The Commercial Appeal

Diesel engine to add mpg to Ram

Will boost efficiency in light-duty pickup line


CHELSEA, Mich. — Chrysler is adding a diesel engine to its light-duty Ram pickup truck lineup, promising mileage that outperform­s its V- 6 gasoline truck.

The company will release exact mileage figures at a later date, although Bob Hegbloom, director of the Ram brand, said Friday the 3-Liter, six- cylinder diesel Ram 1500 would get better mileage than the 25 mpg that the current gaspowered V- 6 gets on the highway.

Chrysler says the new t urbocharge­d diesel makes 240 horsepower and has 420 foot-pounds of torque, giving people the power of a gas-powered V- 8 and the fuel economy of a smaller gas engine. Chrysler says the 2014 Ram will be the only light- duty diesel pickup on the market.

It’s the same diesel engine now sold in the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV, which gets 30 mpg on the highway. But Hegbloom said the heavier pickup won’t get 30 mpg.

The diesel will cost $2,850 more than a Ram with Chrysler’s Hemi V-8 engine and eight-speed transmissi­on. Hegbloom says the diesel will pay for itself in gas savings in under three years.

People have been asking for a light-duty diesel in pickups for 15 years, Hegbloom said.

The 2014 Ram will start at $24,200, excluding shipping costs, with a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 and a six-speed automatic transmissi­on. The 2014 versions will be $200 to $300 more than the comparable Rams now on the market.

Chrysler is scrapping a 4.7-liter V-8 engine in the Ram for 2014.

Chrysler does plan to offer a big 6.4-liter gaspowered V-8 engine in its heavy duty 2500 and 3500 Ram pickups.

The pickups will start arriving in showrooms in the fall. The diesel version will reach dealership­s in the fourth quarter.

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