Chrysler Takes Fuel Economy Seriously With New V6, 8-speed Auto in '13 Ram 1500
August 24, 2012 10:18 AM
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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instead of the tired old 3.7-liter V6 that has soldiered on as the base engine in the Ram 1500 for far too long, it has been replaced by Chrysler's corporate V6: the 3.6-liter Pentastar.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,
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.
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RE: Worth the extra $1165
8/24/2012 5:25:44 PM
I got the towing package on my 05 F150 for exactly this reason. However there are some tradeoffs and you can't lump everyone into one group. I use my truck as a truck regularly but I don't haul anything heavy. Between the fly-by-wire, the slow to downshift transmission and the 3.73 gears that you get with the tow package it just doesn't feel as nice to drive as my 01 F150 that had 3.31 gears. I also average 5mpg less in my 05 mostly due to the 05 being a 4x4 but I can't help but think the gears have an effect. While hauling your can feel the difference between the 3.31 and 3.73 but on the highway its the exact opposite. The F150 picked up a whole bunch of extra horse power and torque between 01 and 05. Driving home on the highway from the dealer the day I bought the truck I got stuck behind some old lady in the slow lane. I had a car coming up in the pass lane but I thought I had time. Mashed the pedal and between the time it took the FBW and tranny to downshift plus the slower acceleration I damn near got rear ended. I know my fault.. But that bummer feeling has never gone away. I'm not sure the tow package is something I feel like I need anymore.
RE: Worth the extra $1165
8/27/2012 1:07:53 PM
I believe an SCT, or a dibalo tuner can help eliminate that lag a bit, adjust shift points, etc. Another trick is to openup the gas pedal box and bend down the contact brushes to eliminate the dead zone. or just shim the pedal at the top and that will take care of that for you.
"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini
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