By on January 31, 2017

2017 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited Crew Cab 4x4

Spy shots are circulating that show a current-generation Ram 1500 pickup with something missing under the hood.

The picture on the side of the milk carton contains at least two cylinders, as this unusual Ram variant has dispensed with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ familiar V6 and V8 engines. Yup, this Ram packs an inline-four.

Sitting low in the tall vehicle’s engine bay, partially obscured by a towering radiator, the four-cylinder engine can’t hide its tell-tale characteristics. Clearly, the vehicle is a test mule, but for what?

That’s what the speculation machine is trying to figure out. FCA is feverishly readying the next-generation Ram 1500 for a January 2018 production deadline, but the upcoming full-size model might not be the engine’s destination.

With Ford preparing a U.S.-market Ranger for 2019, and with General Motors already reaping the rewards of offering two midsize pickups, FCA could finally be bowing to market demand. Is this engine bound for a baby Ram model? So far, no such model has been confirmed, though it makes sense that FCA would pursue one if big returns were all but guaranteed.

A turbocharged 2.0-liter “Hurricane” four should appear in the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, rumored to make in the area of 300 horsepower. That’s enough to move a full-size truck, especially a slightly lighter one that is expected to adopt a 48-volt mild hybrid system. Then again, it could be a wholly new diesel engine.

We’re left waiting to see what becomes of this intriguing development.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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66 Comments on “Ram 1500 Spotted with Four-cylinder, Internet Goes Wild...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Balderdash and poppycock.

    I am really getting tired of wildly speculative rumor articles.

    In our next installment there will be a spy shot of said 4 cyl Ram with Bigfoot driving.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      Word has it that he passed the driving test in only three tries. He then went to the local barbershop for a full body shave, bought some new suits, and got elected to a high US office.
      Just sayin!

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Maybe a new updated 2.8 diesel?

      It’s a much cheaper engine than the 3 litre VM diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      There has been whispers for quite some time now concerning turbo engines in the Ram. Most centre around V6’s. i.e. Ecoboost fighters. I can see Ram offering a fleet spec normally aspirated V6, a turbo 4 banger next, then a Turbo V6. A diesel will stay in the lineup and kill the 5.7 V8. The 6.4 could be offered in some trims. Some say that the 5.7 is going to die. No need to keep it with the 6.4 around.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Rams are driven by BigGut, not BigFoot.

    • 0 avatar
      Domestic Hearse

      If you look closely at the picture, you can see Bigfoot’s reflection in the chrome side mirror. Some of you may call “Blobsquatch” but it is obviously Bigfoot. And those aren’t 4-cylinder engine knocks you’re hearing. That’s how Bigfoots talk to one another.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    That Ram pictured above looks like any other Ram. How can you tell it has a 4-banger?

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Can’t you see the ‘tell tale characteristics’? Me neither.

      • 0 avatar
        John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

        Probably the “alt-right” at work again, no doubt.

        Or, maybe the picture above (which looks suspiciously like a factory press release photo) isn’t the picture the article is referring to. No! That can’t possibly be it!

        If only they had provided a link to the original article showing the pics. Oh well.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      The original pics from “Trucktrend” are kind of blurry and don’t really show the engine well. Of course with the acoustic / appearance covers used these days, it’s difficult to identify anything.

      I know GM used to frequently use “powertrain mules” where engrs could develop engine/trans packages without having to build them into the new (expensive, low volume proto tooling) chassis.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      Do you see the engine?

      FC is coming out with a 4 in the new wrangler. There’s also rumours about a diesel wrangler. I know some test mules have 6ers, but Do we know that there’s no 4 cyl diesel variant?

      Maybe the Hurricane will be in a full sizer?

      Or maybe there’s a 4 cyl diesel that puts out decent torque?

      Or maybe I’m getting old and don’t have a problem waiting to see what happens.

  • avatar
    St.George

    A nice big 3.0L 4 cylinder turbo diesel would probably work out great!

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Yep it would be great to see a baby diesel engine in a mid-size Dodge truck. While I love me some turbo 4 gas goodness I don’t think a full-size truck is the best place to put one.

