Today Chrysler Group’s Ram Truck announced it would double its production of its light-duty Ram 1500 with EcoDiesel to 20 percent of the vehicle line after an initial rush of orders and ongoing 60-percent conquest sales.
The truck is the only light-duty diesel pickup of its class sold in the U.S., EPA-rated for rear-wheel-drive the highest mpg at 20 city, 28 highway, 23 combined and Ram says 20 percent doubles its initial sales expectations.
“When the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel opened for orders earlier this year, Ram Truck received more than 8,000 requests within three days, which quickly filled the initial allocation for the exclusive powertrain,” said the company.
“Innovation sometimes comes with risk, but being first to market with a diesel engine for the half-ton segment has shown to be a great decision for the Ram Brand,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is a game-changer in the industry, and has proved to be a key to conquest sales over our competitors.”
At the heart of it is a 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel engine equipped with a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. Rated power from the turbocharged 60-degree, DOHC 24-valve engine is 240 horsepower and 420 pounds-feet of torque.
Ram says this is “more efficient than all V6 gasoline engines in the half-ton category” and the truck provides up to 9,200 pounds of towing capability.
Other features like selective weight reduction including by high-strength steel, some aluminum panels, and lighter components combined with a drag cooefficient of 0.360 have helped with efficiency.
To bring this powertrain to market in 2013, Ram says it worked with Fiat’s powertrain supplier VM Motori and will increase production to meet North American consumer demand.
The increase of the EcoDiesel mix to 20 percent will be completed by the end of November at both Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan and Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Mexico.