Seeking to leverage what it sees as substantial buyer desire for a full-size light-duty pickup truck with diesel power, Chrysler has announced that the 2014 Ram 1500 half-ton will become the first -- and for now, the only -- player in its segment to offer this econo-enhancing engine technology when the vehicle goes on sale this fall. Like the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV, the 2014 Ram 1500 will be available with a turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 developed by VM Motori. It will complement the Ram's existing 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V8.

While output numbers for the Ram application have not been revealed, the engine makes 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of peak torque in the Grand Cherokee, figures that could rise a bit for Ram duty. As in the Jeep, the engine will be backed by an 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. According to Fred Diaz, President and CEO - Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, Chrysler Group LLC, it's a combination that will ensure owners of best-in-class torque, fuel economy and range. "There's no doubt that being the only truck manufacturer to offer this game-changing technology will provide Ram with a competitive advantage."

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While EPA numbers for the 2014 Ram 1500 with turbodiesel power also are still in the process of being finalized, they're expected to be significantly better than corresponding 2013 Ram 1500 models equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar gasoline V6 that currently earn the best-in-class highway stat of 25 mpg. No word yet on what kind of price premium the new diesel option will command.


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