With this new engine, Ram seems to have a winner in its hands

Don’t you fret, diesel engine fans. Even if EVs are taking the industry by storm, oil burners are here to stay; at least when it comes to pickup trucks. Companies in this segment generally tend to have many diesel engine options and from the looks of it, there’s no stopping yet. On that note, Ram has launched its third-gen EcoDiesel engine in the 2020 Ram 1500 pickup trucks. This engine will be available across the stable in all configurations, but does it get any better than the second-generation EcoDiesel?

This Engine Is a Lot More Powerful and Fuel-Efficient

Ram's New EcoDiesel Engine Undercuts The Price of The Competition While Claiming The Top-Spot In The Towing Department Drivetrain
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The third-gen EcoDiesel engine is a 3.0-liter, V-6 mill that generates 260 horses and 480 pound-feet of torque.

This is a noticeable increase over the second-gen EcoDiesel engine that produced 240 ponies and 420 pound-feet of torque. It will also be mated to the existing eight-speed TorqueFlite transmission. This new engine comes with a water-cooled turbocharger with variable geometry that helps it respond better to your throttle inputs. When compared to its primary rivals, the new EcoDiesel engine makes the highest torque. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Duramax develops 277 horses and 460 pound-feet of torque, whereas the Ford F-150 Power Stroke diesel churns out 250 ponies and 440 pound-feet of twist.

Truck owners these days have gotten a lot more sensitive towards better fuel efficiency and prefer greener engines. Not to mention the fact that stricter emission norms these days have left automakers with no choice but to develop mills that cause less harm to the environment. To take care of this, Ram has introduced a dual high-pressure and low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation system, redesigned the pistons, optimized the combustion chamber geometry, and added a brake system vacuum pump with low friction blades. The automaker has not officially revealed the fuel economy figures, but seeing these tweaks and additions, we expect it to be significantly higher than the current-gen mill.

Ding Ding Ding, We Have A New Winner

Ram's New EcoDiesel Engine Undercuts The Price of The Competition While Claiming The Top-Spot In The Towing Department Exterior
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The new engine also boasts a higher towing capacity than the outgoing model.

Trucks equipped with the new mill can tow up to 12,560 pounds compared to the previous rating of 9,300 pounds.

This rating has helped Ram surpass the towing capacity of its rivals – the Chevrolet Silverado Duramax, rated at 9,300 pounds, and the Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel which is rated at 11,400 pounds. This will play a major role in the potential customer’s decision-making process. Ram is already making big strides in the segment. In the first half of 2010, Ram’s truck sales went up by 28 percent, thus pipping the Chevy Silverado to claim the second position.

It Also Happens To Be The Cheapest Of The Three Americans

Ram's New EcoDiesel Engine Undercuts The Price of The Competition While Claiming The Top-Spot In The Towing Department Interior
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Ram’s head, Reid Bigland, said that "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 3.0L engine."

As I mentioned earlier, the EcoDiesel engine will be available in all the models and configurations.

The least expensive offering with this engine will be the entry-level 2020 Ram 1500 Tradesman Quad Cab 2WD that is priced at $38,585 (including destination fees). This mill will be available as an option for $4,995. To put things into perspective, the new EcoDiesel mill commands a premium of $3,000 over the 5.7-liter V-8 Hemi engine with eTorque mild-hybrid technology. However, it is still cheaper than the Chevy Silverado 1500 Duramax and the Ford F-150 XLT Power Stroke which start at $45,200 and $46,255, respectively.

The Off-Road Friendly Ram Rebel Will Also Be Available With This Mill

Ram's New EcoDiesel Engine Undercuts The Price of The Competition While Claiming The Top-Spot In The Towing Department Drivetrain
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To make things even more interesting, this engine will be available under the hood of the Ram Rebel as well. The Ram Rebel is the sporty offering from the automaker’s stable and has received positive feedback from the enthusiasts. The current Ram 1500 Rebel is available with two engine options – a 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar mill that produces 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, or a 5.7-liter, V-8 Hemi engine that makes 395 horses and 410 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission.

The Ram 1500 Rebel comes fitted with 33-inch Toyo all-terrain tires and is equipped with an air ride suspension system with Bilstein shocks on all four corners.

