Chrysler Confirms 2013 Diesel Grand Cherokee, Durango/Ram 1500 Could Follow

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2012-Ram-1500.jpgby Patrick Rall

Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne told Automotive News that there
will be a diesel option for the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Other Chrysler
sources have stated that more large vehicles will receive the
oil-burning option after the diesel Jeep launches in the US.  No other
vehicles were named, but based on shared platforms and diesel
availability in other markets, and given what we know about Marchionne’s
preference for diesel technology
, we can make some educated guesses as to what
will pack diesel power in 2013.

The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD model will likely be powered by the same 3.0L turbo diesel V6 sold in the European Jeep, packing 224 horsepower and 406lb-ft of torque.  This engine is designed and built by VM Motori – a division of Fiat SpA, and like many other diesel motors being launched in the US market, this is a quiet ‘clean diesel’ that will continue to undo the idea of a diesel engine sounding like an old tractor while spewing thick smoke.  While the measure of 224hp might be a little low, 406lb-ft of torque would make it one of the torque-ier SUVs on the market.

Jeep has had limited success in past years selling small displacement diesel engines, and with gobs of CRD-badged (common rail diesel) Grand Cherokee mules running around the Detroit area, the announcement of the company’s intention of launching a diesel Grand Cherokee comes as no huge surprise. The Dodge Durango shares a build location, engines and a chassis platform with the same Jeep Grand Cherokee. So we can surmise that the Durango is one of those large vehicles that could also get a diesel engine option.   Considering that the Durango and Grand Cherokee share so much else, the Durango could be one of the next vehicles to receive this technology, but at the same time, the Durango is marketed on the sporty end of the SUV spectrum while the Jeep is the “trail rated’ workhorse.

This same 3.0L turbo diesel engine is currently offered in the Chrysler 300-turned-Lancia Thema, so the full sized Chrysler luxury sedan could be the next vehicle to receive the diesel engine in the US market.  Should the Chrysler 300 get this diesel engine option, we could also see the Dodge Charger that shares engines, a platform and a build location pack the same diesel engine.  However, like the Dodge Durango, the Charger is marketed as a sports model, and you have to wonder if a 224 horsepower turbo diesel engine would fit into the Charger’s performance minded marketing scheme.

Last, but certainly not least, if the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee are to get diesel engine options, beginning in or around 2013, the Ram 1500 pickup could also be on that list.  The Dodge Truck/Ram Truck faithful have long clamored for an oil-burning diesel option, and while this 3.0L turbo diesel is a far cry from the powerful and popular Cummins Turbo Diesel found in the Ram HD – this torquey little mill could be just what the Ram community wants for the 2013 or 2014 model year.

What do you think is the best diesel bet? Shout off in the forums!

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