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Ram to phase out diesel-powered 1500

EcoDiesel pickup cut from line-up following lengthy legal dispute

21 Sep 2022

RAM has announced that it will phase out its 1500 EcoDiesel pickup from January following a lengthy legal battle surrounding the use of an emissions cheat device dating back to 2014.


According to a report published by Automotive News, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles United States (FCA US LLC), a subsidiary of Stellantis, pleaded guilty in federal court and is paying over $US300 million ($A449m) in criminal penalties to resolve the investigation that it conspired to mislead regulators and consumers about the emissions control systems in more than 101,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 models built between 2014 and 2016.


While FCA subsequently updated the VM Motori-sourced engine – which is offered in Northern America in Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4x4 Tradesman, Big Horn, Lone Star, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn and Limited models – it has now decided to ditch the unit in favour of petrol power from January 2023.


“As we quickly pivot toward an electrified future, we wanted to celebrate this last EcoDiesel milestone by offering our loyal light-duty diesel enthusiasts a final opportunity to order the truck they love,” said Ram brand CEO Mike Koval in a statement.


At the current time, Ram 1500 models sold locally are offered only with petrol power, the diesel engine found in 2500 and 3500 variants unrelated to the subject of the emissions scandal.


Launched in May of last year, and priced from $114,950 plus on-road costs, the Australian DT-series 1500 range is available in Laramie, Limited and Limited Launch Edition trim grades and is powered by a familiar 5.7-litre petrol HEMI V8 producing 291kW/556Nm.


With 48V mild hybridisation, idle-stop functionality, short-term torque assist and brake energy regeneration, the 1500 range can deliver a combined cycle fuel economy number as low as 12.2 litres per 100km.


The all 4x4 line-up is offered exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission and is available with a locking rear differential.


Standard equipment includes heated leather-accented front seats with 10-way power adjustment, 60:40 split folding rear seats, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12.0-inch infotainment touchscreen featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a reversing camera, Bluetooth connectivity, 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, dual-zone climate control and front and rear parking sensors.


All Ram 1500 models are further equipped with tyre pressure monitoring, keyless entry and ignition, automatic LED headlights, power adjustable and heated door mirrors, cylinder deactivation, four-wheel disc brakes, multi-link rear suspension, heavy-duty tow bar and trailer brake control.


Range-wide safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, electronic brake force distribution, trailer sway control, hill start assist, a collapsible steering column and height adjustable front seatbelts.


The locally converted Ram 1500 competes in the Pickup / Cab Chassis 4x4 segment where it rivals smaller vehicles including the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger, as well as similarly sized competitors like the Chevrolet Silverado.


Ram has sold 3079 examples of the 1500 so far this year, as well as 433 examples of the 2500 and 38 of its full-size 3500 models. By way of comparison, Chevrolet has sold 924 Silverado and 349 Silverado HD variants.

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