Ram 1500: Diesel Option Dead?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
ram 1500 diesel option dead

Fans of oil-burners, brace yourselves. Dodge is confirming [via Detroit News] that a hybrid Hemi version of its light-duty Ram pickup is in the works. A diesel option, however, is still being reviewed. And its prospects aren’t looking good. When Chrysler senior vice president of engineering Scott Kunselman confirmed that the hybrid would be a reality, the only thing he would say about the diesel option is that he “isn’t convinced there is enough of a market among recreational buyers,” who buy light-duty trucks. His argument is that recreational light-duty buyers don’t see the long-term reliability of diesels as being worth the extra price of admission, a perspective which reflects both the classic “Detroit knows best” attitude and a resignation on Chrysler’s part to doing business from Consumer Reports’ cellar. Especially considering Chrysler’s partners in developing its two-mode hybrid appear to be walking away from the technology. And since 85 percent of heavy-duty rams are bought with the diesel engine, you’d think it would make a certain amount of sense to offer a Cummins option in the mass-market model. But it’s looking like that train will not be coming back to the station. Meanwhile, has anyone seen Mahindra lately? We’re starting to worry…

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4 of 31 comments
  • AJ AJ on Oct 28, 2009

    I have to think there is a market for a 1500 with a diesel for the occasional towing over gas as I would buy one. Chrysler just has to market and support it, which I feel that they've done a poor job of doing just that with the current Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD. JP Magazine had an excellent long term report on this CRD and did a lot of towing and had some impressive MPG... 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD Road Trip - Diesel Grand Cherokee Long Term Road Trip http://www.jpmagazine.com/featuredvehicles/154_0903_2008_jeep_grand_cherokee_road_trip/index.html

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Oct 28, 2009

    Up until last year, Cummins and Iveco were knee deep in a European diesel engine joint venture. It is quite possible that some of Iveco's products may have roots in Cummins designs. http://www.industryweek.com/articles/cummins_to_conclude_joint_ventures_with_cnh_and_iveco_16868.aspx

  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Oct 29, 2009
    windswords : The pic looks like a race only vehicle that is not street legal (no pollution controls, tuned for max power). I’ve seen these kinds of trucks on televised tractor pulls, etc. They put out enormous amounts of smoke (and torque)! I see them on the street all the time. Not quite that bad, but still an obnoxious amount of smoke. Because diesels are so easy to tune for smoky emissions, I'm actually happy when manufacturers offer fewer diesel options.
  • Colin42 Colin42 on Nov 05, 2009

    I work for Cummins so I'm not going to say anything that's not in the public domain windswords : NO ONE is gonna buy an HD because that’s the only one that comes with a diesel. I'd bet you half a car park of 2500 Diesel Rams that your wrong! Most of the HD Rams I see in Columbus IN are loaded with (obviously very heavy) air CommanderFish : They were planning a new V6 Cummins diesel Cummins HAVE developed a 5ish ltr V8 that was destine for the 1500 - They didn't plan a 2011 launch without spending lots of money (before July's announcement canceling the contact) phargophil : My money says that if Dodge trucks offer a diesel in 5 years, it will be an Iveco. According to yesterday Chrysler details they'll keep the Cummins 6.7 in the HD rams. The suggestion is that a Iveco diesel would be fitted in the the Ram 1500 - however looking at the various Fiat (Iveco) engine website I can't see anything that would meet the light duty truck need (assuming you'd want something that is >300 hp)