The 2014 Ram 1500 now leads normally-aspirated V-6 pickup towing capacity at 7,450 lbs. The best-in-class number was achieved fairly simply — by adding a “more robust parking gear” (most likely a stronger pawl) to the eight-speed “TorqueFlite 8” transmission. Mike Cairns, Ram Truck Chief Engineer, wrote, “There was more towing capacity in the V-6 Ram 1500 but we needed to upgrade the transmission to hold the truck and trailer when parked on steep grades. Now that we’re building the transmissions ourselves, the improvements are included in the new assembly.”
Ram also finalized towing numbers for the exclusive Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. In a 2WD, two-door, long bed configuration, the new EcoDiesel will tow up to 9,200 lbs. The new diesel engine approaches V-8 towing capability with a small but powerful 3.0-liter V-6, and best-in-class fuel efficiency of “better than 25 MPG” on the highway. The gasoline V6 achieves 17/25 mpg in standard trim and 18/25 with a high-efficiency model.
Ford, the sales leader, claims a peak tow rating of 6,700 pounds with the 3.7 V6, but up to 11,300 pounds with the 3.5 liter turbocharged engine, and up to 10,000 pounds with the V8 (for conventional, non-fifth-wheel towing). The 2013 Ram 1500 with eight speed and V8 had a tow rating of 11,500 pounds.
Tow ratings can be somewhat misleading, because each manufacturer calculates them differently. All four major pickup makers were to use SAE standards, but after Ford reneged on the deal, GM and Ram dropped their commitments as well.
In addition to having class-leading naturally aspirated V6 tow ratings, Ram has the highest gas mileage ratings. The VM diesel option is expected to have fuel mileage similar to the V6, with less horsepower but more torque than even the Hemi V8. In our test drive, we found the Grand Cherokee with the diesel to be surprisingly responsive at all engine speeds, while the V6-eight speed Ram was responsive but with more of a delay as the transmission downshifted to get the engine into its power band. In sprints, the V6 option should be faster than the diesel, but in highway passing, the diesel may have an edge; regardless, for those who frequently tow or carry heavy loads, particularly on steep grades, the diesel’s readily available torque will be a major advantage.
Months after unconfirmed reports made it to Allpar’s pages, the power of Automotive News, in the person of reporter Larry Vellequette, pried a key fact from Chrysler executives — that they cast and build “Ferrari” engines for Maserati. As our sister site pentastars.com reported, the engines are actually cast in Kokomo, and machined in the Trenton Engine plant, using a mixture of [...]
The Challenger Hellcat is a hot image car for Dodge, and the brand’s leader has already said he wants to get as many out to the public as possible, suggesting to dealers that they not tack on $10,000 (or higher) surcharges as they did to hot cars in the past — from Vipers to PT Cruisers. While his calls may [...]
The planned Dodge Dart SRT will be enabled by a brand new series of four-cylinder engines, which some insiders say are a joint effort of Chrysler and Fiat, merging aspects of existing designs from both companies. Originally, the engines, dubbed “Hurricane” after military aircraft (and likely referencing vintage Jeep engines as well), were thought to be merely turbocharged versions of the existing 2.0 or [...]
Dodge’s use of Cummins diesels back in 1989 succeeded beyond expectations, reviving a nearly dead truck line. When the company added a VM diesel to the Ram 1500, sales were, again, much better than expected. Chrysler had predicted a 10% take rate, perhaps up to 15%; but Allpar reported in August that the line was running up to 25% diesels when the engines were [...]