  • avatar
    John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

    Full size trucks in Brazil came with turbocharged I-4 diesels for decades. See Ford F-1000 as an example.

    I doubt Americans would put up with an I-4 in a full size truck. But, everyone (bafo) said they’d never buy a twin turbo V-6 in a full-size, or a truck with an aluminum body.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Jeebus, how sad.

    Oh but 28 it has four cams and six turboz and bends time and space in order to generate enough power to barely move a 5,000lb object!

  • avatar
    iNeon

    Durability testing for Jeep or another vehicle? adding it to the Ram? All three?

    My bet’s on all three.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m telling you, by 2020 the Ram 1500 engine offerings will be a turbo-4, turbo-6, a pricey 6.4L V8 option, and *maybe* an equally pricey diesel I4 or V6.

    And (if they happen) the next Challenger and Charger is going turbo-4, two tunes of a turbo-6, and Hellcat V8.

    The 5.7 and naturally-aspirated 3.6 don’t have a future.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    The numbers mentioned in the article put the Huricane 4 around the same power/torque as the old Magnum V8, and above the Pentastar V6.

    A 4 won’t satisfy the urban cowboy crowd, but it’s plenty for a work/fleet truck.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Cool, it’s a RAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMM I can walk in my VW. I approve.

    (Probably testing it for another application…my guess would be the upcoming Wrangler)

  • avatar
    GermanReliabilityMyth

    The “Hurricane” four, eh? I wonder when we’ll be seeing spy shots of the Ramcharger test mule.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Maybe they can use the MultiAir 1.4T and squeeze 35 mpg out of it. Don’t ask about towing.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    The more cylinders is better thing baffles me. More cylinders might be smoother, depending on implementation, but really the cylinder count in and of itself is largely meaningless. 200hp is 200hp, and that used to be considered PLENTY for a full-size truck. Still is in most of the world. How fast do you need to go in a basic truck?

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      I think the demand is less speed than payload and towing capacity.

      I know my F250 with the 4.10 rear is … plenty fast enough unloaded with the 300HP 5.4, and still quite tolerable with a serious payload and trailer.

      (And there’s emotional resonance, but that one can’t be debated.

      If I had to buy a truck now with my own money it’d be the F150 with the 3.5EB…)

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Two reasons:

      1. More cylinders = better for the big loads trucks are designed for.

      1a. 8 cylinders are a nice sweet spot as they don’t require additional balancing like a 6 or 10.

      1b. More cylinders for a given displacement = more available area for cooling and bearing loads… again key

      1c. Generally better NVH even outside of the inherent balance of a crossplane 8 cylinder

      2. Changing traffic requirements. Cars are just a lot faster than they used to be. An Ecoboost F150 is as fast as a 10 year old 350Z. Both of which would give a 20 year old 911 type car a healthy stoplight scare. Cars are simply increasingly faster in the US, which is scary considering the decline in driver training.

      So yea, it makes total sense.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      You haven’t a clue. 200 hp is NOT 200 HP! Not when one’s with a V8, one’s with a V6, and never mind *4 cylinder* 200 HP!!

      Yes medium-duty (26,000 lbs) trucks used to get by just fine with considerably less than 200 hp, even as late as the mid ’90s.

      Without comparing torque and torque curve, “HP” figures are totally meaningless. “Torque” is easier for translate, since that’s all the dyno directly spits out.

      “HP” is an equation loosely based on torque, and doesn’t translate well, as far as what *work* it can actually do.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        HP is not “an equation loosely based on torque.” It’s torque*rpm*constant. If you have less torque, you have to rev higher to get the same power. Most truck engines are not high revvers, because it’s cheapest to build them that way, but there’s no reason an engine can’t do good work at higher revs.

        And fewer cylinders don’t necessarily mean higher revs. The revviest truck engine out there today is Ford’s naturally aspirated V6. A turbo four would develop more torque down low and need fewer revs.

        “More cylinders = better for the big loads trucks are designed for.”

