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How much will a 2020 Ram 1500 diesel cost? We have the numbers

by David Zatz on

GM finally came out with the cost and power ratings for their straight-six diesels for the Silverado 1500; now it’s Ram’s turn to fill in the bottom-line question.

The Ram EcoDiesel will be a $4,995 option—costing $3,000 more than the Hemi V8 with eTorque ($3,300 more on the Tradesman, Big Horn, Lone Star, Rebel, and Laramie base models).  This will be the first time Rebel buyers can get the diesel.

The cheapest 2020 Ram 1500 diesel will start at $36,890 plus $1,695 destination (Tradesman Quad Cab, rear wheel drive).

That’s a stiffer premium than on Chevy’s lineup, where’s just $2,495 on high-end pickups and $3,890 on the LT and RST (where it replaces a turbo 2.7). On the other hand, the VM is arguably more of a technological tour de force. This second generation Vm diesel is  available on every model and configuration—including the Ram 1500 Classic (the cheapest “DS” diesel is a Crew Cab, at $39,140 plus destination).

The 3.0 liter V6 diesel, made in Italy, uses a compacted graphite iron block for strength; it has direct injection and a variable-geometry water-cooled turbocharger; it’s hooked up to the usual sturdy eight-speed, ZF-design transmission. Horsepower and torque, again, are 260 and 480.

Changes for the new generation of VM diesels include the water-cooled turbo, which a more efficient variable geometry system for better responsiveness; redesigned intake ports that increase both economy and performance; a “North America diesel first” dual-pressure EGR system which helps economy and reduces nitrogen-oxide emissions; a higher compression ratio; higher-pressure fuel injector nozzles; better combustion chamber geometry; lower-friction pistons, with piston pins moved to avoid “piston slap;” a quieter oil sump; a more-efficient brake vacuum pump; and a new, higher-capacity catalytic reduction system.

While the Ram’s diesel, supplied by FCA captive company VM, only has 20 pound-feet more than the Chevy, the Ram 1500 diesel’s towing capacity is far higher than the Chevy’s, at 12,560 pounds. Chevy buyers do get a little more horsepower (277 at Chevy, 260 at Ram), but in pickups, torque is king. As for fuel economy, GM has published theirs; Ram will follow suit when the trucks go on sale, in the fourth quarter (September to December) of 2019.

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