• RAM 1500 to offer diesel engine
  • Will share diesel V6 with Grand Cherokee
  • Diesel RAM to debut in third quarter

It's official: the 2014 RAM 1500 will offer diesel power. Chrysler recently confirmed a diesel variant would join the pickup's lineup this summer. That makes the RAM 1500 today's first light-duty pickup with a diesel powerplant.

According to Chrysler, the diesel-powered RAM 1500 will arrive at dealers during the third quarter of this year. That means, by the end of the summer, pickup buyers will finally be able to drive a light-duty diesel pickup. Chrysler says customers have been requesting it for a long time.

"Truck owners have been emphatically asking for it," said Fred Diaz, chief executive of Chrysler's RAM brand. "The half-ton market is incredibly competitive ... and RAM will be the only manufacturer to offer a diesel powertrain in the half-ton segment."

Officially dubbed EcoDiesel, the RAM's new engine will be a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6. Chrysler hasn't announced further details on the engine, such as power or torque figures. But the automaker says it will be mated to the same 8-speed automatic that powers today's RAM 1500 pickup.

The RAM will share its new diesel engine with the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is also adding diesel power for the new model year. In the Grand Cherokee, the V6 will make 240 horsepower and a muscular 420 lb-ft of torque. Chrysler says diesel-equipped Grand Cherokee models will get up to 30 mpg on the highway.

The diesel V6 will join three other engines currently available in the RAM. Base-level RAM models use a 305-hp 3.6-liter V6. Optional engines include a 310-hp 4.7-liter V8 and a 395-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V8.

While the RAM 1500 will become the first light-duty truck to offer diesel power, most brands offer diesel in their heavy-duty pickups. That's because diesel is generally preferred for buyers looking to tow or haul large loads. Heavy-duty RAM models offer a 350-hp 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 that boasts a whopping 650 lb-ft of torque.

What it means to you: Shoppers looking to tow, haul or just maximize gas mileage will be drawn to the new 2014 RAM 1500 diesel.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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