Ram 1500: How the Engineers Separated the Pickup’s Engine From the Pack

January 11th, 2016 by


The Ram 1500’s 3.0-liter Ecodiesel V6 engine is one of the most exclusive units in the class, and it’s various specs and capabilities (especially fuel economy) top the numbers produced by rival pickups. The inclusion of this technology has truly taken the truck to another level, and it’s also separated the vehicle from others in the class.

If you’ve been considering a 2016 Ram 1500, see what the engineers have done to elevate the truck from the rest of the pack…


The Ram 1500 is one of the most exclusive half-ton pickups in the class, as it’s the only truck to offer a diesel engine. As Stephen Elmer of AutoGuide.com notes, Nissan’s upcoming Titan XD will look to enter the competition, but Ram has a solid grasp on the market at this moment.

The 3.0-liter Ecodiesel V6 engine provides class-leading fuel economy among full-size pickups, with a 21 mile per gallon city efficiency and a 29 mile per gallon highway efficiency. The unit can also deliver a solid 240 horsepower and an incredible 420 pounds-feet of torque, which combine to produce an exceptional 9,210-pound towing capacity. To put the system over the top, it is emissions-compliant in all 50 states, as the engine includes an oxidation catalyst, a particulate filter, and a selective catalyst reduction.

The accompanying Torqueflite 8 eight-speed transmission is also an impressive system. The driver will appreciate the improved acceleration in lower gears, and if you’re required to shift, you’ll find that the Rotary E-shift allows you to easily and seamlessly switch. Finally, the thermal management system plays a role in the fuel efficiency specs, as the technology helps optimize the Automatic Transmission Fluid.


Meanwhile, even when looking at rival pickup’s top engine options, you’ll notice the systems don’t hold a candle to the 1500’s diesel engine. The F-150’s 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 engine can produce 385 horsepower, which is certainly impressive. However, it also delivers an underwhelming 387 pounds-feet of torque, and drivers can only expect a 15 city/22 highway efficiency. The standard six-speed close-ratio transmission has similar capabilities as the system found in the 1500 (improved power at low gear, fuel efficiency at higher gear), although they still trail the Ram in regards to specs.

Meanwhile, the 2016 Silverado 1500 rolls over the same 6.2-liter EcoTec3 engine, as the unit is currently on its 5th generation (Chevy also offers a 5.3-liter V8 and a 4.3-liter V6, but we’ll stick with the bigger engine for the sake of this exercise). Engineers included a number of fuel-saving technologies (like Active Fuel Management, Direct Injection, and Continuously Variable Valve Timing), but the fuel economy still trailed that of the Ram’s at 15 city/21 highway mile per gallon. Customers can expect solid power specs (420 horsepower and 460 pounds-feet of torque), but the combination of specs still separates the Ram’s diesel engine.


Engineers have truly separated the Ram 1500 from the pack with their the inclusion of the 3.0-liter Ecodiesel V6 engine. The system offers improved specs and capabilities, and it also delivers fuel economy numbers that are among the best in the class. As Ram’s technology begins to gain traction, we can expect to see rival companies produce their own diesel engines. However, considering Ram’s already produced an exclusive unit, we’d bet they’ll continue to stay at the front of the pack.

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