Ram 1500 relying more on diesels

Dodge’s use of Cummins diesels back  in 1989 succeeded beyond expectations, reviving a nearly dead truck line. When the company added a VM diesel to the Ram 1500, sales were, again, much better than expected. Chrysler had predicted a 10% take rate, perhaps up to 15%; but Allpar reported in August that the line was running up to 25% diesels when the engines were available.

Like the Cummins B-series engines, the VM has been both reputable and technologically advanced; and sales have exceeded expectations.

Ram announced today that 20% of its pickups would be diesel-powered by November, double its original estimates. This strains VM’s ability to make enough engines for North American Rams and Jeep Grand Cherokees, though Ram worked with VM Motori to raise production.

When the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel opened for orders earlier this year, Ram had over 8,000 requests in three days. Some had predicted lower sales, because the diesel is a $4,000 option on the value-priced Tradesman Quad Cab, and requires the $500 eight-speed automatic.

Diesel Ram 1500s are rated at 20 mpg city, 28 highway, which beats the fuel economy of every competing pickup — and some midsized and compact trucks, down to imported four-cylinder manuals. The engine  generates 420 lb-ft of torque and 240 hp and is highly responsive at low revolutions. The peak towing capacity is 9,200 pounds.

Helping to optimize performance, given the limited range of diesel engines, is the wide-range “TorqueFlite Eight” eight-speed automatic.

Dodge had been planning a Ram 1500 with a Cummins V6 diesel as far back as the Daimler days, but no other manufacturer chose to sell a full sized diesel pickup in America.  (Chrysler has worked with VM since 1992.)

“Being first to market with a diesel engine for the half-ton segment was shown to be a great decision for the Ram Brand,” said Ram chief  Robert Hegbloom, adding that nearly 60% of sales were conquests from other brands, unusual in pickups.

Other unique features in the Ram 1500 series (not on all trucks) include a fluid temperature management system, various methods of cutting parasitic losses, and active aerodynamics aids.

The Ram 1500 earned Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year in both 2013 and 2014, the first time a vehicle of any type has taken the award back-to-back. The Ram 1500 also won the Truck of Texas in both 2013 and 2014.

The 2015 Ram 1500 is backed with a five-year /100,000-mile transferable powertrain warranty including free towing, if needed, and a three-year / 36,000-mile “bumper-to-bumper” warranty. The 2015 Ram 1500 is built at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Warren, Michigan); Regular Cab models are built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico.

As read on: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2014/09/confirmed-ram-1500-diesel-takes-off

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