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  • SPIED: Ram 1500 Mule Spotted with Four-Cylinder Engine?

SPIED: Ram 1500 Mule Spotted with Four-Cylinder Engine?

Could Ram Be Preparing a Downsized Engine or a Midsize Pickup?

Jan 30, 2017
Spied this weekend was something that has us scratching our heads: a Ram 1500 mule with an inline four-cylinder engine. What are Ram engineers cooking up? Could this be another downsized, light-duty turbodiesel engine, or is Ram using the 1/2-ton mule to test the powertrain of a midsize pickup to compete with the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado?
Photo 2/5   |   Ram 1500 Inline Four 03
The closeups are grainy at best, but they still leave no question as to the configuration of the engine, with its cylinders in a line. Currently, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles only offers the mighty Cummins I-6 and a variety of four-cylinder engines in an inline configuration in the U.S., and it’s not likely the company would spend money developing a light-duty gasoline I-6 for the Ram 1500. That leads us to one of two conclusions regarding the perplexing engine under the hood of this test mule; it’s either a light-duty diesel for the Ram 1500 or a possible base engine for an upcoming midsize pickup.
Photo 3/5   |   Ram 1500 Inline Four 05
If it’s the former, the engine could be a federalized, emissions-legal version of the 2.8L VM Motori I-4 used in the overseas Jeep Wrangler. Making 200 hp and more than 300 lb-ft of torque, a 2.8L diesel V-6 could serve as an economy-minded option over the similarly torquey 3.6L Pentastar V-6. Although it wouldn’t win many races, a four-cylinder diesel Ram would undoubtedly improve on the brand’s already impressive diesel fuel efficiency.
Another possibility is that Ram is using this 1500 body as a test mule for a midsize pickup. Chevrolet offers a 2.5L I-4 in its Colorado, and Ford is anticipated to slot a four-banger under the hood of the upcoming Ranger, so it wouldn’t be out of the question for Ram to offer a Dakota redux with an I-4. Currently, the Fiat Chrysler stable offers a 2.4L I-4 with 184 hp and 171 lb-ft, slightly less than the 200 hp and 191 lb-ft in the Colorado I-4.
Photo 4/5   |   Ram 1500 Inline Four 04
We at Truck Trend have other theories about this unusual engine. One staffer is convinced it’s the internal combustion side of an upcoming gas-electric hybrid. Another suggests it’s the upcoming 2.0L Hurricane turbocharged I-4, an engine slated for the Jeep Wrangler JL. Whatever it is, we hope to learn more about it soon, because we’re extremely curious.
Source: SpiedBilde Photography
Photo 5/5   |   Ram 1500 Inline Four 02

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