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Ram, Nissan, Ford Show Mileage Matters, Even to Pickup Buyers

Who will be the first to top 30 mpg?

by on Jan.19, 2015

The new 2015 Ram 1500 Express equipped with the maker’s EcoDiesel delivers an impressive 29 miles per gallon on the highway.

It wasn’t all that long ago when light duty pickup buyers would have celebrated seeing fuel economy numbers approaching the high teens. Now, however, that’s something even heavy-duty models often deliver.

But can manufacturers crack the mileage ceiling with a truck that would get 30 mpg or better? Several makers are coming tantalizingly close.

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There’s been “a lot of noise around” fuel economy in the light truck segment, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said during an appearance at the Detroit Auto Show. Indeed, his own company has been crowing loudly about an updated version of its own full-size model, the new 2015 Ram 1500 Express. (more…)

Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Drives Off with Green Truck of the Year

Truck beats out ballyhooed all-aluminum F-150 for the title.

by on Nov.07, 2014

The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel captured the Green Car Journal's "Green Truck of the Year" award for 2015.

The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel walked off with another big award, this time the 2015 Green Truck of the Year from the Green Car Journal, which has been singling out the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the U.S. for more than two decades.

The Ram beat out four other trucks, including another Ram – the 1500 HFE – to win the honor. The other finalists included Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and the Ford F-150. The magazine made the announcement at the 46th annual San Antonio Auto & Truck Show.

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While pickups aren’t normally associated with the word “green,” auto companies have been working diligently at making trucks more fuel efficient. In addition to the EcoDiesel, Ford has been heavily promoting its EcoBoost-powered F-150s in recent years and Chevy has been pumping up the mileage figures for its full-size pickups too. (more…)

Chrysler Doubling Output of Diesel-Powered Rams

Demand for gas-sipping engine drove production increase.

by on Sep.30, 2014

Chrysler Group is doubling the output of EcoDiesel-powered Ram 1500 pickups to keep up with demand.

In a striking success for diesel power, one of every five Ram full-size pickup trucks rolling off Chrysler Group truck assembly lines in Warren, Michigan, and Saltillo, Mexico, will be powered by a diesel engine built by Fiat by the end of November.

Robert Hegbloom, the head of the Ram Brand, said the demand for 3.0-liter EcoDiesel version of the Ram 1500 pickup has been double what Chrysler expected. Fuel economy and the exclusivity of the EcoDiesel led to the decision to increase the diesel powertrain mix to 20%, he added.

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“Innovation sometimes comes with risk, but being first to market with a diesel engine for the half-ton segment has shown to be a great decision for the Ram Brand,” added Hegbloom. “The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is a game-changer in the industry, and has proved to be a key to conquest sales over our competitors.” (more…)

Ram Throws Down Gauntlet with New Diesel for Light-Duty Pickups

Maker has big expectations for high-torque, high-mileage oil-burner.

by on Jun.28, 2013

Brand CEO Reid Bigland with the full-size Ram 1500 pickup which gets a new diesel for 2014.

Chrysler is throwing down the gauntlet, its Ram truck division planning to become the first maker to offer a high-mileage diesel in its light-duty pickup line.

Ram, which is expected to post its 39th consecutive monthly sales increase next week, is betting that this will give it a critical advantage over competitors both domestic and foreign at a time when fuel prices continue to hover just below $4 a gallon in much of the country.  The question is whether potential buyers will balance the initial, $2,800 price premium against the longer-term savings on fuel.

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“When you look at the psyche of pickup truck owners,” Reid Bigland, the CEO of the Ram division, said  during a preview of the new powertrain, “they’re more aware of the benefits of a diesel engine” than the general U.S. population.

(more…)