Chrysler has announced that Ram pickups, formerly known as Dodge Ram pickups, are downsizing their engines, following a trend among its other Detroit colleagues. The base Ram truck engine is getting downsized to a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6.
Smaller but more powerful
Full-size pickups from domestic automakers like Ford, Chevrolet, GMC and Dodge, now spun off as Ram, always had an available six-cylinder engine. Few people bought them because they were underpowered.
However, in recent years, boosting fuel economy without forsaking performance has been the norm, full-size pickups being no exception. Ford introduced the EcoBoost engine to the F-150, the turbocharged V-6 that is nearly as powerful as the V-8 model but gets more than 20 miles per gallon.
Chrysler, according to AutoWeek, is following suit, as it is introducing a new six-cylinder motor to the Ram line of full-size pickups that is smaller but more powerful than the previous V-6 that was available in the truck, as well as a new transmission.
Eight speeds and 70 more horses
Chrysler revealed this information in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission; the company voluntarily provides reports to the SEC. The Ram 1500 currently has an available 215-horsepower 3.7-liter six-cylinder engine. The truck gets 14 miles per gallon city and 20 miles per gallon, which is not bad for its class, as the leader among trucks for mileage, the Ford F-150, gets 17 mpg city, 23 highway for the base 3.7-liter engine, which differs from the 3.5-liter Ecoboost V-6. The Ram 1500 also gets 14 city, 20 highway across all engines, including the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8.
The 2013 Ram 1500 is getting the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 currently in the base Chrysler 300, according to USA Today. Along with that, it is also getting the same eight-speed transmission as the 300. The 3.6-liter Pentastar motor will produce 285 horsepower and with the eight-speed transmission should get a 12 percent boost in fuel efficiency, according to USA Today.
Dodge and Jeep getting same transmission
According to Automobile magazine, the same eight-speed transmission is also going to be installed in the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee for 2013 and will eventually be used in all rear-wheel-drive vehicles that Chrysler makes.
Assuming a 12 percent improvement in fuel economy, the new Ram 1500 will get at least 22 miles per gallon in highway driving. That’s very competitive among full-size pickups, especially with 285 horsepower.
The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 XFE models get up to 22 mpg highway with a 315 horsepower 5.3-liter V-8. That said, the XFE trim is expensive, starting at $34,525 for the Chevrolet and $34,895 for GMC. However, the Ford F-150, with the base 302-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6, starts at $23,300. The only other full-size pickup that gets 20 mpg or better is the $25,155 base Toyota Tundra, with the 270-horsepower, 4-liter V-6.