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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 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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