According to Chrysler, the 2014 Ram 1500 V6 pickup will lead its full-size/V6 rivals when it comes to towing capacity, in both gasoline and new diesel form. Fitted with the automaker's 305-horsepower/3.6-liter Pentastar V6, a standard-cab, rear-drive half-ton Ram can pull a 7,450-pound trailer, compared to its 6,500-pound max in 2013. Mike Cairns, Chief Engineer for Ram Truck, noted that the step up resulted from several internal upgrades to the parking gear inside of the Ram's highly-efficient 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission that ensure the maxed-out truck/trailer combo can remain stationary when parked on a steep grade.

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For those needing even more capability and better economy, the regular- cab/rear-drive/long-bed configuration 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel carries an official 9,200-pound tow rating courtesy of its new 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel engine that makes 240 horses but a stout 420 lb-ft of peak torque. The sole oil-burner in the entire half-ton pickup realm -- and also fitted with an 8-speed TorqueFlite -- this new EcoDiesel-equipped 1500 can tow nearly as much as a Ram 1500 with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 but is currently projected to return over 25 mpg on the highway. When finalized, that figure will move it past the existing class econo leader -- the Ram 1500 V6 HFE (High Fuel Efficiency) model.

On sale in September, the base 2014 Ram 1500 with a Pentastar V6 will start at $25,295. The Ram 1500 with EcoDiesel option will open $2,850 above a similarly outfitted Hemi-powered Ram.

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