        Someone should tell the heavy truck makers. Pretty much every heavy truck engine is an inline six. There used to be V8s, but they’re gone. The main reason is because the inline six configuration is smoother than others, with which these big engines can actually be important to maintenance costs.

        “8 cylinders are a nice sweet spot as they don’t require additional balancing like a 6 or 10.”

        The only inherently balanced configurations in common use are the inline 6 and the V-12. An 8 does require additional balancing.

        “1b. More cylinders for a given displacement = more available area for cooling and bearing loads… again key”

        This is just bullsh!t.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          dal20402 – agreed. Torque is a factor but number of cylinders is no longer an issue. I’ve driven a F150 EB3.5 and it is NOT a revver. Revving high means you pass its HP and torque peak. Bore and stroke also come into play when it comes to RPM and torque. My 5.4 litre F150 does its job at lower rpm than a comparable Chevy 5.3.

          200 hp is 200 hp.

          horse power = a unit of power equal to 550 foot-pounds per second.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Correct, but misleadimg in how you view proper work engines to hair dresser engines.

            Its how and when the power is delivered.

            This sepetates low torque high revving engines from proper truck engines, like diesels.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Are you saying that hair dressing isn’t work? I am appalled. Appalled and shocked. Appalled, shocked and just sad, really. Sad for humanity.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            VoGo – one doesn’t ask hair advice from someone with alopecia.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Big Alopecia?

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          But is there a production 4 cylinder that’s up to the task? Turbo of course, but even at 300+ HP?

          Current diesel pickup engines embarrass 18 wheeler diesels of just a few decades ago, but are they up to the (80,000 lbs) task? Why not? On paper they sure are.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    ~300 hp and ~300 lbs of torque is about what current base engines in trucks make, or a bit better.

    Not shocked, and I’m sure Ford has a 2.3L EcoBoost F-150 mule around too.

  • avatar
    th009

    Gotta have a big grille to cool that four-cylinder!

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      # of cylinders has nothing to do with it. the size of the radiator (thus grille) depends on the power output of the engine and the vehicle’s intended usage. There’s reasons a 400 hp Peterbilt 348 has a much larger radiator than a 400 hp Mustang.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    You can’t have only 300HP in a full size truck!

    I mean, sure, my SuperDuty has 300HP, but reasons!

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Sigivald,
      The VM 2.8 has 200hp and 365ftlb of torque in our Coloradoes. The 2.8 Colorado diesel are in fact VM.

      With current technology it shouldn’t be hard to realise 250 hp and well over 400ftlb of torque. More than enough for any half ton.

  • avatar
    BoogerROTN

    I gotta say, I’m pretty impressed. Not w/the 4cyl story, but that I clicked on a truck story and the reader comments weren’t oddly focused on penis size. Are we finally making progress?

  • avatar
    mikeg216

    It’s a cummins 4 cylinder turbo.. For the ram and the wrangler and the wrangler pickup and the Durango and the jeep grand cherokee and the grand wagoneer 1500

  • avatar
    jmo

    Don’t all those indestructible Toyota Hiluxs have a 4cyl?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The Australian double cab 4×4 turbo diesel Hilux still only weights 4575lbs. The Australian 4×2 single cab turbo diesel Hilux 4×2 weighs 3902lbs. The MY16 Ram 1500 weighs in between 4,516 to 5,663 lbs depending on configuration. For contrast the current Chevy Colorado weighs in between 3,930 to 4,520 lbs. I don’t see this working very well for Chrysler owners with a small gas I4.

      http://www.toyota.com.au/hilux/specifications/sr5-4×4-double-cab-pick-up-28l-turbo-diesel-manual

      http://www.toyota.com.au/hilux/specifications/sr-4×2-extra-cab-pick-up-28l-turbo-diesel-manual

      https://www.ramtrucks.com/assets/pdf/specsheet/ram_1500_dimensions.pdf

  • avatar
    Johnster

    Now that they’ve discontinued the Chrysler 200 and the Dodge Dart they need to do something with those leftover TigerShark 4-cylinder engines. I can hardly wait for the upcoming Ram Abarth 1500.

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