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While General Motors and Ford drag their feet, Chrysler says "YES" to turbodiesels in half-ton trucks

It looks as though diesel mania is finally starting to catch on in the United States. Chrysler has confirmed that it will be offering a V6 turbodiesel in its Ram 1500 "consumer grade" pickup during the third quarter of 2013 according to USA Today.
 
The Big Three (Chrysler, Ford, GM) have long offered turbodiesel engines in their heavy-duty pickups, but have been reluctant to offer diesel power in their half-ton trucks due to concerns that Americans wouldn't pony up the money for a more fuel efficient engine (the 6.7 liter Cummins turbodiesel option on heavy-duty Ram pickups is a $7,795 option).
 
Auto enthusiasts have been craving a diesel engine in half-ton pickups for years, but the manufacturers have constantly pushed back. Chrysler, however, is finally listening to its customers.  "Customers have been emphatically asking for this, thirsting for it, craving it," said Fred Diaz, CEO of Chrysler's Ram division, citing internal studies.


Ram 1500
 
Unlike the diesel engine offered in heavy-duty versions of the Ram, Cummins won’t make this engine. Italian company VM Motori will instead manufacture the 3-liter V6 turbodiesel. The same engine will be available in the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee and produces 240hp and 420 lb-ft of torque in that application.
 
For comparison, the 5.7-liter V8 Hemi available in the Ram 1500 produces 360hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. Ford's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, which is billed as a fuel-efficient and powerful option for the F-150, is rated at 365hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. However, it wouldn't be a stretch to state that the Ram 1500 turbodiesel should have no problem outclassing the EcoBoost in EPA and real world fuel economy.
 
Chrysler is currently staying mum on pricing/fuel economy for the turbo diesel engine option, but TrueCar.com expects the company to court an additional 10,000 in the first year of availability with continued growth in the coming years.

Updated 2/14/2013 @ 2:32pm EST
Chrysler has made an offiical announement on the light-duty turbodiesel.

Sources: USA Today, Chrysler



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By cknobman on 2/14/2013 11:04:03 AM , Rating: 3
I know diesel is more fuel efficient but here in the USA there really is no consumer benefit. People (on this board) love to bash hybrids and EV's for their price premium but praise diesel.

With diesel adding $5k + to the price its already treading on thin ground when it comes to making your money back as they often get less than 15 more mpg vs their gas counterparts.

Then diesel fuel (in my area) is a minimum of .40 cents per gallon more vs gas.

So you pay a premium for the vehicle and then a premium for the fuel every single time you go to fill up. Regular consumers just are not going to go for it.




By Lord 666 on 2/14/2013 11:21:48 AM , Rating: 2
There was a line for the diesel pump yesterday. A school bus was ahead of me with the person behind me in a diesel Cayenne. Never had to wait for a diesel pump locally. The local Exxon just added diesel as well. Most of the Jettas I see on the Interstate are TDIs with almost all of the new Passats being diesel.

Yes, demand is increasing.


By Pneumothorax on 2/14/2013 2:31:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yup speaking of lines... I'm always competing for the local diesel pump with my 335d. My local station's 2 pumps usually are taken up by a F-250 on one side and a TDI station wagon on the other. Speaking of diesel prices, we pay so much for fuel here in Kalifornia, that diesel is almost always cheaper than premium unleaded which what my BMW would be running on anyway if it was a gasser.


By agentsmithitaly on 2/14/2013 11:27:47 AM , Rating: 2
I might add that for heavy duty users Diesel engines have simple more endurance, plenty of torque and require less maintenance, further saving costs. They are developed to last 150.000 miles, if I did the conversion correctly.
Diesel PT Cruiser had a maintenance cycle of 12.500 miles, Audi Diesel engines 19.000 miles. A gas powered PT Cruiser my family owned needed maintenance every 7.500 miles


By cknobman on 2/14/2013 12:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
Diesel is not a guarantee for longevity and if something does go wrong it is much more expensive to fix than a gasoline powered vehicle.

I worked at firestone and kwik kar (this was about 15 years ago when I was a late teen) and would regularly see gas powered trucks come in for routine oil changes on original built engines that had over 150000 miles (these were commonly Toyota Tacomas).

Todays gasoline powered engines with proper maintenance will last 200000 miles (and even more).

Also with the average turnover rate of most consumers they are likely never even going to own the vehicle long enough to wear it out or even recoupe the extra cost for diesel anyways.


By Dr of crap on 2/14/2013 12:44:34 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, exactly!

It's just another expensive alternative, but we do need all of these alternatives for everyone to sort through for themselves, EVs, hybrids, diesels, CNGs, fuel cells - all of them.

But I do agree with you!


By Jeffk464 on 2/14/2013 4:04:00 PM , Rating: 2
I knew a guy who had over 250,000 on a turbo toyota truck, the old bullet proof 22re. To top it off it was a turbo, of course the turbo didn't make it to 250,000.


By JediJeb on 2/14/2013 11:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also with the average turnover rate of most consumers they are likely never even going to own the vehicle long enough to wear it out or even recoupe the extra cost for diesel anyways.


The ones who will purchase the diesel option are more like me, I have owned my current truck 16 years and really don't see a reason to trade it off yet. If I can get a good quality diesel in a half ton truck with decent fuel mileage I would probably purchase that and keep it another 20 years. I just want to make sure the next one I do purchase is going to last 20 years or else it isn't even worth my consideration.


