Chrysler will be adding a diesel engine to its vehicle lineup, but don’t hold your breath for a production announcement anytime soon. According to a recent report, Ram has begun testing diesel engines for future models, but the test vehicles are being built separately from the normal assembly line, indicating, that testing has just begun.
But we do know what we do know so far is that the diesel engine chosen for testing won’t be a Cummins V-6 or V-8 engine, despite the long-time association between Chrysler and Cummins. Instead, early indications point to the 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine already in service on vehicles like the European Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler variants. The twist is that this is technically a Fiat engine, further cementing the alliance between the two companies. Importantly, the V-6 diesel engine is modernized enough that it passes both American and European emissions standards. We also know that both a rear- and all-wheel drive variant have been built for testing purposes.
As to why Chrysler chose to go with the Fiat engine, it’s already used in Jeep models across the pond and it’s also rumored to be an option in the next-generation Grand Cherokee slated to arrive Stateside in 2016. Also, both European and American emissions standards are expected to be on par with each other over the next few years making it easier for automakers to sell diesel engines for both markets.
The next-gen Wrangler is also currently under development and is likely to offer this new diesel engine as an option. With a front-wheel drive version under development, there’s also a chance the next-gen Grand Caravan minivan will be offered with this latest diesel engine configuration as it can provide upwards of 30 percent more fuel efficiency, more torque to pull more weight, and less horsepower than your conventional gasoline engine. As always, stay tuned as more details become available.