Back in 2014 Ram became the only truck maker to offer a diesel engine in its half-ton pickup truck segment. The Ecodiesel, as it was called, delivered good torque and excellent fuel economy, which has a huge sales boost back when there was zero competition. Fast forward to 2019 and it's a different story, with Ford offering a diesel engine and Chevrolet saying it will offer one some day. However, after a brief delay due to stringent emissions testing and other factors, the new Ecodiesel engine is finally here for the 2020 Ram 1500.
The updated 3.0-liter EcoDiesel makes 260 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. That's a 14 percent increase in torque and an 8 percent increase in horsepower compared to the outgoing model. Significant changes to the engine include a water-cooled turbocharger, updated exhaust gas recirculation system, redesigned sump pump material, and other enhancements to not only improve performance and fuel efficiency, but to also reduce the noise and harshness typically associated with a diesel engine.
“The new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is America’s most powerful half-ton diesel pickup, following up on Ram’s Heavy Duty torque leadership and achieving what no other manufacturer has, with up to 480 lb.-ft. of torque in a 3.0-liter engine,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand.
The segment has changed since the first-generation of the EcoDiesel came out in the Ram 1500. Ford currently offers a 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel in its F-150, which just recently expanded to even more models, and both GMC and Chevrolet with have their 3.0-liter Duramax diesel on the market for the 2020 model year. The tweener-sized Nissan Titan XD is also available with a Cummins V8 diesel that makes 555 pound-feet of torque.
What was once a one-player segment, Ram finds itself in the middle of a competitive segment where loyalty matters. Important metrics like cost and fuel economy on the new EcoDiesel are unknown, but on a properly equipped Ram 1500 the maximum towing capacity is 12,560 pounds.
Also, the EcoDiesel engine will be offered on the Rebel trim for the very first time. Additionally, buyers of the old-but-new Ram 1500 Classic will have the option of purchasing the second-generation EcoDiesel. We also expect this to be the same engine eventually offered in the Jeep Wrangler JL.
The 2020 EcoDiesel trucks will go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year.