Have the small displacement diesel floodgates finally opened? Yesterday Ram announced that starting in the 3rd quarter a 3.0 liter V-6 diesel will become an option for their half-ton truck lineup. The EcoDiesel, as Ram calls it, will be mated to their eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. Both the engine and the transmission are the very same components found in the soon to be available Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel. Specific horsepower and torque ratings have yet to be revealed but class leading MPG is all but confirmed.
In hindsight it now makes sense that Ram would be the first to market with a small diesel. Their new corporate parent (Fiat) has extensive knowledge and use of such powerplants. The next question, when do Ford and GM follow suit?
Having sampled a version of that engine (in a 2007 ML320 CDI – 210 hp & 400 lb ft torque), I can’t wait till these trucks debut. I’m thinking that I may have to give my late father’s 2000 F150 XLT a sibling (a RAM 1500 4×4 Ecodiesel) some time late this year or early next year. That engine is dependable, fuel efficient (27+ mpg on the highway, 17 – 19 around town with a/c blowing in traffic), and incredibly powerful. 80 mph is too easy to reach in the ML (5100 lbs wet). My ex regularly shows other cars her tail-lights without much trouble. Keep in mind that hers in pre urea injection. Last year without it was 2008, if I’m not mistaken.