• 2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Powertrain

Nothing else matters if you don’t have a good engine under the hood of your truck

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One of the most important aspects of a truck is its towing and payload prowess. We see automakers improve their ratings quite often, and that has to do with the structural changes made to the truck. However, this is rendered useless if you don’t offer a powerful mill under the hood to pull all the weight.

Truckmakers are known to offer multiple engine options, but you can’t have them in any body style or trim level. All of this can get quite confusing, so we decided to compare them all. We’ve already covered the 2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, so this time, it’s the 2021 Ram 1500’s turn to be compared to the king of the jungle.

2021 Ram 1500

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Powertrain Interior
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First up, there’s the 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine that now comes with an eTorque system as standard. We’ll get back to it in detail later. The engine makes 305 horses and 269 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to all the wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

If you want a V-8, Ram offers the 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine that churns out 395 ponies and 410 pound-feet of twist. This engine is also mated to an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic gearbox, but it’s the 8HP75 version and not the 850RE that comes as standard with the Pentastar engine. The same engine and transmission, combo with the same power output figures, can also be had with an eTorque system.

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Powertrain Drivetrain
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Finally, there’s the third-gen EcoDiesel engine. It is a 3.0-liter, V-6 mill that dishes out 260 horses and 480 pound-feet of torque. This is a noticeable increase over the second-gen EcoDiesel engine that generated 240 ponies and 420 pound-feet of torque. It is paired with the eight-speed TorqueFlite transmission. This engine comes with a water-cooled turbocharger with a variable geometry that helps it respond better to your throttle inputs.

2020 Ram 1500 specifications
ENGINE 3.6-­LITER PENTASTAR V-­6 WITH eTORQUE 3.0-LITER EcoDiesel V-6 5.7-­LITER HEMI® V-­8
Type and Description 60-­degree V-­type, liquid-­cooled 90-degree diesel V-6 90-­degree V-­8, liquid-­cooled
Displacement 220 cu. in. (3,604 cu. cm) 182 cu. in. (2,988 cu. cm) 345 cu. in. (5,654 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 3.78 x 3.27 (96.0 x 83.0) 3.27 x 3.60 (83 x 92) 3.92 x 3.58 (99.5 x 90.9)
Compression Ratio 11.3:1 16.0:1 10.5:1
Power 305 HP @ 6,400 RPM 260 hp @ 3,600 rpm 395 HP @ 5,600 RPM
Torque 269 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM 480 lb.-ft. @ 1,600 rpm 410 LB-FT @ 3,950 RPM
Max. Engine Speed 6,400 RPM (electronically limited) 5,800 rpm 5,800 RPM

Ram eTorque System

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Powertrain Exterior
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This is the closest thing to a hybrid that the automaker has to offer. Ram offers it on the 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar and the 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI. In the V-6, the system adds 12 horses and 39 pound-feet of torque, but is multiplied by the belt drive to create up to 90 pound-feet of torque.

The liquid-cooled eTorque motor is sourced from Continental and is reverse-mounted in front of the mill.

In the V-8, the system adds 16 ponies and 49 pound-feet of torque. It is multiplied by the belt drive to create up to 130 pound-feet of torque. Here, the eToroque is an air-cooled unit sourced from Magneti Marelli. In both cases, the system makes use of a 48-volt, a 0.4-kWh lithium-ion battery, and a DC-DC converter. It is used to charge and run the 1500’s 12-volt electrical system. Ram has placed the battery behind the rear seat, thus leaving the cabin as spacious as the models without the eTorque system.

2021 Ford F-150

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Powertrain Exterior
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In the previous models, Ford used to offer two transmissions – a six-speed automatic for the smaller engines and a 10-speed automatic as optional on some engines and standard on some.

For the 2021 model, the automaker has ditched the six-speed gearbox altogether and only one gearbox is available now – the 10-speed automatic.

The standard engine on the base trims is the same old 3.3-liter, V-6 mill that makes 290 ponies and 265 pound-feet of twist. The 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine is also carried over with the same power output figures as before, which is 325 horses and 400 pound-feet of twist. But, thanks to the new, improved gearbox, you will find the engine to be smoother and less revving as opposed to before.

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Powertrain
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Ford offers a diesel engine in the lineup, which is a 3.0-liter, V-6, mill called the PowerStroke Turbodiesel. It makes 250 horses and 440 pound-feet of torque.

For the 2020 model, Ford used to offer the 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost mill in two states of tune. The one present in the standard F-150 made 375 ponies and 470 pound-feet of torque, whereas the one under the hood of the Raptor produced 450 horses and 510 pound-feet of torque. With the addition of the Hybrid engine to the lineup, Ford is now offering the V-6 EcoBoost in just one state of tune that strikes a balance between the two earlier iterations - 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of twist.

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Powertrain Exterior
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The biggest engine in terms of displacement – and the only V-8 in the portfolio – is the 5.0-liter Coyote engine. There were rumors of it getting phased out, but it hasn’t happened so far. When compared to the 2020 iteration, It receives a power bump of five horses and 10 pound-feet of twist, now making 400 horses and 410 pound-feet of torque.

