The 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel finally made its debut, staking its ground as the light-duty diesel pickup heavyweight.
Ram revealed the pickup with the version of its 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 engine, which now makes 260 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. The latter figure is often what matters most for diesel truck shoppers given it correlates to hefty towing power, and the 2020 Ram 1500 makes the most of it.
The Ram 1500 makes at least 20 lb-ft more torque than its Ford and General Motors rivals. The Chevy Silverado turbodiesel has 460 lb-ft of torque on tap, while the F-150 boasts 440 lb-ft. Ram's mega-torque figure comes after Chevrolet promised segment-best figures from its diesel engine, which was delayed a model year. Despite the Ram's lead in torque, the Silverado's inline-6 turbodiesel makes slightly more horsepower at 277 hp.
Ram said its truck will be rated to tow as much as 12,560 pounds, though it's not clear just what equipment and configurations it will take to net that rating.
Yet there are still some areas where we don't know which light-duty diesel pickup is best. Ram and Chevy haven't said how much their diesels will cost and neither automaker has dished out fuel economy figures, either, which is another important area for diesel truck buyers.
Ram said it the third-generation engine benefits from numerous upgrades that focused on squeezing more performance and frugality from it. A new turbocharger, redesigned cylinder head ports, and dual-loop exhaust gas recirculation system keep the turbo's energy losses low. The pistons are now aluminum alloy with thinner rings, and a dual vacuum pump system also boosts efficiency. The compression ratio rises to 16.5:1 from 16:1 in the previous engine, too. The brand said noise, vibrations, and harshness levels are also at new lows.
Although Ram's parent automaker, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, found itself in a pool of controversy over the previous EcoDiesel engine, the brand will push onward with diesel poewr.
Buyers will find the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel on sale in the fourth quarter of this year. For the first time, the off-road-oriented Ram Rebel will offer the turbodiesel engine as an option as well.