The truck also features a stability control system that comprises a softer rear stabilizer bar and an off-road mode which raises the Rebel’s approach and departure angle by one inch at the press of a button. Now that Ram will be plonking this engine in the Rebel, the ride will feel a lot better and smoother.

Ram EcoDiesel Is Ford’s Party Crasher

Ram's New EcoDiesel Engine Undercuts The Price of The Competition While Claiming The Top-Spot In The Towing Department Exterior
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Speaking of the other developments in the engine department, Ford recently introduced a new engine in its lineup. Ford has revealed all the details and also stated that the engine will be available optionally on the Super F-250 and F-350 trucks. The engine is a 7.3-liter, V-8 mill that makes 430 horses and 475 pound-feet of torque.

In all likelihood, this engine will replace the existing 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote engine.

This engine has been serving Ford for a long time and the company plans to put it to rest. The Blue Oval is also scaling down the production of this engine and might eventually phase it out by the time the 2021 F-150 is released. This gives the new engine approximately one year to settle down, and a year to Ford to sort out all the initial niggles before it goes mainstream.

It’s Not Always Apples and Oranges

Ram's New EcoDiesel Engine Undercuts The Price of The Competition While Claiming The Top-Spot In The Towing Department Exterior
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Now, this is not a fair comparison since both of them consume different drinks, but how would it look if we were to pit Ford’s new V-8 gasoline engine against the Ram’s V-8 options? Ford’s 7.3-liter “well-balanced” engine can be pitted against either of them and still come out as a winner, on paper at least.

The Blue Oval’s new mill holds an uncanny advantage here because it churns out a lot more horses and torque and is also mated to a 10-speed gearbox, unlike Ram’s six-speed transmission.

The extra gears create a shorter gear ratio, thus allowing to play a lot more freely with the horses and torque available at your disposal. If you believe in the ‘no replacement for displacement’ philosophy, then Ford mill holds the advantage here as well.

Final Thoughts

Ram's New EcoDiesel Engine Undercuts The Price of The Competition While Claiming The Top-Spot In The Towing Department Exterior
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Ford has already released a video of its fully-electric pickup truck with a monstrous towing capacity of one million pounds. Chevy has also announced that the company has plans to electrify the range and will come up with fully electric pickup trucks in the future. Ram, on the other hand, has not announced any such plans yet. All it has is a hybrid technology with a small electric motor for added torque. With the way electrification is taking over, Ram would better get to work before it’s too late. In the meanwhile, the news of this third-gen EcoDiesel will probably help Ram decrease the gap between its trucks and Ford’s F-Series. Ram has not announced the fuel economy figures yet, but it will be out by the time the 2020 Ram 1500 goes on sale in the far-end of 2019. Do you think the third-gen EcoDiesel engine will be a hit? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Further Reading

2019 Ram 1500 Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Give the Silverado and F-150 some stout competition

Read more about the 2019 Ram 1500.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck 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. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
About the author

Pricing Announced for New 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pricing starts at $36,890, plus $1,695 destination
New Ram 1500 EcoDiesel produces the highest half-ton diesel torque at 480 lb.-ft. and highest half-ton diesel towing capacity at 12,560 pounds
Ram 1500 Rebel now available with EcoDiesel option for the first time
Ram focused on establishing powertrain technology leadership in the truck segment
Class-exclusive air suspension enhances fuel economy, improves ride control, off-road capability, ease of entry and exit, cargo-loading effort, and features automatic load leveling

August 16, 2019, Auburn Hills, Mich. – Ram Truck today announced pricing for the 2020 Ram 1500 powered by the new 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel engine with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $36,890 for the Tradesman Quad Cab 2WD, plus $1,695 destination.

The EcoDiesel is a $4,995 option, or $3,000 premium over the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 eTorque ($3,300 on Tradesman, Big Horn/Lone Star, Rebel and Laramie base models).

“The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel offers the best torque and towing among all half-ton diesel trucks,”said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand. “Now with a 10-year track record, the Ram brand has emerged asa truck powertrain technology leader. Overall, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has outstanding pick-up truck capability and is truly in a class of its own.”

The 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is available across all models and configurations, including a first-time offering in the Ram Rebel.

