As if we hadn’t seen this coming. Today, Chrysler Group finally announced that the Ram 1500 will be offering a diesel engine. Starting with the 2014 model year, a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine, mated to a TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission, will be an available option in all Ram 1500s. Ram is mum on numbers, but estimates this powertrain will boast best-in-class fuel economy and torque.
The introduction of a diesel engine builds on the momentum Ram has been building over the past year. The 2013 Ram 1500 already won sister publication Motor Trend‘s Truck of the Year, North American Truck of the Year, and was also named the Truck of Texas. If Ram has its way, the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will continue on with this momentum. As for the other two major truck makers, Ford and Chevrolet, neither currently offers a diesel engine for their light-duty trucks. Unlike its American-based competition, Ram’s parent company, the Fiat-owned Chrysler Group, is going all-in on diesel engines. Chrysler Group has already unveiled that the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee will have a diesel engine variant as will the all-new 2014 Ram ProMaster van. However, the ProMaster only utilizes a diesel four-cylinder, while the Grand Cherokee employs the same EcoDiesel V-6 engine.
Ram sources its turbo diesel engines from VM Motori, who has been supplying Chrysler Group since 1992. Going by the numbers of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel could be rated in the ballpark of 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. The Grand Cherokee diesel can pull up to 7,200 pounds, but we’re expecting the Ram to pull a little more than that. If we had to bet, the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel may be capable of pulling up to 10,000 pounds. No other information was made available by Chrysler Group at this time, but as we learn more about the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, we’ll pass it along to you so stay tuned.
Automotive.com’s take: It’s highly doubtful that Ford and Chevrolet will begin making diesel engines for its respective pickup, but stranger things have happened. That would really throw a wrench in everything. Don’t hold your breath though. Ram appears to have a strong grip on an engine niche’ that’s reception is still unknown with the American public.