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Conversations over cups of coffee at the local garage have no doubt been dominated by talk of the new Ram EcoDiesel for the past few months.

FAST FACTS

Engine: 3.0-liter diesel makes 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.
Transmission: Eight-Speed automatic.
Fuel Economy: Rated at 19 mpg city, 27 highway.
Price: Ram EcoDiesel Starts at $32,935. Our Tester costs just over $54,000.
The return of diesel power to the half-ton pickup truck comes at a time in the truck industry when it seems like if you're not innovating, you are losing sales. Look at the GM half-tons, which have been widely criticized for being too conservative. They have been giving up market share ever since their arrival and Ram has been waiting in the wings to pickup its competitors losses and rightfully so.

Innovation Breeds Success

The Ram 1500 was the first modern half-ton to come with an eight-speed automatic (GM is now following suit and Ford likely isn't far behind), four-corner air suspension and of course, diesel power.

The motor in this truck is a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel sourced from Italian company VM Motori and the numbers it puts up are exactly what you would expect from a small diesel. It makes just 240 hp at 3,600 RPM, but the real meat is the 420 lb-ft of torque that is accessible at 2,000 RPM. This is the most powerful V6 engine found in any pickup truck today, turbocharged or otherwise. Make no mistake, this is a straight up V8 competitor.
 
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