Guts, Glory, Ram, Diesel
For a variety of reasons—perhaps mainly predicated on protecting their heavy-duty pickup sales—OEMs have been loath to offer diesels for their big selling light duty pickup trucks.
The 2014 Ram is going to be available with a 3.0-liter diesel. The engine is a turbocharged, 60-degree, DOHC V6 that produces 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.
While Chrysler’s Ram brand hasn’t released fuel economy figures for the engine—which is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, standard—the company does say that it is “noticeably more efficient than all V6 gasoline engines in the half-ton category.”
Presumably that means the Ford EcoBoost in the F150, which delivers 22 mpg highway in the 2WD truck and the new EcoTec3 V6 in the 2014 Chevy Silverado 2WD, which delivers 24 mpg highway.
And that eight-speed transmission is the only one offered in the half-ton class, Ram personnel point out with satisfaction.
The engine, which is also being used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, is being sourced from VM Motori. Half of that company is owned by General Motors. The other half. . .Fiat. It has a diesel oxidization catalyst, diesel particulate filter, and selective catalytic reduction system (just add urea), so that it is 50-state emissions compliant.
Now that Ram has bucked the trend, what will the Other Two do?
If heritage means anything in this industry, then it is surprising that Buick doesn’t make more of its history because the story of the early years of the company is nothing short of astonishing.
What happens if that $2.29 a gallon goes up by a couple of bucks a year from now? How are the pickup, SUV and crossover sales going to be then?
For conducting business in the U.S. market, Toyota has historically had several separate business entities: a sales and distribution company headquartered in California (Toyota Motor Sales, USA); manufacturing operations (Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America); a racing subsidiary (Toyota Racing Development, USA); the Toyota Technical Center for R&D in Ann Arbor; and a design facility in California (Calty Design Research, Inc.). On April 1, 2006, Toyota merged its R&D operations and its manufacturing operations into a single company.