The 2020 Ram 1500 receives a more powerful EcoDiesel engine.
Horsepower and torque increase by eight and 14 percent respectively.
The Italian-built diesel mill will arrive in the fourth quarter of this year.
The redesigned 2019 Ram 1500 remains a tough, durable, and smooth-riding truck. However, it came to market without the previously optional 3.0-liter diesel V6, more commonly known as the EcoDiesel. But it’s not the end of the world. The Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 and 5.7-liter Hemi are still worthy of praise. However, one can’t help but wonder why Ram is holding back on the EcoDiesel.
Is it a matter of waiting for the right time to strike?
After Ford and GM’s announcement of new light-duty diesel engines, along comes Ram with their V6 EcoDiesel. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. Still, it’s no surprise the 2020 Ram 1500’s new diesel motor is more powerful and torquey than the one it replaces.
The EcoDiesel Has More Power & Torque
Ram uses the same 3.0-liter displacement as before, albeit re-tuned to churn out 260 horsepower and 480 lb-ft. torque. By comparison, the previous EcoDiesel produced 20 less horsepower and 60 lb-ft. less torque. Thank you, Ram (said every diesel truck buyer).
The engine is fitted with a forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods. It’s a dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) design with four valves per cylinder and a 60-degree angle between the cylinder banks. Ram opted for a compacted graphite iron block, which weighs less than grey cast iron.
This hike in power is courtesy of lighter aluminum pistons, redesigned intake ports, and new high-pressure fuel injection and EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) systems. Ram also threw in a water-cooled VGT turbocharger with variable vanes. And by changing the compression ratio to 16.0:1 from 16.5:1, Ram was able to coax the EcoDiesel into producing more power at higher engine speeds.
Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: How Does It Compare To Ford & Chevy?
It’s actually pretty good. If the numbers stay where they are, Ram will have the advantage in the torque department for half-ton trucks. The 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel V6 in the Ford F-150 is good for 250 horsepower and 440 lb-ft. of torque. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has 10 more horsepower and 40 more lb-ft. of torque.
On the other hand, the Chevy Silverado’s 3.0-liter Duramax (in-line six) churns out 277 horsepower, which tops the EcoDiesel’s 260 rating. The Duramax Silverado 1500 produces 460 lb-ft. of torque, a healthy number but still 20 lb-ft. shy of the EcoDiesel. When compared to the Duramax Silverado, Ram’s mill has more on the low end.
There is some variance as to what point these trucks hit their peak torque. For example, the new EcoDiesel produces its peak torque at 1,600 rpm. And while GM’s mill peaks earlier at 1,500 rpm, it does best Ford’s Power Stroke, which comes higher at 1,750 rpm.
The 2020 Ram 1500 Can Move Mountains
Well, not exactly a real mountain but you know what I mean. The point is, this new EcoDiesel will haul like no other with 480 lb-ft. of torque. Having mountains of torque means having the power to move heavy loads. While the Ford F-150 Power Stroke is good for 11,400 lbs. when properly equipped, the 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has a maximum towing capacity of 12,560 lbs.
I’m not exactly sure how to best visually represent 12,560 lbs. All I can tell you is the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel can tow the weight of four Volkswagen Golfs.
The good news doesn’t end there for Ram fans. With an innovative coil spring rear suspension and lighter body, the 2020 Ram 1500 straddles the fine line between work, play, and everything between. It still gets the eTorque mild hybrid system for 2020 to improve fuel economy while providing short bursts of power. Ram’s eTorque mild-hybrid powertrain resulted from an extensive redesign of their 1500-series trucks, the changes of which are already on the market for 2019.
However, Ram has yet to reveal fuel economy numbers for the new EcoDiesel – just that they expect to lead the segment.
“The all-new EcoDiesel engine and our eTorque mild-hybrid powertrain technologies deliver the highest available fuel efficiency for our Ram 1500 customers,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram trucks.
Ram EcoDiesel: Manufacturing & Availability
The EcoDiesel is a $4,995 option, or a $3,000 premium over the 5.7-liter Hemi ($3,300 on Tradesman, Big Horn/Lone Star, Rebel, and Laramie base models). The Ram Tradesman Quad Cab Diesel 2WD, with a 3.6-liter V6 and the e-torque system, starts at $36,890. Add another $1,695 for destination.
Interestingly enough, this makes it the least expensive diesel half-ton pickup on the market today, and seriously undercuts the base Chevy Silverado 1500 diesel (in the same cab and 2WD configuration) by around $6,000. Meanwhile, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel also tops the diesel F-150 XLT (also in the same cab and 2WD trim) by almost $7,000. The new Ram diesel also comes with a 5-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and a standard 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper basic warranty.
The engine is produced at the FCA Cento facility in Ferrara, Italy. The 2020 Ram 1500 is built at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) in Sterling Heights, Michigan. The EcoDiesel was one of Wards 10 Best Engines for three consecutive years (2014, 2015, 2016).
Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.