Update: Chrysler officially announced today that the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is coming at the beginning of the third quarter of this year. The truck will pair a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6, similar to the one debuting on the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Ram 1500 will be the first half-ton truck to receive a diesel engine, with a formal announcement coming tomorrow, reports USA Today. Chrysler decided to go forward with the plan after internal research indicated there was considerable demand for a half-ton truck with a diesel engine says the report, citing Ram CEO Fred Diaz, who also said that it will be an integral part of the Ram 1500 lineup.
The engine in question, predictably, is the VM Motori 3.0-liter V-6 first announced for the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee last month at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. In the Grand Cherokee, it's good for 240 hp and 420-lft of torque. Both output numbers are likely to increased to ensure impressive tow and payload ratings for the Ram. Expect the option cost to be well short of the nearly $8000 Ram asks for the Cummins I-6 in the Ram HD and availability should start with the 2014 model year.
Reportedly, Chrysler was planning on making the announcement later this year, but its hand was forced late last month after workers at its Warren Truck Assembly Plant received a memo mentioning the launch of a new diesel engine in July 2013.
Will a diesel Ram grab countless thousands of die-hard Ford and GM guys? No, but it does give Ram something to tout in a year that's already been buzzing about new offerings from GM, Toyota, and the Ford Atlas Concept. Truck enthusiasts have been clamoring for such an offering under the hood of a half-ton truck for years, and Ram stands to benefit by being first out the door.