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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 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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RE: It's about time
By Argon18 on 2/14/2013 4:54:35 PM , Rating: 3
How does a gasser "destroy itself" when operating at max torque? Modern high performance gasoline engines, at least the ones from BMW and Porsche that I'm familiar with, use variable valve timing to give outstanding low end torque.

The M54 engine in my 2004 BMW 325i makes maximum torque at just 3500 rpm, which is incidentally also the speed of the engine when cruising on the highway in 5th gear.

Also, claiming a diesel operated in a "very narrow rpm band" is misleading as well. My w210 Mercedes turbodiesel has an engine redline of almost 6000 rpm. 6000! and I regularly run it up there. I understand most trucks are closer to 3500 rpm, but that's more a function of how that particular engine is tuned, not of diesel technology in general.

Agree that modern diesels are a superior technology, but assumptions, generalizations, and false statements don't help anyone.

RE: It's about time
By Dorkyman on 2/14/2013 5:58:00 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. There is nothing to say a gasoline ICE will "destroy itself" via torque any more than a diesel will.

Saying that, it is true that the design criteria are different. Diesels are expected to run for decades, gassers are designed to be inexpensive, light, and moderately long-lived.

RE: It's about time
By Bad-Karma on 2/17/2013 2:57:02 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, take your gasoline powered car down and put it on a dyno. Have it tested for its max torque curve. Then with numbers in hand, head down the high ay and hold it at max torque. Shouldn't have to hold it there more than 30 minutes before your engines blows or seizes. Usually it will be a piston rod that bends or fails.

Please don't forget to record the test.

Also, did I miss something? The article is talking about a 1/2 ton truck and the diesel intended for it. I'm not speaking to your BMW.

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