Ram has decided to increase the diesel powertrain mix to 20 percent of the total Ram 1500 production volume — double the initial expectation.
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.
“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.”
Ram truck is the only manufacturer to offer a light-duty diesel powertrain. Nearly 60 percent of all Ram 1500 EcoDiesel sales are conquest over competitors, an achievement considering brand-loyal strength of the segment. The premium powertrain also contributes to an increase in the Ram 1500s Average Transaction Price according to J.D. Power.
Ram Truck worked with powertrain supplier VM Motori (Fiat Group Automobiles) to increase production to meet North American consumer demand. The total increase in EcoDiesel mix will be completed by the end of November at both Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan and Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Mexico.
The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine is mated to the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. Together, the powertrain system delivers an outstanding combination of fuel efficiency at 28 mpg, torque of 420 lb.-ft. and up to 9,200 pounds of towing capability.
The 2015 Ram 1500 capitalizes on a truckload of exclusive, pioneering, fuel-saving systems, including: eight-speed automatic transmission, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics with grille shutters and air suspension.
The Ram 1500 earned Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year in 2013 and 2014, the first time a vehicle of any type has taken the coveted award back-to-back. The Ram 1500 also won the Truck of Texas in 2013 and 2014 — a rare double, back-to-back combination in the pickup segment.
Aptly branded EcoDiesel, the 3.0-liter powerplant is a turbocharged 60-degree, dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) 24-valve V-6 that produces 240 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque that is more efficient than all V-6 gasoline engines in the half-ton category. This abundant torque from a 3.0-liter engine is the enabler for 9,200 pounds of towing capacity while delivering fuel economy of 28 mpg on the highway.
Like the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 gasoline engines already offered on the Ram 1500, the EcoDiesel V-6 is mated to the TorqueFlite 8, the only eight-speed automatic transmission offered in the half-ton class.
The 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine (Ward’s 10 Best Engines Award three years in a row) with variable-valve timing (VVT) offers 305 horsepower, 269 lb.-ft. of torque and best-in-class gasoline fuel economy of 25 mpg.
The legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with fuel-saving cylinder shut-off and VVT provides 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque.
The class-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission (TorqueFlite 8) — standard equipment with 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel and 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar — doubles the amount of gears compared to the previously available four-speed automatic transmission, which improves drivability and enhances fuel efficiency. The eight-speed also is available with the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8.
With the 2013 model year, the Ram 1500 benefitted from a number of weight saving features. Contingent on the model, the frame received a weight reduction of up to 30 pounds by using advanced high-strength steels. Also benefitting from advanced metal, box floor cross-members in the bed eliminated seven pounds and a front bumper design removed four pounds.
Additionally, aluminum lower control arms in the front suspension contributed to weight reduction. The Ram 1500 also features an aluminum hood, saving 26 pounds. Underneath the hood, the combination of the new Pentastar V-6 engine and new TorqueFlite 8 transmission reduced weight by approximately 76 pounds. The V-8 engine and TorqueFlite 8 together reduced weight by more than 30 pounds.
The 2015 Ram 1500 is built at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Warren, Michigan), which has built more than 13 million trucks since it started operations in 1938. Regular Cab models of the 2015 Ram 1500 are built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico.
The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine is manufactured by Fiat Group Automobiles’ VM Motori in Cento, Italy. Chrysler Group has utilized VM Motori diesel engines since 1992.