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Print 92 comment(s) - last by protosv.. on Aug 28 at 5:11 AM

The Ram 1500 gets a much needed heart transplant

Ford isn't the only company that can dish out full-size pickups with relatively decent fuel economy these days. Ford made headlines two year ago (and saw sales of V6 engines skyrocket) when it introduced an all-new 3.7-liter V6 engine and 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 for its best-selling F-150.
 
Not one to let Ford sit around and bask in the media and sales spotlight, Chrysler is giving its 2013 Ram 1500 a heart transplant as well. In this case, instead of the tired old 3.7-liter V6 that has soldiered on as the base engine in the Ram 1500 for far too long, it has been replaced by Chrysler's corporate V6: the 3.6-liter Pentastar.
 
Whereas the old 3.7-liter engine produced 215hp and 235 lb-ft of torque, the Pentastar V6 blows those numbers out of the water with 305hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. For comparison, Ford's based 3.7-liter V6 engine in the F-150 generates 300hp and 275 lb-ft of torque.


3.6-liter Pentastar V6
 
Despite the massive increase in power and torque, fuel economy has also gone up significantly with the new Pentastar V6. Fuel economy numbers increase from 14/20 (city/highway) with the old 3.7 to 18/25 with the new 3.6 in 4x2 trim (these figures are also ahead of the 3.7-liter V6 in the Ford F-150 which is rated at 17/23).
 
It also helps that the '13 Ram 1500 makes use of a new 8-speed automatic transmission to help boost fuel efficiency.
 
Even though the V6 doesn't have as much "grunt" as the Hemi V8 option, Inside Line says that the Ram 1500's new base engine is enough to propel the pickup to 60 mph in just 7.5 seconds.


2013 Dodge Ram 1500
 
All of this newfangled technology doesn't come for free, however. The '13 Ram 1500 with the Pentastar V6 and 8-speed automatic transmission starts at $23,585 compared to $22,420 for the '12 Ram 1500 with the 3.7-liter V6 and 4-speed automatic transmission.
 
With both Ford and Chrysler stepping up to the plate with power and efficiency for the full-size pickups, all eyes should now be on General Motors and its Silverado 1500/Sierra 1500.

Sources: Chrysler, Inside Line



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RE: Worth the extra $1165
By JediJeb on 8/24/2012 11:34:15 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder now if Ford will follow through with what has been going around in the Ford rumor mill lately about going all aluminum for their body panels? Claims are it would shave 700 pounds off the F150, that would make a stiff two way race with Ford and Dodge on new trucks.

If only Ford could bring the diesel it is putting into the Ranger overseas back to the US to put into the F150, or if Dodge could use the 4 cylinder Cummins (bread truck engine as it is known) in a 1500, I wonder how those would work out for fuel economy.


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By Motoman on 8/24/2012 11:56:15 AM , Rating: 2
Sure...if you want to price to go up another couple grand, have a less durable body (easier to dent) and get the potential to generate vibration cracks as time goes on - aluminum is especially susceptible to vibration cracks in thin gauges. Like body panel gauges.


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By Marlin1975 on 8/24/2012 1:22:58 PM , Rating: 2
The hoods have been made of aluminum for a while and have shown no issues like you describe.


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 8/24/2012 1:24:36 PM , Rating: 2
The only other problem with aluminum (besides the extra $$$) is the costs/labor involved in repairing it once in an accident.


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By semiconshawn on 8/24/2012 2:20:17 PM , Rating: 2
No doubt. Expensive and there's not really much wiggle room. If it doesn't fit it doesn't fit you don't "adjust it" with a hammer or bend it to fit (unless you want it to fail). Every thing that supports it or it mounts/bounds to better be lined up and the new part better be the same as the old part.


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By JediJeb on 8/24/2012 3:50:35 PM , Rating: 2
Actually there is a whole thread dedicated to this over on the Ford Truck forums and most of the easy denting, expensive to repair, easy to crack ideas have been shown to be not as true as most believe. The only problems Ford has had since switching to Aluminum for the hoods on Explorers, F150, Expedition, and Mustangs has been paint.

http://www.ford-trucks.com/article/idx/0/901/artic...

Paint problems have been solved by improving the metal prep procedures prior to painting, since aluminum needs to be even cleaner than steel for it to take paint well.

Cost for the panel itself would most likely be quite a bit higher than for a steel panel, and as with even most steel panels today, anything more than a parking lot ding seems to require replacement of the panel, or so the body shops tell you. But depending on the alloy of aluminum they use, these panels could be even harder to dent than cheap steel ones.


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By Jeffk464 on 8/25/2012 12:37:43 AM , Rating: 2
and how many hours of operation are put on airliners before the airframe wears out. I just don't get the anti aluminum people.


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By semiconshawn on 8/24/2012 1:50:37 PM , Rating: 3
Easier to dent? I doubt it. I will be thicker guage than the stamped steel and not the same alloy as in your beer can. Cracks maybe but probably not from just driving its not an airframe, the panels arent stressed. Aluminum doesn't just crack from vibrating.


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