— Diesel vehicles might only amount to 3 percent of U.S. consumer auto sales, but Chrysler believes their new Ram 1500 will increase that number substantially.
Chrysler said they will offer a diesel in the standard-duty Ram 1500 pickup in the third quarter of 2013, which will make it the first half-ton truck with the option of diesel power.
Chrysler hopes the 3-liter turbo V-6 EcoDiesel engine from VM Motori will catch the attention of truck buyers who typically are more concerned with torque than horsepower. Diesel engines usually have high torque ratings, which means having the needed power to pull heavy loads up hills and through challenging terrain.
"Truck owners have been emphatically asking for it, and Ram will be the only manufacturer to offer a diesel powertrain in the half-ton segment with the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel," said Fred Diaz, president and CEO of the Ram Truck brand and Chrysler de Mexico. There's no doubt that being the only truck manufacturer to offer this game changing technology will provide Ram with a competitive advantage."
Although diesel fuel usually costs more, a diesel engine uses less fuel and has greater pulling power because of the increased torque. Additionally, diesel vehicles typically have a higher resale value. However, Chrysler has not released details about what the truck will cost or the estimated miles per gallon.
If the diesel option is a winner for Chrysler, expect a “follow the leader” effect as other automakers introduce their own diesel pickups.