By Patrick Rall
It was recently stated in a SEC filing by the Chrysler Group that the Ram 1500 will soon have the 3.6L Pentastar V6 in place of the current 3.7L V6. This move will make the entry-level Ram 1500 far more powerful than the current V6 Ram, while also likely offering improved fuel economy figures. Those fuel economy efforts will also be boosted by the offering of the new eight-speed automatic transmission. While the information in this SEC filing confirms rumors that were almost a year old, but the eight-speed transmission is an added bonus for future Ram 1500 owners.
Power figures and fuel economy numbers for the upcoming Pentastar
powered Ram 1500 pickups have not been announced but based on the output
of the Pentastar V6 in other applications range from 283 to 305hp. The
Dodge Durango offers 292 horsepower from its Pentastar option so
somewhere in the range of 295-300 horsepower is likely when the new 3.6L
V6 option reaches the Ram 1500. The Ram could also offer better than
300 horsepower but right now, Dodge likes to brag that the Challenger
has the most powerful application of the Pentastar. The Ram could take
that claim from the Challenger–unless the next model year V6
Challenger got a boost in power.
The other big piece of Ram Truck news was the addition of a new 8-speed
automatic transmission for the Ram 1500. Chrysler has not specified
which engines or chassis configurations will come with the eight-speed
automatic, but the company did state that this new transmission will
improve fuel economy by 12% compared to the current 5-speed automatic.
That automatic comes with the 4.7L V8 and the Hemi while the current
3.7L V6 comes with a 4-speed unit so perhaps the new eight-speed will be
mated to the Hemi. However, the eight-speed gearbox in use
with the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger only comes with the Pentastar
V6, so it will be interesting to see which Ram 1500 models get this new
transmission later this year.