This fall, the Ram 1500 pickup truck will gain a new engine choice, a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6. That will make the Ram 1500 America's only light-duty pickup with a diesel engine (most heavy duty trucks are available with diesels.)
Ram isn't talking power outputs or fuel economy, but the 3.0-liter "EcoDiesel" V-6 is the same unit used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel. Built by Italian company VM Motori, the engine will produce 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, return as much as 22/30 mpg (city/highway), and tow 7400 pounds in the 2014 Grand Cherokee. In both the Jeep and the Ram 1500, the engine will be backed by a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission.
"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," Ram Truck brand president and CEO Fred Diaz said today in a statement.
At the Detroit auto show last month, Diaz was noncommittal on diesels and told us, "I'm not going to speculate whether or not diesel might be on the horizon, but I can tell you we're looking at several different technologies… to improve the MPG story."
The main benefit to adding a diesel engine in a light-duty truck will be improved towing and hauling capacity, without significantly worsened fuel economy. The thriftiest 2013 Ram 1500, with a 3.6-liter V-6 gas engine and eight-speed automatic, already returns 17/25 mpg with rear-wheel drive.
The 2014 Ram 1500 and its EcoDiesel engine launch in the third quarter of this year.