Ram 1500 Getting a Diesel V6

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Looking for an oil-burning half-ton pickup? Beginning later this year, the Ram 1500 will be the only truck in its class to be offered with a diesel.

For the record, if you're looking to get a diesel-powered full-size half-ton pickup, there will soon be just one brand to turn to: Ram - not Ford or GM. Chrysler has just announced that its truck division will offer the first-ever small-displacement diesel engine for its Ram 1500 pickup. Beginning later this year buyers will be able to opt for a Ram 1500 powered by a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine mated exclusively to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Though diesel engines are popular in heavy-duty trucks, this will be a first for a light-duty, 1500-series pickup.

This combination is expected to return best in class fuel efficiency and torque. Exact power figures and pricing haven't been released just yet, but Ram CEO Fred Diaz was proud to point out that "truck owners have been emphatically asking for it, and Ram will be the only manufacturer to offer a diesel powertrain in the half-tone segment." What we do know about this 3.0-liter oil burner is that it will be "one of the most advanced diesel engines...with emissions that are 60 percent less than those produced by diesel powertrains 25 years ago."

This engine is the same clean diesel that will also be available on the recently facelifted Jeep Grand Cherokee, where it can supposedly produce 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers likely won't change much for the Ram 1500 but we'll have to wait until official specs are released to compare it directly with the likes of Ford's EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 engine for its best-selling F-150.

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