Chrysler increases Ram EcoDiesel production w/ video

Chrysler has been doing extremely well with their light-duty Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. In fact, they’re doing so well, Chrysler officially announced to be doubling production, quite impressive even after receiving 8,000 orders within just three days following being launched.

Sales weren’t expected to be stellar, with Auburn Hills only predicting the EcoDiesel to make up around 10 percent of the Ram 1500’s production. But expectations were outrageously exceeded.

As a refresher, the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is a 3.0L unit built by Fiat’s subsidiary, VM Motori, to produce 240hp and 420 lb-ft of torque with a ZF-sourced eight-speed auto.

Check out the press release after the jump.


Ram Truck Increases EcoDiesel Mix to 20 Percent of Ram 1500 Pickup Production

• Ram 1500 with EcoDiesel powertrain, America’s most fuel-efficient pickup truck, now 1/5th of total Ram 1500 production

• Overwhelming response attributed to best-in-class 28 MPG with 9,200 lbs. of towing capacity and strong consumer demand for exclusive light-duty diesel

• Ram 1500 EcoDiesel contributes to unprecedented conquest sales and increased average transaction price for Ram 1500

• First-in-segment fuel economy technologies: TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and air suspension

• Best-in-class aerodynamics, coefficient of drag (Cd) at 0.360

• 2013 and 2014 back-to-back winner – Motor Trend Truck of the Year®

• Class-exclusive air suspension enhances fuel economy, improves ride control and off-road capability along with entry/exit and loading, and features automatic load leveling

• Unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/100,000 miles

September 29, 2014, Auburn Hills, Mich. – The 2015 Ram 1500 is America’s most fuel-efficient pickup truck with its exclusive 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel that packs 240 horsepower, 420 lb.-ft. of torque and 28 miles per gallon (mpg). Fuel economy and the exclusivity of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is being credited for Ram’s decision to increase the diesel powertrain mix to 20 percent of the total Ram 1500 production volume-double the initial expectation.

When the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel opened for orders earlier this year, Ram Truck received more than 8,000 requests within three days, which quickly filled the initial allocation for the exclusive powertrain.

“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.”

Ram truck is the only manufacturer to offer a light-duty diesel powertrain. Nearly 60 percent of all Ram 1500 EcoDiesel sales are conquest over competitors, an achievement considering brand-loyal strength of the segment. The premium powertrain also contributes to an increase in the Ram 1500s Average Transaction Price according to JD Power.

Ram Truck worked with powertrain supplier VM Motori (Fiat Group Automobiles) to increase production to meet North American consumer demand. The total increase in EcoDiesel mix will be completed by the end of November at both Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan and Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Mexico.

The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine is mated to the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. Together, the powertrain system delivers an outstanding combination of fuel efficiency at 28 mpg, torque of 420 lb.-ft. and up to 9,200 pounds of towing capability.

The 2015 Ram 1500 capitalizes on a truckload of exclusive, pioneering, fuel-saving systems, including: eight-speed automatic transmission, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics with grille shutters and air suspension.

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

Powertrain
Aptly branded EcoDiesel, the 3.0-liter powerplant is a turbocharged 60-degree, dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) 24-valve V-6 that produces 240 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque is more efficient than all V-6 gasoline engines in the half-ton category. This abundant torque from a 3.0-liter engine is the enabler for 9,200 pounds of towing capacity while delivering fuel economy of 28 mpg on the highway.

Like the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 gasoline engines already offered on the Ram 1500, the EcoDiesel V-6 is mated to the TorqueFlite 8, the only eight-speed automatic transmission offered in the half-ton class.

The EcoDiesel, developed and manufactured by VM Motori (a Chrysler supplier since 1992) is one of the most advanced diesel engines in the marketplace. Equipped with a diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter, and selective catalytic reduction, it is emissions-compliant in all 50 states.

The 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine (Ward’s 10 Best Engines Award three years in a row) with variable-valve timing (VVT) offers 305 horsepower, 269 lb.-ft. of torque and best-in-class gasoline fuel economy of 25 mpg.

The legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with fuel-saving cylinder shut-off and VVT provides 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque.

The class-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission (TorqueFlite 8) – standard equipment with 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel and 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar – doubles the amount of gears compared to the previously available four-speed automatic transmission, which improves drivability and enhances fuel efficiency. The eight-speed also is available with the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8.

The 2015 Ram 1500 has established what is unmistakably the most advanced and efficient truck in the light-duty category, as evidenced by:

• Exclusive offering of a small-displacement turbo diesel engine (EcoDiesel V-6)

• Exclusive offering of an eight-speed automatic transmission

• Best-in-Class capability and fuel economy in a base V-6 gasoline engine (Pentastar V-6 mated to eight-speed transmission)

• Only manufacturer in light-duty class to offer diesel, gasoline, and flex-fuel (E85 capable 3.6-liter V-6) engines

Engineering Fuel Economy

Weight reduction

With the 2013 model year, the Ram 1500 benefitted from a number of weight saving features. Contingent on the model, the frame received a weight reduction of up to 30 pounds by using advanced high-strength steels. Also benefitting from advanced metal, box floor cross-members in the bed eliminated seven pounds and a front bumper design removed four pounds. Additionally, aluminum lower control arms in the front suspension contributed to weight reduction. The Ram 1500 also features an aluminum hood saving 26 pounds. Underneath the hood, the combination of the new Pentastar V-6 engine and new TorqueFlite 8 transmission reduced weight by approximately 76 pounds. The V-8 engine and TorqueFlite 8 together reduced weight by more than 30 pounds.

The weight reductions not only allow for more convenience, comfort and entertainment features but also best-in-class fuel-saving technology such as thermal management and active aerodynamics.

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is a fuel-saving technology for the Ram 1500, which reduces parasitic electrical load. The technology not only eliminates unnecessary load on the alternator but also improves the durability of benefitting systems. The forward cooling fan takes advantage of PWM, adding a 0.2 percent improvement in fuel efficiency.

Variable displacement compressor (VDC)

As opposed to a “fixed” displacement compressor, the variable displacement compressor (VDC) automatically varies its pumping capacity to meet air conditioning demands rather than working in an on/off fashion. As a result, the variable displacement compressor lessens loads on the engine, reducing parasitic losses for enhanced fuel efficiency and helping to maintain a consistent cockpit temperature. The technology also reduces related noise and vibration annoyances.

When the interior cabin temperature is higher than what’s desired (outside the automatic temperature control setting), the VDC increases refrigeration capacity until the desired temperature is reached. Once the temperature is reached, the VDC automatically reduces its capacity to maintain the desired temperature rather than shutting off completely.

The overall result is smoother compressor transitions, less noise and greater fuel efficiency.

Pulse-width modulated blower

Like the VDC, the pulse-width modulated (PWM) blower continually controls fan speeds for optimal performance in all driving scenarios; quiet, efficient operation; and virtually unnoticeable performance. Not unlike other PWM applications that debuted on the 2013 Ram 1500, the pulse-width blower ensures an infinite amount of varying fan speeds to satisfy every customer-requested condition in relation to the air conditioning system.

Unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/100,000 miles

The 2015 Ram 1500 is backed with a five-year /100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. The powertrain-limited warranty covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a covered powertrain component – engine, transmission and drive system. Coverage also includes free towing to the nearest Ram dealer, if necessary. The warranty also is transferable allowing customers who sell their truck during the warranty period, to pass the coverage onto the new owner.

The standard three-year / 36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram 1500, from the body to the electrical system.

Manufacturing

The 2015 Ram 1500 is built at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Warren, Michigan), which has built more than 13 million trucks since it started operations in 1938. Regular Cab models of the 2015 Ram 1500 are built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico.

The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine is manufactured by Fiat Group Automobiles’ VM Motori in Cento, Italy. Chrysler Group has utilized VM Motori diesel engines since 1992.

– By: Chris Chin


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Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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