Photo: Ram
Truck YeahThe trucks are good!  

The EcoDiesel is back in the Ram 1500 for 2020, after some, uh, regulatory issues meant that the launch of the fifth-generation Ram pickup in 2019 featured only gasoline engines. Now we know how much it’ll cost: $36,890 for the base model, or the lowest among the Big Three’s full-size pickups.

You’ll have to tack on an additional $1,695 to that to account for destination charges. Fuel economy ratings aren’t out just yet, but Ram has said that it expects to “lead the segment” in fuel economy, which would mean beating the F-150 diesel, which gets 25 mpg combined.

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This engine is a big deal for Ram, which might’ve finally kicked Chevy to the curb. And with Nissan recently giving up on its own full-size, Cummins-supplied diesel ambitions, Ram is poised for further gains. That’s also because the Chevy Silverado Duramax starts at $42,385, while the Ford F-150 Power Stroke starts at $46,225, per Autoblog.

The EcoDiesel puts out more torque than both, meanwhile, or 480 lb-ft, according to Ram, which bests the F-150 diesel by 40 lb-ft and the upcoming Chevy diesel by 20 lb-ft. The EcoDiesel will make 260 horsepower, which is 17 horsepower less than the Chevy diesel, but torque is the currency of the truck world.

Here is a way-too-detailed list via Ram of the new EcoDiesel’s improvements, or how it got to those numbers:

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 piston rings 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 economy

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Ram has been doing well by focusing on what it does best, which is making trucks. I think they will sell a ton of these.