Ram has announced that it will build the industry’s only light-duty diesel powered half-ton pickup. As such, Ram beats Ford, GM (GM stopped production of a 6.5L turbodiesel V8 in a half-ton pickup in 1999), Toyota and Nissan to the punch with a diesel for their half-ton trucks.
Ford contends that they’re sticking with their EcoBoost V6 even though a diesel was rumored to be in the works at one time for their F-150 pickup.
While studies show that pickup truck buyers normally, through loyalty, stick with the brand they have, this diesel–powered Ram may just be the enticement needed for them to switch brands. At least Ram hopes so. There may also be a movement from current Ram owners to trade-up to the diesel especially if they do any amount of serious towing.
While Ram didn’t release power or torque figures for the new diesel, they did say that it will be a 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel mated to an 8-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission. The combination, says Ram, is expected to deliver an outstanding combination of best-in-class fuel efficiency, best-in-class torque and impressive capability. And the clean diesel will feature low CO2 emissions and V6 capability. The engine will be manufactured by VM Motori, a Chrysler Group diesel engine supplier since 1992 and from whom Jeep gets a similar engine that goes into their Grand Cherokee. As such, that diesel produces 240-hp and a whopping 420 lb/ft of torque, but the Ram’s version may be even more powerful.
This new powerplant has been in the making for some time. In fact over the past 10 months, Ram says the brand has set an aggressive product cadence. In Aril they introduced the new 2012 Ram with class-leading 25-mpg fuel efficiency, and innovative features like Active Level four-corner suspension. And most recently, Ram introduced the new 2014 Ram ProMaster van with its own list of best-in-class features that includes fuel efficiency, payload, cargo capacity and lowest cost of ownership.
For 2013, Ram won Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year, the North American truck of the Year and Truck of Texas, a rare trifecta in the pickup segment.
Ram did not indicate when the diesel-powered truck would be on dealers’ lots but the Ram diesel is set for production in July. Judging from most typical automotive launches, it will likely debut sometime in the second half of this year.
Because of the 2013 Ram’s innovative features (like their Ram Boxes), capabilities and build quality, their full-size pickup market share, says Automotive News, has risen from 14.8 percent in 2010 to 17.9 percent in 2012.
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