The Ram 1500’s all-new 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel leads the half-ton pickup truck segment in torque with 480lb.-ft. and diesel towing capability of 12,560 pounds.The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic is also offered with the second-generation 3.0-liter EcoDiesel. Pricing for the Ram 1500 Classic EcoDiesel (Crew Cab 4x2) starts at $39,140, plus destination.

Fuel economy ratings will be announced closer to when trucks go on sale early in the fourth quarter of thisyear.

All-new EcoDiesel engine

The third generation of the turbocharged EcoDiesel V-6 delivers increased torque and horsepower, along with superb fuel economy and minimal levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) to meet the needs of Ram 1500 owners.

In the 2020 Ram 1500, the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 is rated at a best-in-class 480 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,600 rpm, a 14 percent increase from the previous-generation EcoDiesel V-6, that peaks 400 rpm earlier. Horsepower increases 8 percent to 260 hp at 3,600 rpm.

Several significant changes contribute to the new EcoDiesel’s improved dynamic and fuel economy performance. A new-generation water-cooled turbocharger with variable geometry is more efficient and provides improved response as engine rpms rise and fall

Redesigned intake ports to improve engine performance and fuel economy
Introduction of a dual, high-pressure and low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation system, a first for a diesel engine in North America. The EcoDiesel’s existing high-pressure EGR, with cooling exhaust gases drawn from the exhaust manifold, is augmented with a low-pressure EGR system that draws exhaust gases after they exit the diesel particulate filter. The addition of cooler, low-pressure exhaust gas makes a significant contribution to improved fuel economy and lower oxides of nitrogen (NOx)

The compression ratio is changed to 16.0:1, from 16.5:1, which helps reduce exhaust emissions, particularly NOxRedesigned high-pressure (29,000 psi/2,000 bar) direct-injection fuel injector nozzlesCombustion chamber geometry optimized to improve fuel economy
Redesigned aluminum-alloy pistons improve fuel economy. The redesigned pistons use thinner pistonrings and coating on the side skits to reduce friction
The piston pin is offset 0.3 degrees from the centerline to reduce “piston slap” against the cylinder wall, minimizing NVH
The lower portion of the two-piece oil sump uses a sandwiched polymer/metal material to reduce NVH
The Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system is 50 percent larger and incorporates a new-generation diesel oxidation catalyst with the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) system to reduce NOx
New-generation brake system vacuum pump with low-friction blades contributes to improved fuel economyThe upgrades build on the EcoDiesel V-6’s attributes and performance that made it a winner of Wards 10 Best Engines award for three consecutive years.The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 uses dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) with four valves per cylinder and a 60-degree angle between the cylinder banks. The block is cast with compacted graphite iron, which provides strength to dampen vibrations but weighs less than grey cast iron. A compacted graphite iron bedplate adds rigidity to the block.The EcoDiesel V-6 uses a forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods for strength and durability. The aluminum alloy pistons are cooled on the underside via oil jets. Heat-treated aluminum cylinder heads useindividual bearing caps to reduce friction and minimize NVH. The chain-driven overhead camshafts employ roller-finger followers.The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 is produced at the FCA Cento facility in Ferrara, Italy.Ram 1500The 2020 Ram 1500 is the no-compromise benchmark for durability, technology, efficiency and convenience with features never-before offered in a pickup. The Ram 1500 features up to 12,750 pounds of towing capability (5.7-liter HEMI V-8) and 2,300 pounds of payload. Ram’s eTorque mild hybrid system delivers improved fuel efficiency in both V-6 (standard) and V-8 configurations. As a segment disrupter, the new Uconnect 4C with a massive 12-inch touchscreen leads the pickup world in technology, featuring split-screen capability, 360-degree camera views and exclusive content from SiriusXM with 360L. Active safety and security systems include adaptive cruise control, Forward Collision Warning, Blind-spot Monitoring and Ready Alert Braking. Class-leading ride and handling is accomplished via a class-exclusive link-coil rear suspension system with optional Active-level four-corner air suspension. The 2020 Ram 1500 also features twice the interior storage capacity versus the competition.Unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/100,000 milesThe 2020 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. 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.

The 2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is built at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) in Sterling Heights,Michigan.

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