RAM bets big on its newer, better diesel, in the half-ton market.
So we already know, that the strategy that RAM has followed lately, has seen them steadily erode the share from the other two members of the big three. So much so in fact, that its two truck strategy has ousted Chevy comfortably from second place.
As the only half-tonner in the segment that offered a Turbo- diesel variant, apparently Ford and GM decided that they needed to get in on the action. Good news for all of us that love these turbo-diesels and the benefits that come with them, soon we will have more choice.
But less of them and more of the new RAM ECO-DIESEL.
At a nice, rather informal get-together in old town Plano, Texas, we were introduced to Mike Koval, Director-US Ram Truck Marketing and Massimo Fulfaro, Diesel Engine Platform Manager, who gave us a better insight into the efforts that FCA have gone to, to make sure that the 3rd generation ECO-DIESEL is even better than before, and certainly not to be outdone in the segment it created.
Proudly, RAM have just celebrated their 10 year anniversary as a stand-alone brand. Yes, on October 4th, the brand celebrated their 10th birthday, since Sergio Marchionne decided to split RAM from Dodge. Certainly it appears to have been a good idea, if figures are anything to go by.
According to Mike Koval, RAM’s last quarter figures are up by no less than 23% nationally and more importantly, 28% up in DFW. No surprises there. This stays our favorite truck right now!
Enter the 3.0 V6 Turbo-diesel engine, which is now available in all the different RAM 1500 trim levels, as opposed to only certain variants on the previous model. We were shown the top-ranging Laramie Longhorn edition, with all the “bells and whistles” as well as an “all-new” to diesel, RAM REBEL version. All this actually did for me, was confuse me as to which one I preferred most! Both the trucks, had full leather, and the amazing interior, which has set RAM ahead of its rivals.
A short test route, which included a blast down the highway, showed just how well the engineers have managed to improve low down torque, smoothness and responsiveness. Almost gone, is any real diesel clatter and turbo lag and what’s left, is the creamy six cylinder diesel purr, which makes the diesel so special, in our minds. This, besides the fact that it will return 32 MPG on the highway, and in 4X4 trim, 29MPG….the 4X4s being the biggest sellers in the Eco-diesel variant.
Tailgate wars, will continue, as RAM showed us the new split tailgate option. Clever indeed, but GM have taken theirs to another level.
The new ECO-DIESEL has only just started production, two weeks ago in fact and should be available at dealerships shortly.
We look forward to comparing the new ECO-DIESEL to the new Land Rover sourced, Ford Powerstroke V6 Turbo-diesel, and the new straight six Silverado Turbo-diesel. Certainly, we are happy that the big three see it fit to keep diesels alive, especially in the half-ton segment.