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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 JediJeb on 2/14/2013 11:03:20 PM , Rating: 2
I have a 96 F150 with almost 240k miles on it, and the only engine work the 4.9L I6 has had done on it is replacing a water pump when it developed a pinhole in the tube to the heater core. I know several older models from the late 70s that have even more miles and still going strong that our neighbors own. My first vehicle in high school was a 71 F100 with a 302 V8 what had over 300k miles on it when my father bought it, it only died when the radiator got clogged and it over heated. Gas engines can last a very long time if taken care of, but for diesels I can attest they will last longer, but most of those are the larger ones. My uncle had his semi's Cummins overhauled for the third time and each time it had about 1M miles on it, last time was only 900K but close enough.

RE: It's about time
By Spuke on 2/15/2013 11:37:03 AM , Rating: 2
My uncle had his semi's Cummins overhauled for the third time and each time it had about 1M miles on it, last time was only 900K but close enough.
If the
"overhaul" was a rebuild, you can do that with gas engines too. I'm not trying to crap on you or anything BTW, I really want to know. I hear diesel owners say that all the time (I'm a diesel owner too) but no one I know keeps their diesels anywhere near 1M miles to take advantage of the supposed longevity. I know you were talking about a semi and they do run their engines into the ground but in my experience there's a LOT repairs in those 1M miles.

RE: It's about time
By JediJeb on 2/15/2013 11:05:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it was a rebuild, and I have done those on gas engines myself too, but usually they have to be done sooner with a gas than a diesel engine. Same was always true for farm tractor engines as well. As for my uncle's truck, they were putting about 6k miles per week on it so 1M miles comes up pretty soon(roughly one east coast to west coast trip each week). My Aunt and Uncle drove together so they only came home about every three weeks. This last time the compression was getting a little low so he had it rebuilt, but hadn't had any engine problems other than the loss of power from the wear. It is rather amazing what the combination of newer engines and lubricants does for longevity of the commercial engines.

My Father is a retired school bus mechanic, and he can attest to the greater longevity of the diesel engines for that usage as opposed to the gasoline engines they used to use.

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