummins Inc. last week announced a deal for Cummins to provide a 5.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine for the Titan when the second generation arrives, probably by mid-2014.At present, no light-duty – or half-ton – pickups offer a diesel engine, including those from Toyota, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and Nissan.But Chrysler will add a 3.0-liter V-6 turbo-diesel option to the 2014 Ram later this year, and is billing it – for now – as “The industry’s only light duty diesel.”Nissan won’t say when the new Titan will arrive, but analysts expect it to debut by next summer as a 2015 model. It will continue to be built at the Nissan plant in Canton, Miss., with gasoline engines made by Nissan in Decherd, Tenn. But the diesel will come from Cummins’ plant in Columbus.“Truck owners told us there’s a demand for the performance and torque of a diesel in a capable truck that doesn’t require the jump up to a heavy-duty commercial pickup,” said San Antonio-native Fred Diaz, Nissan’s sales and marketing vice president, who until recently was president of the Ram truck brand for Chrysler.Adding a diesel to the Titan and Ram are “really good moves,” said Jack Nerad, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com.“When you look at the pickup market and the way the overall market is going, we expect an increase in saturation of diesels across the board, and particularly in the work truck area, where cost-to-own is a prime consideration,” he said. “It would also give the Titan an edge over the new Toyota Tundra, which does not offer a diesel,” Nerad said. “People like the longevity and better fuel economy of a diesel, and Cummins’ name specifically. It has a ring of authority.”Nissan said the Cummins diesel would have more than 300 horsepower and about 550 foot-pounds of torque.As for the Ram, its European-built diesel has 240 horsepower and 420 foot-pounds of torque, which gives it a maximum trailer-towing capacity of 9,200 pounds. Chrysler also offers this engine in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility.GM and Toyota introduced their newest generation light-duty pickups this month as 2014 models, but with no diesel option. The Ford F-150 also does not offer a diesel.There are diesel engines available in the heavy-duty GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado; Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty; and the Ram Heavy Duty line, which uses a Cummins engine.Toyota and Nissan, the only other automakers to offer full-size pickups in the United States, do not make heavy-duty models.Nissan’s Titan has long been in last place in the sales race for light-duty full-size pickups, behind the industry-leading F-150, the Silverado and Sierra 1500, Ram 1500, and Tundra.The Titan has not gotten a complete makeover since its introduction in 2003, and prior to Italy’s Fiat taking over Chrysler, Nissan had entered into an agreement to have Chrysler produce a re-badged Ram that would have been sold as the next-generation Titan. But that deal fell through after Chrysler became part of Fiat, sending Nissan back to the drawing board to design its own second generation of the Titan.Consumers like the extra pulling power of diesel engines in pickups, which allows for more towing capacity.No prices have been announced yet for the Titan’s diesel option. But Chrysler has priced the Ram diesel engine at $2,850 above the price of a similarly equipped Ram with a Hemi V-8 engine.The Ram with the EcoDiesel will also have the best fuel economy in its class, with at least 25 mpg highway, Chrysler said. It will come with a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, which helps boost the highway mileage. It’s the only eight-speed automatic in the half-ton pickup class.As for its towing capability, the Ram 1500 in the two-wheel-drive, long-bed version will be able to pull trailers weighing up to 9,200 pounds, compared with a maximum of 7,450 for the base Ram 305-horespower V-6 gasoline engine.To achieve both of these towing ratings with a V-6 engine, there is a new “more robust parking gear” in the 2014 version of the eight-speed automatic transmission, Chrysler said.“There was more towing capacity in the V-6 Ram 1500, but we needed to upgrade the transmission to hold the truck and trailer when parked on steep grades,” said Ram Chief Engineer Mike Cairns.Chrysler also is offering a new front park-assist system on the Ram 1500 2014, a first. The system has four sensors on the front bumper that help the driver guide it into a parking space.For 2014, the Ram 1500 begins at $24,200 (plus $1,095 freight) for the base V-6 Regular Cab model.There are 12 different exterior colors available, including two new one: Blue Streak and Granite Crystal. Both monotone and two-tone paint schemes are offered.All but the Regular Cab Ram models are made at Chrysler’s Warren (Mich.) Truck Assembly Plant, which has built more than 12.5 million trucks since it began in 1938, the company said.The Regular Cab models come from the Saltillo (Mexico) Truck Assembly Plant. The automotive columns of G. Chambers Williams III have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 1994. Contact him at email@example.com .