Last but not the least, here’s Ford’s first-ever hybrid offering to the F-150. Called the PowerBoost, 3.5-liter, V-6 engine dishes out 430 horses and 570 pound-feet of twist!

This one is also paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. but it is a different modular hybrid gearbox that was designed, engineered, and assembled for this engine.

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Powertrain
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The hybrid system comprises a 35-kilowatt electric motor (47 horsepower) in the transmission housing. This electric motor works together with the engine and utilizes the energy lost during deceleration (regenerative braking). It also supports the Pro Power Onboard generator. The system is powered by a liquid-cooled, 1.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. Ford has said that it has equipped a belt-driven starter for the water pump and belt-starter motor. Thanks to the hybrid system, the engine offers up to 700 miles from its 30.6-gallon fuel tank. Mind you, this isn’t a plug-in hybrid system and the batteries recuperate on the go.

2021 Ford F-150 drivetrain specifications
Engine 3.3-liter Ti-VCT V6 FFV 2.7-liter EcoBoost® V6 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 3.0-liter Power Stroke® V6 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 3.5-liter PowerBoost™ Full Hybrid V6
Configuration Naturally-aspirated 60-degree V6, overhead cams Twin-turbocharged and intercooled60-degree V6, overhead cams Naturally-aspirated 90-degree V8, overhead cams Turbocharged and intercooled 60-degree V6 diesel Twin-turbocharged and intercooled 60-degree V6, overhead cams Twin-turbocharged and intercooled 60-degree V6, overhead cams
Block/Head material Aluminum block, aluminum heads Compacted graphite iron block, aluminum heads Aluminum block, aluminum heads Compacted graphite iron block, aluminum heads Aluminum block, aluminum heads Aluminum block, aluminum heads
Displacement 3.3 liters (3,340 cubic centimeters, 203.8 cubic inches) 2.7 liters (2,700 cubic centimeters, 165.0 cubic inches) 5.0 liters (5,038 cubic centimeters, 307.0 cubic inches) 3.0 liters (3,000 cubic centimeters, 183.0 cubic inches) 3.5 liters (3,497 cubic centimeters, 213.4 cubic inches) 3.5 liters (3,497 cubic centimeters, 213.4 cubic inches)
Bore x stroke 3.56 inches x 3.41 inches 3.267 inches x 3.267 inches 3.66 inches x 3.65 inches 3.31 inches x 3.54 inches 3.64 inches x 3.41 inches 3.64 inches x 3.41 inches
Compression ratio 12:1 10:1 12:1 16:1 10.5:1 10.5:1
SAE Horsepower 290 @ 6,500 rpm 325 @ 5,000 rpm 400 @ 6,000 rpm 250 @ 3,250 rpm 400 @ 6,000 rpm 430 @ 6,000 rpm
SAE Torque 265 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm 400 lb.-ft. @ 3,000 rpm 410 lb.-ft. @ 4,250 rpm 440 lb.-ft. @ 1,750 rpm 500 lb.-ft. @3,100 rpm 570 lb.-ft. @ 3,000 rpm

Which Engine Can You Have On The Trims?

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Powertrain
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The permutations and combinations get tricky in the case of the Ford F-150 as you can’t have any trim with any option. But, with Ram, things are a bit simpler. You get the Pentastar V-6 mill as standard on all the six trims, except for top limited, but the other engines are offered as an option on all of them. Here’s what both the automakers offer on every trim:

Ram 1500

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Powertrain Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Tradesman:

  • 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine with eTorque
  • 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine
  • 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine with eTorque
  • 3.0-liter, V-6 Turbo EcoDiesel engine

Big Horn:

  • 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine with eTorque
  • 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine
  • 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine with eTorque
  • 3.0-liter, V-6 Turbo EcoDiesel engine

Rebel:

  • 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine with eTorque
  • 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine
  • 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine with eTorque
  • 3.0-liter, V-6 Turbo EcoDiesel engine

Laramie:

  • 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine with eTorque
  • 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine
  • 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine with eTorque
  • 3.0-liter, V-6 Turbo EcoDiesel engine

Limited Longhorn:

  • 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine with eTorque
  • 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine
  • 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine with eTorque
  • 3.0-liter, V-6 Turbo EcoDiesel engine

Limited:

  • 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine
  • 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine with eTorque
  • 3.0-liter, V-6 Turbo EcoDiesel engine

Ford F-150

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Powertrain
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XL:

  • 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine
  • 3.3-liter, V-6 engine
  • 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote engine

XLT:

  • 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine
  • 3.3-liter, V-6 engine
  • 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote engine

Lariat:

  • 2.7-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine
  • 3.0-liter, Powerstroke Turbodiesel engine
  • 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine
  • 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote engine

King Ranch:

  • 3.0-liter, Powerstroke Turbodiesel engine
  • 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine
  • 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote engine
  • 3.5-liter, V-6 Powerboost Hybrid

Platinum:

  • 3.0-liter, Powerstroke Turbodiesel engine
  • 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine
  • 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote engine
  • 3.5-liter, V-6 Powerboost Hybrid

Limited:

  • 3.5-liter, V-6 EcoBoost engine
  • 3.5-liter, V-6 Powerboost Hybrid
Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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