Chrysler, through its Ram truck division, is bringing back to the market the possibility of having a diesel-powered light duty truck.
Ram will offer in its 2014 1500 a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine, combined with the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission.
The engine delivers, according to the company, an outstanding combination of best-in-class fuel efficiency, unsurpassed torque and impressive capability.
Pricing for the 2014 Ram 1500 will start at $24,200, plus $1,095 destination. The exclusive V6 EcoDiesel with TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission will be priced $2,850 greater than a similarly equipped Ram 1500 with a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with Torqueflite 8 speed transmission.
The 2014 Ram 1500 is said by Ram to deliver best-in-class fuel economy with a truckload of pioneering, fuel-saving systems including: eight-speed automatic transmission, stop-start system, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and air suspension.
Branded EcoDiesel, the new 3.0-liter diesel powerplant is a turbocharged 60-degree, dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) 24-valve V6 that produces 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Ram said this engine is noticeably more efficient than all V6 gasoline engines in the half-ton category.
Like the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 5.7-liter HEMI V8 gasoline engines already offered on the Ram 1500, the new EcoDiesel V6 will be linked to the TorqueFlite 8 eight-speed automatic transmission.
The new EcoDiesel is developed and manufactured by VM Motor (a Chrysler supplier since 1992) and is equipped with a diesel oxidation catalyst (AdBlue), diesel particulate filter, and selective catalytic reduction.
The engine will be emissions-compliant in all 50 states.
A few other technologies are being incorporated in the 2014 Ram to help improve its fuel efficiency.
Ram said pulse-width modulation (PWM) is a fuel-saving technology for the Ram 1500, which reduces parasitic electrical load. The technology not only eliminates unnecessary load on the alternator but also improves the durability of benefitting systems. Fuel delivery and the forward cooling fan are two systems that take advantage of PWM, adding a 0.4 percent improvement in fuel efficiency.
The 2014 Ram 1500 will carry additional uses of PWM technology and a host of new efficiency, comfort and emissions-friendly refinements. These include a variable displacement air-conditioning compressor pulse-width modulated vent blower and humidity sensor.
As opposed to a “fixed” displacement compressor, the variable displacement compressor (VDC) automatically varies its pumping capacity to meet air conditioning demands rather than working in an on/off fashion. As a result, the variable displacement compressor (VDC) lessens loads on the engine, reducing parasitic losses for enhanced fuel efficiency and helping to maintain a consistent cockpit temperature. The technology also reduces related noise and vibration annoyances.
When the interior cabin temperature is higher than what’s desired (outside the automatic temperature control setting), the VDC increases refrigeration capacity until the desired temperature is reached. Once the temperature is reached, the VDC automatically reduces its capacity to maintain the desired temperature rather than shutting off completely.
The overall result is smoother compressor transitions, less noise and greater fuel efficiency.
Like the VDC, the pulse-width modulation (PWM) blower continually controls fan speeds for optimal performance in all driving scenarios; quiet, efficient operation; and virtually unnoticeable performance. Not unlike other PWM applications that debuted on the 2013 Ram 1500, the pulse-width blower ensures an infinite amount of varying fan speeds to satisfy every customer-requested condition in relation to the air conditioning system.
A new humidity sensor is packaged behind the rearview mirror, and works in tandem with the PWM blower and VDC to continually measure the potential for humidity being formed on the windshield interior. While the sensor enables noticeable de-fogging benefits, it also enables the VDC and PWM blower to run at the most optimal speeds to expedite humidity reduction.
Starting with the 2014 model-year, the Ram 1500 will use F1234yf refrigerant, an application developed to help reduce greenhouse emissions.
The 2014 Ram will be available this fall. We will keep you updated as soon as we receive official fuel consumption figures.
The 2014 Ram 1500 is built at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Warren, Mich.), which has built more than 12.5 million trucks since it started operations in 1938. Regular Cab models of the 2014 Ram 1500 are built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico.