Diesel engines have been available in heavy-duty (over 8500 lb GVW) pickups for decades. But they haven't been offered in modern-day light-duty models – until now.
That situation is scheduled to change in the third quarter of this year when Chrysler is scheduled to begin building light-duty Ram pickups with a small-displacement diesel engine.
The 2014 Ram 1500 will offer a new, 3.0-litre V-6 EcoDiesel engine, mated to an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission.
Diesel engines are renowned for their low fuel consumption and exceptional torque output and the company expects this package to deliver best-in-class fuel efficiency, best-in-class torque and an impressive driving range between fill-ups.
"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," says Fred Diaz, president and CEO of the Ram truck brand.
The Ram's new, advanced technology 3.0-litre V-6 EcoDiesel, a version of which is also offered in the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, is said to achieve a 60% reduction in emissions compared to diesel powerplants of 25 years ago.
The engine will be built by VM Motori, a long-time diesel engine supplier to Chrysler, which is 50% owned by parent company Fiat.
Ram picups are the second-best-selling vehicles in Canada, behind only the Ford F-Series. The 2013 Ram 1500 won both the Motor Trend Truck of the Year and North American Truck of the Year awards for 2013. The addition of a light-duty diesel to the lineup is likely to further enhance the truck's competitive position.