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Upon issuing its third-quarter financials last week, Westport Innovations Inc. revealed the discontinuation of its longstanding 15-liter natural gas engine platform.

The Westport 15L - originally marketed as the ISX G - debuted more than a decade ago and has since been integrated into hundreds of the heaviest of heavy-duty trucks. Paired with Westport's high-pressure direct-injection technology and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel system, the 15-liter engine was among the transportation industry's initial natural gas success stories. The 15L found its way into platforms such as the Peterbilt 367 and Kenworth T800 tractors, enabling heavy-haul truckers to take advantage of cost-effective natural gas fuel.

Demand for the 15-liter natural gas powerplant did not disappear, even though the numbers of shipments were relatively low in recent quarters. Rather, immense attention has shifted to the 11.9-liter Cummins Westport ISX12 G natural gas engine, which will be offered in configurations up to 400 hp/1450 lb.-ft. of torque.

The 15L met that level of performance at the low end of the spectrum and topped out at 475 hp/1,750 lb.-ft. of torque.

In its third-quarter 2013 announcement, Westport said its "production focus is shifting from an upfit model to vertical integration of Westport's next generation of HPDI for targeted OEMs." The 15L has been upfitted into trucks at Westport's facilities in Vancouver - a model that no longer fits the company's emphasis.

A Westport representative told NGT News in late September - off the record, at the time - that the company had already informed its major dealer partners about the decision to end North American production of the 15-liter engine, but said that an official announcement was not in the queue.

The representative noted that Westport would likely see a flurry orders for the 15L through October and early November from customers who would quickly execute purchases of the engine upon the news of its discontinuation.

The last day to order the 15L is November 15.

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