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Ram rumor roundup

by David Zatz on

At the high end, a power boost for the Cummins diesel has been predicted, with the implementation date uncertain. An eight-speed automatic is due for the diesel, potentially increasing gas mileage and acceleration. Some claim the transmission will also be used for gas engines, but this is uncertain; it would add considerable expense.

A Pentastar V6 is under development for the base Ram 1500. While little is known about this, it may be tuned for higher torque at lower engine speeds, which could reduce the peak horsepower. This engine could push Ram gas mileage to best in class.

The Dodge Dakota is being redesigned, and, as Allpar revealed first, years ago, is to return to “original Dakota” capability levels rather than “near Ram” capabilities. Rumor currently has the Dakota being engineered to fit on the minivan assembly lines, which would allow for higher Ram production (one Ram factory has been closed down, so an uptick in sales would strain Dodge’s resources).

Some believe Dodge is also working on a “mini Ram,” which could be available worldwide, expanding Chrysler’s penetration of markets where Fiat is strong — South America, Europe — and helping to gain ground in Asia and Africa. This would, like the (Mitsubishi-designed-and-built) Ram 50, be a four cylinder model, powered by an upgraded World Engine, and could be the basis for the “metric ton Dodge” rumors. The mini Ram would take the place deserted by the Chevy S-10 and unsatisfactorily filled by the Ford Ranger. International sales would provide needed economies of scale.

So far, there has been no apparent re-examination of the decision to split off Ram from Dodge in advertising, marketing, and badging. While Ram sales continue to lag and Ford F-150 sales climb, some believe the reason could be Ford’s substantially higher fleet incentives and better access to fleet managers.

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