When the Ram 1550 Diesel goes on sale late 2013/early 2014 it will be the first Diesel option in a half ton pickup in 25 years, and the first time since 1978 the Ram 1500 will see a Diesel. This will be the same 3.0 Diesel V6 currently doing its duty in the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Maserati Ghibli.
But why Diesel, why now? Well in the ever escalating power wars between the big three horse power and torque figures have been steadily climbing for a decade with the subsequent impact on fuel economy.
Lets have a look how the Ram 1500s new Diesel from VM Motori stacks up against its petrol injected competition.
Power figures on the EcoDiesel will be identical to the Grand Cherokees figures, 240 HP/420 lb-ft of twist. Torque is the penultimate figure in a Diesel engine after Mileage, although that could be swapped depending who you are. So lets look at the petrol offerings from Ford, Chevrolet and RAMs own stable.
3.7L V6 302 HP/278 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM
5.0L V8 360 HP/380 lb-ft @ 4250 RPM
3.5L V6 365 HP/420 lb-ft @ 2500 RPM (EcoBoost)
6.2L V8 411 HP/434 lb-ft @ 4500 RPM (SVT Raptor only)
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra
4.3L V6 285 HP/305 lb-ft @ 3900 RPM
5.3L V8 355 HP/383 lb-ft @ 4100 RPM
6.2L V8 420 HP/460 lb-ft @ 4100 RPM
3.6L V6 305 HP/269 lb-ft @ 4800 RPM
5.7L V8 395 HP/410 lb-ft @ 3950 RPM
3.0L V6 240 HP/420 lb-ft @ 2000 RPM
By the numbers the RAM 1500 Diesel puts out an identical torque figure to the F150 Ecoboost, however the RAMs peak is available 500 RPM earlier. The only options to beat out the EcoDiesel in lb-fts are the Ford Raptors 6.2L which is a niche model anyways and Silverados new 6.2L which drinks like Uncle Roger.
With any luck the RAM EcoDiesel will get the same mileage figures as the GC, 22 mpg city and 30 highway. Towing capacity is expected at 90% of the 5.7 yet with 100% superior fuel economy.
If the Diesel is offered in a short cab, long box layout look for it to become the darling of fleet truck buyers across the country. The EcoDiesel should be a $3000-4000 option. Ram said that it expects the 5.7-liter to remain its major seller, but it figures around 15 percent of the model 1500's mix will be diesel.