For 2013, Ram brought out a new line of gasoline powertrains, coupling the efficient if expensive eight-speed automatic to the Hemi and Pentastar, while keeping the 4.7 V8 going for another year. The move leapfrogged Ford’s vaunted gas-mileage figures, but they are just the first step in going for the “low running costs” crown.
A Ram 1500 diesel has been rumored for years, along with an F-150 diesel and Silverado 1500 diesel; our contacts told us a new Cummins V-engine had already been fitted into the Ram, tuned, and packaged. It was, in short, ready to go years ago, just awaiting Chrysler’s command, but money suddenly disappeared, then the economy crashed at the end of 2008; at that point truck sales fell, and gas prices plummeted, making a light-duty diesel pickup a much less worthy risk. All the Big Three put entry-level diesel trucks onto the back burner.
Now, with fuel prices and truck sales both back up and a slowly warming economy, a diesel Ram 1500 is starting to make sense again. While Cummins will continue to power bigger Rams, though, reliable source oh2o said that the 1500 is due to get the lighter-duty VM 3-liter V6.
This technologically advanced workhorse is already used by Chrysler in European engines, and has some major advantages over the Cummins to compensate for its major drawback (it’s not a Cummins!). Chrysler will be using it in North America anyway, so training and parts inventories will not be duplicated across two completely different engines (the Cummins V6 is completely different from the Cummins I-6 used in the Ram 2500-5500). The engine will probably become the company’s mainstay for export models, and it’s a known quantity for the company, without many likely surprises; and it’s “in-house,” as VM is owned by Fiat.
We may have the first clear 2017 Chrysler Town & Country minivan spy shots, adding to a small “phone pic” shot posted some time ago. The vehicle, parked with the Chrysler Technical Center in sight, has camouflage and padding, but you can clearly see the openings for the side and front door handles. The photo gives some idea of the relatively length [...]
The Ram 1500 faced down the aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 and new Chevrolet Silverado in Motor Trend’s half-ton truck shootout. The three contenders were put through a broad array of testing, including a 260-mile drive through California and Arizona. Measurements included: Testing without load: 0-60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking, and maximum lateral grip (Ram was Limits-handling without load: closed-course cornering, braking, [...]
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has long expressed his desire to slash the number of Fiat and Chrysler platforms, emulating Volkswagen’s “back to the future” move of putting just about everything onto a single platform. Mr. Marchionne has allowed major exceptions; the combination of an over-ambitious plan and a grip on reality delayed the Jeep Renegade and some other cars, because the [...]
Some time ago, Sergio Marchionne, head of Fiat Chrysler, said that the only way to reboot Alfa Romeo would be by amortizing engineering costs with Dodge. That’s gone down the memory hole, now. It had to. The Alfisti will have fitsies if they overtly share with Chrysler. The D-RWD platform is now Giorgio, an Italian name for something developed largely in Auburn [...]
This year’s winners of the prestigious Ward’s Top Ten were (in alphabetical order) the BMW 5-series electric motor, the Corvette Stingray’s 6.2 liter V8, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat V8, the Ford Fiesta three-cylinder, one-liter turbo, Hyundai Tuscon fuel cell vehicle, Mini Cooper 1.5 turbo three cylinder, the Ram 3-liter VM diesel, Subaru WRX four-cylinder turbo, VW Golf 1.8 liter [...]