Chrysler will be the first truck maker to offer a diesel engine on a half-ton pickup, when the Ram 1500 gets an oil-burner in Q3 of this year.
The diesel will be the same 3.0L VM Motori engine as used in the Grand Cherokee, good for 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque in that application. USA Today, which broke the story, reported that Ram boss Fred Diaz would not disclose power figures or pricing information, the two big question marks for the new model.
Diesel options in heavy duty pickups typically cost thousands more as optional equipment. TrueCar’s Jesse Toprak suggested that offering a small premium, akin to Ford’s EcoBoost V6 in the F-150, would shake things up in the segment, but Diaz seemed to shrug off that notion. Regardless, Toprak felt that the diesel option could be good for as many as 10,000 units.
With this announcement, it will be interesting to see if any truck makers follow suit and offer a quarter-ton diesel option. Aside from wanting to combat Ram’s lock on this model, there will likely be positive implications as far as CAFE goes. VM Motori is half owned by GM, though the company will offer a new mid-size Colorado for fuel-economy conscious buyers (though in many markets, the Colorado can be had with a Duramax diesel).