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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instead of the tired old 3.7-liter V6 that has soldiered on as the base engine in the Ram 1500 for far too long, it has been replaced by Chrysler's corporate V6: the 3.6-liter Pentastar.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 semiconshawn on 8/24/2012 1:38:28 PM , Rating: 0
Yeah. Good mpg with no power. ...impressive. These aren't cars these are full size trucks. 269 ft/lbs of torque is anemic. Revving to the moon and shifting a thousand times to compensate doesn't sound very impressive or desireable in a truck. Eco boost is fairly impressive. 21/22 mpg with 420 ft/lbs of torque @ like 2500 rpm. 3 mpg for 150 ft/lb of torque and 60 hp. Will eco boost prove reliable I don't know but at least you could use it as a truck and not just a car you can throw dirty crap in the back of.


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By Spuke on 8/24/2012 2:09:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Revving to the moon and shifting a thousand times to compensate doesn't sound very impressive or desireable in a truck.
You do realize that over the road trucks have 10, 12 or more speeds, right? Easier to keep the engine in its sweet spot. I'd MUCH rather have an 8 speed in my diesel than the current 5. You can keep your old POS two speed powerglide.


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By semiconshawn on 8/24/2012 2:59:36 PM , Rating: 1
Of course you would. Your deisel would shift probably a third as much as that v6 with the same tranny. and blow it apart (just saying). A commercial truck? Why is that relevant? A tank has tracks. Its a tool not a consumer vehicle. Point is the sweet spot of that v6 is small and high to have any go your always going to be shifting to get there and I have yet to be in a vehicle I wanted to feel shifting more often. Also these 25mpg numbers are because the transmission is in a big hurry for top gear. Real world will have you killing that number if you ever want to accelerate. Shifting a small motor a million times is not the answer in a consumer level truck. You want to argue that shifting a BIG motor a million times in a truck carrying/pulling 60,000 lbs.? That another argument.


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By Spuke on 8/24/2012 6:03:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A commercial truck?
LOL! You're cracking me up dude. An engine is an engine and keeping an engine in its sweet spot is desirable across the board. That's part of how the automakers are getting better fuel economy for cars and trucks. There's no magic to this. Even if I had the gas V10 in my truck I'd STILL rather have an 8 speed tranny. If you notice, the newer pickups have 6 speeds (some have had them for a few years now) but more gears is desirable not less. You really think the engineers sit back and say, "well this engine is going in a consumer truck so less make it have less gears". LMAO! Like I said, more gears the easier to keep the engine in its powerband and the more it's in its powerband, the more efficient it runs. Why do you think hybrids have CVT's?


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By JediJeb on 8/27/2012 1:19:10 PM , Rating: 2
I can see needing more gears if you are pulling a heavy load most of the time, but in my F150 I usually only use 1,3,5 unless I am hauling something heavy. I can easily be in 5th gear by the time I hit 35mph, so why would I want to shift 6 or 8 times up to that point?


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By YashBudini on 8/24/2012 11:53:21 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
You do realize that over the road trucks have 10, 12 or more speeds, right? Easier to keep the engine in its sweet spot.


That has more to do with working with a very small power band, ie red-line is relatively low in large displacement diesels. And somehow I don't see the torque curve on such engines as being rather peaky.

quote:
You can keep your old POS two speed powerglide.
I've heard unconfirmed stories some racers loved them because the early ones were indestructible. Can't confirm. They were dogs on the street, and the more often you floored it the gear change would slowly creep up in RPM (voice of experience and 2 busted rocker arms talking here.)


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By retrospooty on 8/24/2012 2:22:53 PM , Rating: 2
"Yeah. Good mpg with no power. ...impressive. These aren't cars these are full size trucks. 269 ft/lbs of torque is anemic."

For hauling maybe, but most people dont haul, even with a truck. In any way you look at it that power with that efficiency in a pickup is really really good.


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By semiconshawn on 8/24/2012 3:14:30 PM , Rating: 1
Hauling, towing you know truck stuff. What the hell is a truck for? I guess its just me but a car powertrain in a truck is not what I am looking for. I wouldn't buy a V6 Mustang either. My wife would. Different strokes.


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By retrospooty on 8/24/2012 3:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
True, but that is a different conversation entirely. This model doesn't replace the V8. It replaces the old 3.7L V6, and it does it with more power and better mileage. You cant go wrong with that. And for what it is, it's very efficient.


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By semiconshawn on 8/24/2012 5:57:05 PM , Rating: 3
It is an improvement over the current V6 powertrain. I can't argue that. I think it is going to phase out the 4.7L as well. More debatable but hardly a loss. My point is its not that great. Its a V6 with modest output mated to a beefed up 8 speed car transmission in a Heavy vehicle. Hwy rating is 25mpg. 2-3 better than an eco boost that has a 60hp and 120lb/ft advantage. 2-3 better than a 5.3L V8 Chevy that has more power as well. In the greater scheme of things its just not that great an option unless mpg is all you need...but then why are you buying a giant truck?


RE: Worth the extra $1165
By Jeffk464 on 8/25/2012 12:28:48 AM , Rating: 2
As you no doubt know with a heavy duty transmission with a lot of gears you can still tow a lot of weight, you just wont be go up the hills as fast.


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