Auburn Hills, Mich. Feb 14, 2013 - Beginning third-quarter 2013, Ram will become the only truck brand to currently offer a small-displacement diesel for its half-ton line of pickups. Pricing and specifications for the 2014 Ram 1500 diesel was not announced, which is scheduled to enter production in July.
Rumors had floated for years about Ford offering a diesel version for their ever popular F-150, but what actually resulted was the thrifty EcoBoost V6, which now makes up nearly half of its production. To combat this Ram introduced their own V6, the 4.7L Penestar, for the 2013 model year, which now ranks as the segment’s best, EPA rated at 25 mpg highway. But Chrysler Group LLC is not one to rest on its laurels.
“Truck owners have been emphatically asking for it, and Ram will be the only manufacturer to offer a diesel powertrain in the half-ton segment with the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, Chrysler Group LLC. “The half-ton truck market is incredibly competitive, and although we’re honored the Ram 1500 has received a number of prestigious awards, we cannot rest on what we have accomplished, we must keep pushing.”
Complementing the Penestar V6 and Hemi V8, the 2014 Ram 1500 will be offered with a new, 3.0-liter EcoDiesel (turbodiesel) engine, mated to Chrysler’s still relatively new ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain is expected to deliver an outstanding combination of best-in-class fuel efficiency, best-in-class torque and impressive trailer and hauling capability.
Ram’s newest turbo diesel engine is manufactured by VM Motori SpA, a third party diesel engine supplier for the manufacture since 1992. The first models that received these engines were European-spec Chrysler Voyager minivans (1992-1995), followed by Jeep Cherokees (1994-2001) and Grand Cherokees (1995-1998), and the Dodge Dakota (1999-2000).
Although this is a revolutionary step for the North American market, it’s not the first time a diesel has been offered in a light duty pickup. GM made a half hearted attempt back in the early 1980s with a diesel that was converted from an Oldsmobile 350 cubic inch V8 gasoline engine. Needless to say there were plenty of performance and durability issues. The Ram’s new EcoDiesel is among today's most advanced diesel engines, with 60 percent emissions less than those produced 25 years ago. The impressive combination of torque and fuel economy marks new levels of performance for smaller engines, which are about to become more prominent on the American landscape, for both cars and trucks.
The combination should be identical to one offered in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee that’s estimated to achieve highway fuel economy above 30 mpg. In the Grand Cherokee, the 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel engine produces 240 hp and 420 pounds-feet of torque. However, this same engine could be tuned differently to handle the heavier Ram 1500.
Over the past 10 months, the Ram Truck brand has set an aggressive product cadence. Ram’s big push began early last spring with the introduction of the revised 2013 Ram 1500 with upgraded fit and finish, and innovative features such as Active Level four-corner air suspension.
The 2013 Ram 1500 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. In further accolades - during last fall’s Texas Truck Rodeo the Ram 1500 was voted “Truck of Texas” along with the series of Ram trucks voted “Best Truck Line” by the Texas Auto Writers Association.
Building on the award-winning truck, the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will further stretch its best-in-class fuel economy title lead and continue to raise the innovation bar in one of the automotive industry’s most customer-loyal segments.
The Ram Brand followed that news with the launch of the Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty pickups. Their 30,000-pound trailer-tow rating – more than three tons more than their closest competitor -- and 850 lb.-ft. of torque are at the top of their class. Most recently, Ram introduced the new 2014 Ram ProMaster van with its own list of best-in-class features, including fuel efficiency, payload, cargo capacity and lowest cost of ownership.