By Drew Johnson
Thursday, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 9:01 am
 
Chrysler has officially announced a new diesel-powered version of its light-duty Ram 1500. The diesel-powered Ram 1500, which will be branded as the EcoDiesel, will be the first modern light-duty pickup truck to offer an oil-burning engine under hood.

Following today's announcement, the Ram 1500 diesel will arrive in dealer showrooms during the third quarter, likely in July. Although diesels represent just a small sliver of sales in the United States market, Fred Diaz, CEO of Chrysler's Ram brand, expected the Ram diesel to sell in healthy numbers.

"Truck owners have been emphatically asking for it, and Ram will be the only manufacturer to offer a diesel powertrain in the half-ton segment with the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel," he said. "The half-ton truck market is incredibly competitive, and although we're honored the Ram 1500 has received a number of prestigious awards, we cannot rest on what we have accomplished, we must keep pushing."

The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will use a 3.0L V6 turbodiesel, but Chrysler is withholding technical details at this time. However, in the recently announced Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel, that mill delivers 240 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. In comparison, the Ram's optional 5.7L V8 makes 370 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque.

The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will use Chrysler's latest eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. Although the EPA has yet to certify the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, Ram is calling for better fuel economy than the segment's current champ, the brand's own 25mpg Ram 1500 V6.

Look for full details, including pricing, closer to the truck's launch.