Chrysler Group's Ram brand will be rolling out to the market this year a diesel-powered 2014 Ram 1500, the first since 35 years ago. The variant will powered by a 3.0-liter, V-6 turbodiesel produced by Italian engine maker VM Motori. The V-6 diesel will be paired with an eight-speed transmission, Chrysler announced.
The diesel powertrain will be similar to the one offered in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee that returns highway fuel economy of over 30 mpg.
Fred Diaz, head of the Ram brand, said in a statement that truck owners have been asking for a half-ton truck powered by a diesel engine. He noted that Ram will be the only manufacturer to offer a diesel powertrain in the half-ton segment, as General Motors has already phased out a 6.5-liter turbodiesel V-8 half-ton pickup in 1999.
Ram has been seen testing a diesel-powered Ram 1500 several times on Michigan streets in the past six months. Diesel engines typically return higher fuel economy with better torque than gasoline-powered powerplants.
However, the gasoline-powered 2013 Ram 1500 is considered to have the best-in-class fuel economy of 25 mpg on the highway. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel engine from VM Motori, providing 240 hp of output and 420 pounds-feet of torque.
The engine could be tuned to effectively run the much heavier Ram 1500. The 2013 Ram 1500 is available with either a 3.6-liter V-6, 4.7-liter V-8 or a 5.7-liter V-8 gasoline engine. Diesel engines are currently available only in heavy-duty pickup variants.
The carmaker is expected to commence producing the 2014 Ram 1500 in July 2013 although it has yet to announce the truck’s pricing. Chrysler is aiming to extend its sales streak of 34 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Ram has reengineered its whole pickup lineup for the 2013 model year, introducing 8-speed transmissions and other improvements.