By GotThumbs on 2/14/2013 11:35:07 AM , Rating: 1
An added advantage with diesel engines is the longevity of the engines. Less moving parts than a gas engine and practically bullet proof IMO. 300,000 miles is the expected rebuild millage on a Cummings engine (straight six). Most gas owners wouldn't consider a gas engine with 75,000 miles on it. I just rolled 145,000 miles on my Dodge Ram Cummings.

What I would really like to see...is the millions of gallons of used cooking oil from local restaurants be processed into Bio-diesel and sold locally. This is a product that can be used twice, once for cooking and then as clean fuel. This Bio-diesel could be used to fuel local city buses and semi-tractor trailers.

No need to drill or re-invent the engine if you tap into this overlooked resource IMO. Diesels were actually designed to run on peanut oil.

Best wishes,


By Jeffk464 on 2/14/2013 4:08:14 PM , Rating: 2
It really depends on the type of miles, manufacturer, and maintenance. I would have no problem buying a toyota or honda with that many miles so long as I new the owner, and know it was babied.


By Jeffk464 on 2/14/2013 4:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
The cooking oil is a great way to reduce waste, but it only works on a small scale.


By JediJeb on 2/15/2013 11:13:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
. Less moving parts than a gas engine and practically bullet proof IMO


I agree with most of what you said, but I am not sure there really is much difference in the number of parts between a gas and diesel engine. Pistons, rods, crank, cam, valves, balancers are all needed for each in the same amount(with the exception maybe of the high performance engines with more than two valves per cylinder).


By Reclaimer77 on 2/14/2013 4:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
Totally agree.

Every time "Diesel" and "America" is put together on Daily Tech, we have throngs of people praising America for "finally" getting on board with diesel vehicles. As if they are some amazing end-all benefit.

Maybe I'm just stupid, but for a daily driver vehicle, I would be crazy to buy diesel. Can someone explain to me why I would want one?

1. Thousands more upfront to purchase.
2. Crazy maintenance fees for oil changes and what-not (like $100 for an oil change, seriously!)
3. Major cost increase for diesel fuel (in America) over petroleum. Why does cruddy dirty diesel fuel cost as much as premium petrol here? (rhetorical, I know it's taxes)

All this in exchange for better fuel economy. Note: better. Not amazing, not 50% higher, just a bit better.

This is what's called a "non-starter" if there ever was one. Where's the benefits in diesel fuel again?


By JediJeb on 2/14/2013 11:24:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why does cruddy dirty diesel fuel cost as much as premium petrol here? (rhetorical, I know it's taxes)


Another reason it costs more is because it isn't "cruddy dirty fuel" anymore. Especially the requirement for lower sulfur content which increased the price to above that of gasoline back a few years ago. It was cheaper than gas back before that even with the higher tax rate.

quote:
Crazy maintenance fees for oil changes and what-not (like $100 for an oil change, seriously!)


I once went to Grease Monkey and had the oil changed in my Trans Am with full synthetic and it cost me $70 and that was 10 years ago. Having anyone do an oil change for you using good oil and a good filter is not cheap anymore for any type vehicle not just diesel. Other than that, there shouldn't be any required maintenance on a diesel except maybe an air filter for at least 100k miles, and most diesel owners I know have done nothing other than change oil and air filters for 200k plus miles on them. Most diesel engines get oil changes at 10k miles or longer so less of those to worry about too.

The upfront cost is about the only thing that keeps me away, but as I have said before, if I plan to keep the vehicle 20 plus years that cost spread out over that much time isn't so bad either.


By Spuke on 2/15/2013 12:04:35 PM , Rating: 2
You obviously don't own a diesel. The pumps ARE "cruddy and dirty". I usually wear a glove. The only diesel pumps that I've seen that are clean are at stations fairly far away from the freeways and I never see another diesel fueling there. Sure ULSD is cleaner than the old stuff but still not as clean as gas.

quote:
Other than that, there shouldn't be any required maintenance on a diesel except maybe an air filter for at least 100k miles, and most diesel owners I know have done nothing other than change oil and air filters for 200k plus miles on them.
LOL! Then they're neglecting their maintenance! I had the oil, oil filter and FUEL filters changed every three months on my truck while it was a daily driver (required maintenance). Significantly more costly than my Solstice with JUST oil and oil filter changes every 3-4 months or so (I use the oil life indicator). Gas engines use less oil and don't require fuel filter changes either. Also, when a diesel has a problem the cost to repair is much higher as well. Neighbor had a $3600 fuel system repair on hers and she was lucky cause it only took out one injector (mechanic said that problem usually takes them all or nearly all of them out). I talked to my BIL about her problem because she thought she was getting jacked and he said that problem is fairly common in diesels (fuel control takes a dump) and repair cost is a little high but not out of line.


By JediJeb on 2/15/2013 11:30:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You obviously don't own a diesel. The pumps ARE "cruddy and dirty". I usually wear a glove. The only diesel pumps that I've seen that are clean are at stations fairly far away from the freeways and I never see another diesel fueling there. Sure ULSD is cleaner than the old stuff but still not as clean as gas.


I was thinking of the fuel in the tank not necessarily the pumps themselves. The only reason the gasoline pump is cleaner is because it is more volatile while the diesel has heavier hydrocarbons and leaves an oily residue when the more volatile components evaporate and those capture the dust particles that land on the pump handle.

Seems though that the fuel filter is the only other regular maintenance item for the diesel(unless you consider the urea for the newest ones, I have no experience with those yet). As for the fuel problem, maybe that is a sign that the newer electronic fuel systems are less durable than the older mechanical fuel pumps.


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