An article in la Nuova Ferrari may explain the delay in Ram 1500 diesel production, which now appears to be slated for mid-January 2014. According to the newspaper, which serves the province of Ferrara where VM is located, a large number of engines were held back because the control units had to be recalibrated to meet American emissions standards. In addition, the line where these engines are produced temporarily stopped, awaiting Chrysler’s go-ahead.
The 2014 Grand Cherokee diesel appears to be in production now, but Ram 1500 diesels, already delayed from an announced 2013 model-year launch, now seems to have been pushed back to calendar-year 2014. The VM-powered Ram and Grand Cherokee both have eight-speed transmissions; while Grand Cherokee stretches to 30 mpg highway, the Ram is expected to end up in the 25-28 range, still quite good for a pickup with good towing capacity.
There is apparently an improved 2.8 liter diesel in the works as well; Chrysler uses VM 2.8s in some of its European-sale vehicles.