It would sure seem like diesel-powered pickups are more popular today then they ever have been, why? Quite simply, consumers know that diesel engines not only offer an increase in power, towing capacity, and longevity, but also offer increased fuel economy when compared to their gasoline counterparts. Traditionally diesel engines have been behemoths of displacement, only being offered in three-quarter and one-ton pickups aimed at "commercial" use, which are less-than-practical for those of us who don't haul around a Bobcat skid-steer on a daily basis. Luckily, beginning this fall for the 2014 model year, Dodge will be the first auto manufacturer in the United States to offer a half-ton pickup with a small-displacement diesel engine; paving the way for other manufacturers to follow suit and offer a more fuel efficient option for those who understand the benefits of small-displacement diesel engines.
"Truck owners have been emphatically asking for it, and Ram will be the only manufacturer to offer a diesel powertrain in the half-ton segment with the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel," said Fred Diaz, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, Chrysler Group LLC. "The half-ton truck market is incredibly competitive, and although we're honored the Ram 1500 has received a number of prestigious awards, we cannot rest on what we have accomplished, we must keep pushing."
The 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will be offered with a 3.0-liter V-6 produced by VM Motori—a manufacturer who Chrysler is quick to add has been producing engines for the automotive group since 1992. No doubt this is being said in anticipation of critisism from diesel enthusiasts who are likely to complain about a non-Cummins, Italian-made engine being fitted to a Dodge Ram.
It's unknown why Dodge has not yet releasde power figures for the engine, but as fitted to the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee the VM Motori engine produces a claimed 240 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft of torque. Dodge has released that the engine will be paired to the eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission.
No word yet on what options will be available on the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel—we can only hope for locking differentials.